climbing gear ideas

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bobby49
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climbing gear ideas

Post by bobby49 » Fri May 11, 2018 8:31 pm

For some vertical rope work (ascending and descending), I have to use necessary safety equipment. I have a climber's waist harness with 1.5" straps and buckles, slightly padded leg loops, and a slightly padded lumbar pad. It works. I also have a chest harness with 1" straps and buckles, but it has no padding at all. Both of these get cinched up tightly.
After I have been hanging on the rope for a while during rest, this chest harness really digs in to my sides. I tried to build some "kidney pads" out of three layers of polyester fleece, and I think that was going in the right direction, but it is not enough.
Any ideas on what sort of material I need to get in there? It needs to have a bit of structure like corrugated cardboard, yet it needs to bend just slightly to fit my bumps.

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Harlen
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Re: climbing gear ideas

Post by Harlen » Sat May 12, 2018 3:37 pm

How about some strips off an old ensolite pad, or ridge-rest? I've used them here and there, and they last pretty well. You'll probably have to duct tape them in place, which adds weight. Good luck

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bobby49
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Re: climbing gear ideas

Post by bobby49 » Sat May 12, 2018 6:10 pm

Yes, an old blue foam pad has been suggested, but that is a bit thick. I didn't want anything quite that thick, but I found some thin foam sheet packaging, and three layers of that was perfect. Yet it can still be sewn around the edges. Thin Velcro straps hold the pad around the harness strap. I'll give it a day or two and then see if new bruises show up.

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longri
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Re: climbing gear ideas

Post by longri » Mon May 14, 2018 9:58 am

This is in the wrong forum, isn't it?

That aside, I went through this with my first wall harness. Bruised hips, tweaked nerves, sometimes excruciating pain. I attached some foam and it helped but the real problem was the width of the belt. Unless some hard pointy thing is poking you it's the amount of surface area spreading out the load that matters most. I eventually bought another harness but not until I'd suffered with the first one for way too long.

If the packaging foam you have on hand isn't durable enough you can buy 1/8" foam that's equivalent to EVA30 from Gossamer Gear for about $20 and give that a try. I used some in a backpack I made and it's holding up well.

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bobby49
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Re: climbing gear ideas

Post by bobby49 » Mon May 14, 2018 10:56 am

longri wrote:This is in the wrong forum, isn't it?
This forum is for rock climbers, and I figured that rock climbers were the only people who would clearly understand the problem and have a practical solution.

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longri
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Re: climbing gear ideas

Post by longri » Mon May 14, 2018 11:15 am

Well, maybe. It's not a big deal. But it seems like it's a load distribution and padding problem that affects backpackers as well. How wide and how padded should shoulder straps and hip belts be? It's essentially the same question. I doubt climbers really understand it any better.

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Wandering Daisy
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Re: climbing gear ideas

Post by Wandering Daisy » Tue May 15, 2018 5:30 pm

A climbing harness is a critical piece of gear for both rock climbers and mountaineers. I would not go cheap on it. It is what will save your life and/or reduce injury! When I climbed, I would replace my harness about every 3-5 years (same with helmet). The padding on a harness is specifically designed to absorb energy in a fall. The harness works as an integrated design. Rather than rig up some homemade fix, personally, I would look for a harness specifically designed for your needs. It has to be designed for what you do and fit properly. You need to try on many. There are "big wall" harnesses designed for hanging in, and light minimalist harnesses for some alpine climbing. Some are specific to snow and ice, others for sport climbing. Women-specific harnesses are also made. Just like other "women-specific" gear, some men find these fit better. There are also harnesses specific for caving. These are designed more for very long descents and ascents (but NOT designed for leader falls). I have been out of technical climbing for enough years, that I am not up on the latest and greatest so cannot cite any specific brands. Searching the internet should yield lots of information.

Just a note- not sure this applies to your question, but ropes too wear out. Generally, you retire a rope if it sustains a significant fall. Ultraviolet deteriorates the nylon, so it is the amount of days out in the sun being used that is more important than simply age, that determines when you retire a rope from normal wear and tear.

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longri
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Re: climbing gear ideas

Post by longri » Tue May 15, 2018 7:06 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:The padding on a harness is specifically designed to absorb energy in a fall.
Padding just helps distribute force. It's contribution to energy absorption is insignificant.

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BayHiker
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Re: climbing gear ideas

Post by BayHiker » Wed May 23, 2018 11:23 am

Is something like the Fish Rumpsak an option? It's still not going to feel luxurious, but it might distribute the weight a bit more to your liking.

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bobby49
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Re: climbing gear ideas

Post by bobby49 » Wed May 23, 2018 12:31 pm

BayHiker wrote:Is something like the Fish Rumpsak an option? It's still not going to feel luxurious, but it might distribute the weight a bit more to your liking.

It looks like a big diaper.

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