used gear

12:04 p.m. on August 14, 2009 (EDT)
2 reviewer rep
9 forum posts

I'm looking to start climbing and was wondering if anyone has some basic gear that they don't use anymore.

8:12 p.m. on August 16, 2009 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1 forum posts
1:28 p.m. on August 17, 2009 (EDT)
4,404 reviewer rep
6,007 forum posts

Be very very cautious about what used climbing gear you buy. In general, do not buy used harnesses, ropes, or slings - even when the seller reassures you that the item "was only used a couple times", they might have forgotten to tell you about those whipper falls or the rock that fell on the rope. You really do not know the history and a visual/tactile inspection can only tell you so much. Nylon gear deteriorates with time, even sitting in a cool, dry closet. The general lifetime recommendation from UIAA for ropes, slings, harnesses, and helmet suspensions is 5 years in proper storage, though some companies are now claiming 7 years. But a rope in regular use (climbing every weekend) can be less than half the single-rope standard in 2 years, and one heavily used (4 or 5 days a week) may need to be replaced in half a season.

Metal gear is somewhat less of a risk, but microcracks are hard to see in carabiners without an Xray or other metal integrity testing.

Helmets are another thing to avoid on the used market - again, you don't really know the history.

Clothing, tents, sleeping bags, and such are fairly easy to inspect, so you are pretty safe there, if you examine them carefully to determine a reasonable price.

Climbing boots and rock shoes are fairly safe (if you don't mind someone else's athlete's foot or toenail fungus - but you can generally disinfect footgear).

May 26, 2018
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