/ ARTICLE: C.A.M.P ..... Italy: Who are on earth are they?
Ian Smith visited C.A.M.P and reports back: http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=1358
Anyone actually like camp gear?
To me their compeditors always seem to produce better quaility and/or value for money kit.
They’re certainly good value for money, at least over here in Sweden they are. Granted their stuff is not quite as touchy feely as DMM/Black Diamond, but somebody gave me a few of their hex's and they are excellent in use.
I've got a pair of 12 point crampons, walking axe and helmet from them and I'm more than happy with the kit, especially the crampons. Even though they are pretty basic as in they are not Step-in they will fit onto my 10 year old boots where the front bails have worn away over the years.
For me sometimes function come before aesthetics.
I used a pair of CAMP Ice Rider crampons for about a year and was not thrilled with them. They were good value for money and fairly light, but wore out far more quickly than my Grivel crampons (which are now three years old and still going strong, now being used by my brother).
I have a CAMP helmet which is fine, being a simple lid, and some CAMP pitons which work okay but these are items where design is not that critical anyway: if it works it works.
has meant i've been able to loan them out to mates and them not worry about will it/won't it work with my boots.
helmets been ok.. but must admit in retrospect headtorch attachements would have been useful.
> has meant i've been able to loan them out to mates and them not worry about will it/won't it work with my boots.
Forgot to mention that I do have some Sabertooth crampons but as the need bails on the boots they are quite redundant. A lesson that I learnt while on Anoch Moor a few years ago when I had to strap the crampons to my boots with auxiliary cord.
As you say, they won't win any fashion shows but they sure are sturdy and functional for almost all boot types and don't look all that bad for being 15 years old.
I peeled the stickers off mine. ;=)
I have got a single CAMP nut (crag swag) which is about the same as a rock 1 and I use it all the time. It has a more curved shape and seems to bite really well when I can't get a rock or a wallnut to sit.
once youve tried em you like, but to outsiders they are witchcraft.
ps never used paramo just using as example :-)
I am considering buying a camp jasper CR harness, I want something really light and stripped down.
Anyone had any experience?
Still use a couple of camp ice screws I got from needlesports a few years back.
Nothing innovative about Tricams, then? (A brilliant piece of gear that no-one else makes...)
Forgot I've got a pair of Ice Rider crampons that work well...
FYI, I have both, can place both (it's a myth that Tricams are difficult to place), find them complementary rather than mutually exclusive, haven't seen a well-placed example of either fall out, have no particular preference for falling on either (so TBH who wants to fall on anything?) and am also aware of their value in winter...
But perhaps there's no point trying to explain that to you because you're going to rubbish them anyway?
There's no point engaging in rational debate with someone who:
a) Describes themselves as an "International playboy rope technician"
b) Owns a 1997 VW polo
ill stick to DMM and BD, price of hardware shouldnt be an issue with climbing gear, whats more important is the quality of finish, innovative design, functionality and safety/quality standards, from experience Camp dont seem to cover all these factors, DMM and BD blow the competition away IMO
Italians are great at making climbing boots, sportscars, audio systems and loudpeakers but anything else im sceptical!
> Italians are great at making climbing boots, sportscars, audio systems and loudpeakers but anything else im sceptical!
Don't forget pizza and pasta!
> ill stick to DMM and BD,
erm... made in a nice wee english village.... does that instill confidence
Italians have always been great engineers, and making and designing climbing gear is engineering.
I'm not quite sure what the idea of the article is either and if i'm going to buy European kit I generally go with petzl becase I like their stuff but C.A.M.P gear generaly looks good and they do seem to be able to think outside the box in a way other manufacturers don't, it leads to some quite wacky looking kit.
The plan is to have several articles on gear manufacturers... including DMM, BD, WC, Scarpa, Petzl etc etc
DMM are made in a wee WELSH village and Black Diamond are American.....
>Italians have always been great engineers, and making and designing climbing gear is engineering.
Have you heard what FIAT stands for?
F***ing Idiots At Turin
Only joking. Slightly. I drive a Vespa so it had better not hear me dissing Italian engineering.
CAMP reverse the usual adages about Italian design- they make reasonably functional, but not inspirational kit. They are the exact opposite of Alpha Romeo or Maserati...
I have bought Camp hexes in the past and liked them fine but they need to get a bit more imaginative to keep up with DMM.
They make good pop videos.
Are you around this winter?
Postie, Im not sure where i will be this winter, could do with getting out climbing although ill need a good few trips to get back into shape. Ill drop you an email. Looking like a bumper season I reckon..
CAMP, whatever is our personal judgement on the single product, has made lots of gear for other companies, including BD (at less, before BD began making most of its hardware in China). Their manufacturing is at high standards, not lower than any other company in the outdoor business.
As far as I know there are no more failures or problems with CAMP climbing hardware than with DMM, BD, Wild Country, Petzl etc.
When I was a boy, my first quickdraw set was CAMP. They were not the most refined, but worked well for years, at less than half the price of Petzl.
There’s a lot of italian engineering in the world. But this has nothing to do with the quality of climbing hardware, which is still the product of a relatively low technology industry. Crampons are not diesel motors or airplanes. I have not ceased considering reliable my Tech Friends because Rover made probably the worst cars in western Europe.
As is well known, Italy has a strong tradition in the climbing gear business. Four of the biggest companies in the world (CAMP, Grivel, Kong, Salewa) are italian (of course, “big” is here always relatively small, we aren’t speaking of IBM or General Motors).
I wonder why a thread on a climbing company has involved national or even nationalistic issues.
I’m not related with CAMP in any way.
Well, I'm not the official attorney for CAMP. But if I were, I'd say your argument is not the most elegant. About a very sensitive subject. I think in this field (gear failure) suggestions and suspects are hardly to be admitted.
I can just say that in twenty years or so of climbing I've heard and seen several (not many) accidents involving gear failure. CAMP is not in evidence, even if much spreaded in Italy. Therefore, my personal "statistics" is different from yours, but this doesn't imply mine is right and yours is false. Simply, it's not statistics.
Just to be more consequent, I suggest you to stop using pitons, even when you find them on a route. Because they have been almost all produced by CAMP, with different logos, in the last fifteeen years or so.
Simple and effective. i would have replaced like for like and replaced BD sabretooths but BD decided bells and whistle would be nice and trashed a simple elegant design.
my lass has a CAMP helmet which is literally the only one that fits on her head...
but that said only real men will ever wear/use camp.... and i think that will allways be a problem for them
Personally I reckon some CAMP stuff is ok but it's in a different league to the stuff WC, DMM and BD produce and I reckon that the better design and quality is actually worth the extra money. My CAMP pegs got one attempted use then got binned. Ditto the ice screw. Their old hardshell helmets looked alright.
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