/ Recommend first trad rack -
Here's a recent thread on the subject:
you should be able to search out quite a few more, but the same advice pretty much gets repeated. I personally would leave cams alone until you know how to get the best out of passive gear. The learning curve is pretty steep, but once you've been using the gear for a while, you'll have a much better idea of what you'll need.
Another one here:
My position was until relatively recently not too dissimilar to yours. If did it again I'd get:
- Full set of wall nuts
- Full totem cam set
I bought camalots first then totems, I reckon totems are the best cams on the market but they don't go bigger than a red camalot.
I'd suggest going climbing on other people's racks a bit more while you get a feel for what works. Everybody has there own pet rack theories, and what you get on here will be very subjective.
Having said that, my own pet assertions:
1. One set of nuts is rarely enough, even for easy/short climbs, whatver people on here try to tell you. Have duplicates at least between size 4-8.
2. Climbing without cams in order to improve your nut-placing skills seems a bit silly. They can save your life.
3. A mix of extender lengths is essential, with at least a couple of 60cm "slingdraws"
4. Don't put a screwgate onto every sling; it's unneccessary weight if you just use it as a runner.
5. Have some loose snapgates.
Cotswold outdoor do a DMM Protection Pack for £150.
For that you get:
Wallnuts 1 to 11
Offsets 7 to 11
Torquenuts 1 to 4
Seems like a reasonable starter Rack, plus few slings.
As you go on, double up on smaller wallnuts, or small set of rocks. Then 2 or 3 cams Maybe. Job done.
I've picked up some other items along the way as I've made mistakes and learned lessons but on most routes, I'd happy with a set of wallnuts 1-11, wild country rocks 1-8 and a few cams in the middle sizes (Friend sizes .5 to 2.5). I find 4 quickdraws and 4 slingdraws (made up of 60cm slings) and a couple of 120cm slings on screwgates make up a usable rack at reasonable cost.
For some reason I feel compelled to defend my position here. To me the argument that "they can save your life" is a bit silly - if that's the only rationale you have for using a particular piece of gear, for which alternatives exist. Seriously - when was the last time you placed a cam because only a cam would do?
It's human nature to take the path of least effort. stacked nuts in a parallel crack, or opposed nuts in a horizontal break will hold just as well as a cam, but if you're carrying cams, then that's what you're going to use. if you start off using cams then there's a good chance you'll never learn to do without them; That's something that can save your life too.
Cams are heavy, bulky and they pop just like any other piece of gear, but being spring loaded means that bad placements aren't always obvious - and being easy to place means they're easy to place badly. The same principles that apply to nut placements apply to cam placements. I say it's better to learn them placing nuts.
Sorry - I have a tendency to sermonise - Cams can save your life - so can the ability to do without them - which you most likely won't get if you start off using them.
Would rather buy more slings, screw gates and extended QD's than have cams.
Ron and Jerry where doin' ok without them.
Oh, buy a nut key!
> Oh, buy a nut key!
And a rope knife, for cutting Loose tiresome partners ;-)
Boulders (Cardiff climbing wall shop with website) do the same for £143.99 (google boulders trad starter)
So much to look at and take in... I am looking to train and learn and my goal is to complete a SPA course and progress and develop climbing.
> Boulders (Cardiff climbing wall shop with website) do the same for £143.99 (google boulders trad starter)
Think Dick's Climbing Shop might even beat that by £3.99!
> Think Dick's Climbing Shop might even beat that by £3.99!
Dicks is definitely the best gear shop by far, in my humble Opinion. I rate him highly. A bit far From northern Ireland, but does online.
> Dicks is definitely the best gear shop by far, in my humble Opinion. I rate him highly. A bit far From northern Ireland, but does online.
He just down the road from he too, which is a bonus.
Think he just brought his prices down by 10%, he used to do BMC discounts but think he decided its just easier to give the 10% to everyone.
Maybe not absolutely essential but I've found them invaluable.
There is also an article here:
It depends a lot on where you normally climb. On grit there are loads of times when only a cam would do.
Try other people's kit then buy what you've got on well with. You don't need to buy a whole set of cams, it's often a good idea to get small stuff from one range, big stuff from another range. Same is true of nuts, variety can be good. Don't get loads of big slings, cordlette and screwgates, learn to use your rope and travel lighter. Get long lightweight quickdraws, ideally plenty of sling-draws.
That means they're definitely worth looking at.
(Why there isn't more love for tricams around here, placeable as passive or camming pro, I still haven't worked out.)
>Why there isn't more love for tricams around here, placeable as passive or camming pro, I still haven't worked out.
Because there is only so much love to go around, and Blue Straggler has cornered the market in loving Tricams !
I'd echo the advice of trying to use other peoples racks before splashing out. Different people have different views on what is 'essential' to them
Nowt wrong with tricams.
On Masters Edge, nothing else will go except a 2 and a half!
Ps i cant do masters edge.
Ask your climbing partner what they don't have and buy that to compliment their rack. If you climb with lots of different people, then probably one half rope is a good investment, as many people only buy one and expect their partners to bring the other.
> For some reason I feel compelled to defend my position here. To me the argument that "they can save your life" is a bit silly - if that's the only rationale you have for using a particular piece of gear, for which alternatives exist.
If you're a novice who's still getting to grips with placing nuts quickly and safely in standard placements, then I'd say that trying to get equalized nuts in a horizontal break or stacked nuts in a parallel crack isn't a particularly safe option, and a novice trying to climb without cams on something like gritstone (which modern guidebooks will grade on the basis that a horizontal break or a parallel crack is a quick and easy cam placement) is probably going to dangerously sandbag themself fairly quickly.
Er, last time I placed a cam? Every cam I place is because nothing else will do; that's why they exist!
Do people actually stack nuts?
Yes. A 'rock' and a hex in Opposition gives a good runner sometimes.
But what do i Know
> (Why there isn't more love for tricams around here, placeable as passive or camming pro, I still haven't worked out.)
Interestingly (or not) Go Outdoors have recently started stocking tricams. Is there a new dawn for tricams on the horizon?
If you have partners with gear, the least they will have is a set of nuts, so there's a double set already, right?
> Er, last time I placed a cam? Every cam I place is because nothing else will do; that's why they exist!
OK - I have to say I can't say the same. I'll use a cam in a parallel crack because it's quicker than stacking nuts, but the only placements I can think of where nuts won't go and cams will are flared ones. If I only ever used my friends for those then they wouldn't see much use. also - I'm not suggesting that anyone shuns cams - only that they learn to get the most out of passive gear before they start using them.
As for stacked, or opposed nuts not being trustworthy when placed by a novice - What gear is? There's at least as much chance of placing a friend badly as there is placing opposed nuts - it's not rocket science after all. If you learn this stuff early on then when you come to really need it, you won't be doing it for the first time.
Anyway, I'm not claiming to be an expert - this is what I think and why - it's just one opinion amongst several. I'm not trying to argue that there are no routes that cams are essential to protect - only that they're not the routes that people are going to be learning to place gear on.
All fair points, and to a large extent I agree with you. I've certainly seen a lot of beginners seduced by the "gadget factor" and (apparent) ease of placement of cams when there are better passive options nearby.
Passive gear is still the bread-and-butter of a trad rack, and I'll spend far more time with beginners seeking to perfect skills in placing these. But all gear has its uses and its limitations, and I don't think there is anything wrong with being shown those of a cam early in the journey. Rightly or wrongly, they are carried on pretty much every graded route nowadays.
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