Monday, December 2, 2013

Tree Climbing Equipment

I am getting into tree climbing to trim and eventually cut down some dead trees. I’m piecing together some climbing equipment from different web sites but I have a nagging question about carabiners. I have seen carabiners in places like Home Depot that say “not for climbing” but they look exactly like those sold for climbing, with 11,000+ lb. Ratings. They are a LOT cheaper. Why couldn’t I just use these. After speaking to others on the web, I found the answer. Carabiners sold for climbing are certified by the UIAA to meet strength requirements for loading under various conditions/configurations that are often encountered in the real world (long axis – gate closed, long axis – gate open, short axis – gate closed, short axis – gate open). General-purpose carabiners, if they are even rated, are typically only rated for ultimate static strength and this rating may or may not even be based upon rigorous testing. Manufacturers of climbing equipment, on the other hand, typically invest heavily in ongoing testing and quality assurance to ensure that everything they ship is safe and meets specifications. Shop around. You can buy good, solid climbing carabiners fairly inexpensively. Trusting your life to carabiners purchased at the hardware store is an exceptionally bad idea and really won’t save you that much up-front money. You can purchase 10 bulletproof Black Diamond oval carabiners for less than $60. If Home Depot carabiners cost you $3 apiece, you’re only saving $30. Spend the extra money and be safe. Below are some examples of good inexpensive climbing carabiners. I’ve included both non-locking and locking carabiners since I don’t know what you’re looking for:

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