/ buying first cams
Yeah 4CUs are prefectly fine and cheap.
On the other hand you may spend your whole time wishing you had slightly better ones, so if you're that way inclined you might as well buy Dragons or Camalots to start with...
don't buy the cheap stuff. if you are serious about climbing, you will end up buying the best stuff later on. I would recommend camalots sizes 1, 2 and 3. After that get the 0.75, 0.5, 0.4. For smaller still, go for the metolious master cams when times get a bit more desperate.
My first and only cam is a dmm dragon 3.
Used it on every climb I've done since I got it!
Next up, a dragon 1 and a 4
They are all bloody pricey though. However needlesports have Dragons for £40 each. Cheapest I can find the Totems is @£50.
> don't buy the cheap stuff. if you are serious about climbing, you will end up buying the best stuff later on. I would recommend camalots sizes 1, 2 and 3. After that get the 0.75, 0.5, 0.4. For smaller still, go for the metolious master cams when times get a bit more desperate.
I've used other more expensive devices; however, they're not worth the extra expense to me.
My few pence worth.
Also worth considering that at some point in the next 5-10 years you will probably want to have them re-slung. If you get WC or DMM this is doable in the UK, but if you get BD you have to post them over the pond.
I can't stand dual-stemmed cams, they never inspire confidence. Dragons are pretty much as good as camalots. I like the mastercams a lot, but they don't get on well with sea cliffs.
BUT it only takes about 2-3 weeks for BD to do them and WC takes over 1 week in my experience. Also BD don't charge for reslinging for UK customers and they post back for free, they also did my trigger wires for free, it cost me 12 quid to post 3 cams to them so a LOT cheaper too. (PS I now have only dragons, I sold my camalots as I prefer dragons!)
V12 do a starter set of Dragons. Sizes 2, 3 &4 for £115. That was my first cam purchase and I like them. Not really tried any others in the same league, but they're much nicer than my friends' cheap ones.
There's also the supporting the local business aspect. Don't get me wrong, I love my camalots and don't regret buying them but if they were all stolen tomorrow I'd replace with DMM.
I like DMM kit its beautifully manufactured. The dragons with their forging process and excellent design are right at the cutting edge of cam manufacturing just now IMO.
> I like DMM kit its beautifully manufactured. The dragons with their forging process and excellent design are right at the cutting edge of cam manufacturing just now IMO.
AFAIK the cam lobes on WC cams are identical, because DMM make them as well.
How many... Depends how generous someone is feeling since they're presumably a gift. They're often a fair bit cheaper bought in sets of 3 or more.
Which ones to go for... If they're for sale in uk shops they'll be good and safe. The best choice of design for small, medium and large cams may not be the same so don't be afraid to go for more than one design as you build your rack, try before you buy and buy what you like. Where possible I'd suggest going for British made cams, support British business and there's no compromise on performance or quality, they're right up there at the moment.
What size... Mid size. Cams for the features you're climbing at the moment or will be soon. Generally that's finger and hand size (adjust for your local rock type and route preference), maybe fists. Wild Country 1, 2 and 3 is a pretty good staring point or the similar 'half' size set, whichever you prefer (Size comparison charts exist for comparing to DMM, BD, Metolius etc).
Options... There's nothing fundamentally wrong with 4CU or other dual stem cams (I have several 3CU and they're great) if you're on a budget, they're nicely made and work as well as others in the vast majority of placements. They can be a little more prone to kinking in a fall so if you hammer them they may not last as well as others. That said, I doubt the majority of cams ever see a fall! These days in a world of price matching and special offers they may not be the bargain they once were though. Shop around but bare in mind climbing shops with a physical presence in climbing areas are a valuable resource, support them when you can.
Something to bear in mind.
You can usually get very good deals on second hand, cams from people on here.
Making it just as cheap to buy top quality gear.
definitely the way to go IMO
> definitely the way to go IMO
Yup. I had a bit of an OCD attack last year and bought colour-coordinating krabs for all my cams. Makes it a damn sight easier to grab the right krab off your harness when in extremis.
Plus it just looks prettier.
My 2p worth, I have used BD, WC and all 3 DMM models. I have 4CU's and have no intention of changing them they perform just as we'll as any other brand or model and the placement is as good as the hand that is placing them, they have a large range (10 I think?) which means I can choose the sizes to take on a route.
It's a bonus that you can three for under ninety quid and five for £120 I think.
Rarely, when I'm falling, is my first thought "I'm glad I got the cheapest cams I could find".
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