/ Experiments in redundancy

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Jonny on 07 Feb 2019

What weight-saving or safety-increasing tricks have you used to play with redundancy between different pieces of your equipment?

I can envision a couple of ways in which this might work. First, two pieces of equipment that serve different purposes can be replaced by just one of them. For example, I made an adaptor (a nut plus a screw with a crankable wheel fused to it) so that my shovel blade accepts an ice-axe as its handle (provided the axe doesn't have a finger rest at its base). This way I can leave the shovel handle at home, saving fully half of its weight, and the axe makes a perfectly useable handle. Of course, this example depends on the common equipment (ice axe as axe and as handle) not being required to serve both purposes at once, which is usually true in this case.

In the complementary scenario, an element that serves only one purpose can be replaced with one that serves two. For example, rucksack straps can be replaced with rated webbing, to be used in an emergency

Any personal favourites?

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AlanLittle - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Jonny:

How much time are you losing fiddling about with your nut & screw in a life and death situation where speed is critical?

Seems to me to be not the obvious best place to save a couple of grammes.  

Post edited at 14:59
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Jonny on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to AlanLittle:

Very little actually! The axe slots in just tighly enough to immobilise the nut, then it's a couple of quick turns of the screw and it's set. I would bring the handle along if the shovel's next use might be for avalanche digging, but for snow caves and bivvy platforms it's perfect! It's 350 grams saved, by the way.

Got any ruses of your own?

Post edited at 15:01
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AlanLittle - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Jonny:

Fair enough. I‘ve been picky about my partners‘ shovels ever since I saw my mate‘s pathetic attempts with his plastic shovel to dig a cave in some hard compacted snow (resembling avalanche debris) for our kids to play in.

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Rick Graham on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Jonny:

Redundancy  and dual purpose in use of climbing gear is ideal for weight saving and survival.

When the shit hits the fan in a mountain environment you will surprise yourself how many alternative uses are available.

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Jonny on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to AlanLittle:

Yeah, plastic blades are useless. Aluminium (preferably T6 6061) blades are the way to go. They make great stove stands and snow flukes, too!

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