/ size of first cam?

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anomm - on 28 Feb 2013
so far me and my partner have done a fair amount of climbing using only nuts, hexes and slings for protection. I cannot (and can't see myself able to) afford a set of cams. however, I could probably manage one just atm and would love to try one. I was wondering what size my first cam should be baring in mind I have a full set of nuts.

what cam do you use most? thanks
Jonny2vests - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to anomm:

One of the ones in the middle of the range, pick one. BD .75 for instance is a very useful size.
el.sabor - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to anomm:

From the Needlesports site:

"When starting out it is hard to know what sized cam to buy first, and whatever you do get, you can guarantee that it won't be the one you need when in extremis on your next lead! However, we would suggest a Friend 2 or equivalent as a first cam on the grounds that it covers a size of crack that is almost too small to hand jam and thus one where you are likely to want to get protection in with some urgency. If you are climbing mainly on grit/sandstone,granite then, having bought a size 2, we'd suggest working your way upwards in half sizes until you reach 3.5 and then working your way downwards from 1.5 to 0. If you are climbing maily on mountain crags/limestone then we'd suggest reversing this, ie buy 1.5 down to 0, then 2.5 up to 3.5."

This has done me well so far in getting my first few cams.
JLS on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to anomm:

>"what cam do you use most?"

The green 0.75 BD Camalot is my favourite. The gold No2 would be second choice.

I'd stick to either DMM, BD or Wildcountry.
dale1968 - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to anomm: depends where your climbing, and what rock type, and what grade, granite I tend to use larger ones, limestone smaller ones more often
Richard Alderton - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to anomm:

Where do you usually climb? Generally speaking:

- go for bigger cams on grit
- smaller cams on mountain rhyolite
- don't bother on most limestone.
- buy whichever's on special offer!

Needlesports has some good advice, suggesting you go for something around a Friend 2 to start with.

http://www.needlesports.com/Catalogue/Rock-Climbing-Equipment/Camming-Devices/Standard-Cams

That sounds good to me but, as above, if you see a cam on special offer, grab it.
Monk - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to anomm:

Where do you climb most? The type of rock makes quite a difference to which is the most useful cam. In general though, I would go for something in the mid-range. Something like a size 1.5/2 Wild Country or DMM 4CU/Demon would be good. BD and Dragons have different sizing, but I would say probably the Dragon size 2 or the 4CU size 1. Double axle cams and WC Heliums have slightly more range per unit, so might maximise your options if you are only buying 1 cam.
andic - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to anomm:

choose something abut the same size as the holds you are able to use, so yea as above something medium sized, perhaps dual axle (so BD/dragon) so there is a bit more range if you are only going for one.

my first cams were 1,2,3 tech friends as a VS climber, the No 2 got placed a lot but al were useful
Ramblin dave - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to anomm:
In my experience, the cam that I find the most really crucial placements for is always the one that I already placed a way back down the route when there was a perfectly good nut placement I could have used if I'd bothered...
EeeByGum - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to anomm: 2 or 2.5 in the Wildcountry range for me. Basically, any size bigger than your biggest nut. Perhaps you have a size that is not covered by a hex? That size would obviously be useful.
The Ex-Engineer - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to anomm: It would depend what rock type(s) you climb on. The traditional advice, especially if you climb on gritstone would be to buy a (Wild Country) size 3/3.5 cam as your first one.

There is much sense in that, as you can then ditch your 1 or 2 larger and heavier hexes. If you don't climb on gritstone or granite, anything in the range down to the Camalot 0.75 (WC Friend 1.5/1.75) recomended by jonny2vests would probably be fine.

However, whatever size you get, sometimes it will be the perfect size, sometimes it won't.
jkarran - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to anomm:

What size feature do you climb that you can't currently protect? What size feature would you like to climb if you could protect it?

Or requiring less thought: Friend 2.5
anomm - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to anomm: Theres a lot of useful stuff here so thanks. Also I usually climb at traprain (my local crag) which is Trachyte rock. don't tend to need much hexe's as the cracks arent large so with your advice I think I'll try something around a 2 Friend size.
GrahamD - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to anomm:

1 Camalot is my most often used I guess, but before I could afford Camalots it was a 2.5 friend
adam11 - on 28 Feb 2013
My first one was a 2.5 bought from WC at Tidswell when they first appeared. Had to twist the arm of Mark Vallance coz they weren't in the shops at that time. Had to pull the same stunt on him when Fire's first appeared too :)
alooker - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to anomm: hard to say, depending on the rock type I'd choose larger hand jam kinda size. Look to expand in the future though, and don't buy cheap as you'll regret it when you've got a rack of mismatched cams!
In reply to anomm: For grit I would go with 2.5 (DMM sizes)
andypg - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave: I'm with you, buddy. Knew I wasn't the only one.
Monk - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to alooker:
> Look to expand in the future though, and don't buy cheap as you'll regret it when you've got a rack of mismatched cams!

I don't agree with that. I've used budget cams for the last 16 years and never had a problem. I've used a wide variety, but most are based on the old Wild Country sizing, so there isn't really that much confusion to be had.
alooker - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to Monk: fair enough, I have had the opposite experience of weird sizing, and things things like different trigger systems annoy me. Each to their own, huh.
ads.ukclimbing.com
w.pettet-smith - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to anomm: camalot 6
paul mitchell - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to anomm: Buy the cam that few other people have.
That is a cam 4.Fist size or a bit bigger.That is the one I most often lend to beginners who are crapping it on cruxes with not the right gear to progress.As it costs more,fewer people have it.You will find you have more mates ,as people will ask you to climb with them so they can borrow it.Most people have the smaller sizes. As you climb with different partners you will find that sizes .5 up tp 3 are commonly owned.Not having a 4 seriously restricts the number of routes you can do.Pretty handy in the Peak or on Welsh trad. Also often the best cam for crag top belays.

Mitch
Blue Straggler - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> (In reply to anomm)
> In my experience, the cam that I find the most really crucial placements for is always the one that I already placed a way back down the route when there was a perfectly good nut placement I could have used if I'd bothered...


Sounds like you need some tri-cams :-)
mmmhumous on 02 Mar 2013
In reply to anomm:

If you can afford to wait or splash out, you get get good deals (e.g. from Joe Brown) on buys cams in sets of 3 or 5. Either way, I'd recommend 4CUs for your first purchase: While dragons and camlots have a larger range, 3x4cus represent better value than 2xdragons or camalots. Size depens on what/where you're climbing. This size comparison chart is uesful too: http://info.rockrun.com/attachments/download/29/cam-size-comparison-chart-v3.pdf

From personal experience (Grit routes Vdif-E2) I tend to place my size 1.74 and 3.5 4CUs, size 1 mastercam and size 4 zero the most.

If you're on a budget, tricams are a great (and cheaper) alternative to normal cams: http://www.dav-paderborn.de/uploads/pics/TricamNachSturz.jpg

mmmhumous on 02 Mar 2013
In reply to mmmhumous:
> (In reply to anomm)
>
> If you can afford to wait or splash out, you get get good deals (e.g. from Joe Brown) on buys cams in sets of 3 or 5. Either way, I'd recommend 4CUs for your first purchase: While dragons and camlots have a larger range, 3x4cus represent better value than 2xdragons or camalots. Size depens on what/where you're climbing. This size comparison chart is uesful too: http://info.rockrun.com/attachments/download/29/cam-size-comparison-chart-v3.pdf
>
> From personal experience (Grit routes Vdif-E2) I tend to place my size 1.74 and 3.5 4CUs, size 1 mastercam and size 4 zero the most.
>
> If you're on a budget, tricams are a great (and cheaper) alternative to normal cams: http://www.dav-paderborn.de/uploads/pics/TricamNachSturz.jpg

***Insert a similar reply in coherent English here.... no coffee and text prediction are not a good combination***

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