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Marking Gear


Original Post
Kari Post · · Keene, NH · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 96

Climbing helmet manufacturers do not recommend putting stickers on helmets (some adhesives can degrade the plastic), so that got me thinking about all of the methods I've seen of marking pro/gear to help ID it. The most common thing I've seen is a small strip of colored electrical tape, but I've also seen nail polish and I suspect there are other methods out there. Are any of these techniques for marking pro particularly better or worse than others? Is there the potential to degrade or damage gear by marking it?

calvino · · Marblemount, WA · Joined May 2010 · Points: 465

The primary safety concern with stickers on helmets is that they will not allow the shell to shatter and disperse force of an impact. Not a safety concern on hard goods like biners that are not designed to break

RockinOut · · NY, NY · Joined May 2010 · Points: 100

Obviously not, otherwise people wouldnt mark their gear. Adhesives wont hurt aluminum.

rock-fencer · · Columbia, SC · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 265

i dislike tape because when it gets chewed up by placing your gear it leaves this sticky residue. Heat unravels electrical tape very easily too. Every few years i use touch up car paint to mark all my hardware. Slings come and go so i never mark them.

Used to do pretty white and blue dots, but now i just dab on a bunch of blue paint in the grooves of carabiners, and on the apex of the stem between the lobes of cams.

i avoid marking soft goods entirely.

teece303 · · Highlands Ranch, CO · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 596

I use nail polish on aluminum (carabiners. Cams, nuts, etc). I'm sure it's fine on metal.

I don't use it on slings: with those you never know.

I hate tape. It just comes off and makes a mess.

I'm purple and white, because those are the two colors my ex-girlfriend felt like giving up.

Jon H · · MD/DC · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 121

I used to use electrical tape, but it eventually wears off and litters. I hate seeing little bits of blue/green/yelllow etc tape floating around, especially in the alpine.

Now I use nail polish (same colors as I was using with tape, orange and blue) but it wears off waaay faster. I figure electrical tape lasted 2-3 seasons (for me, maybe 50-70 climbing days?) on biners, more on cams. Nail polish needs to be touched up every 15-20 days.

Still looking for a better solution.

Dillon Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 366

Touched up every 15-20 days? I mark my carabiners over the rating stamp. It has lasted well over a year. Maybe I should climb more.

H.. · · Washingtonville NY · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 45

I'm with ya on the nail polish. mark it on the spine or some recessed part, doesnt wear away at all...

Jon H · · MD/DC · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 121
dsmit wrote:Touched up every 15-20 days?
That's 15-20 climbing days... could be anywhere between 4-6 months of total time, for me. That also refers to the more heavily used items, like my ATC/belay biner, racking biners, and quickdraws. The biners on my extendable slings last much longer.
Kari Post · · Keene, NH · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 96

Thanks for the insight, guys!

Bob Dobalina · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 140

I use reflective tape from 3M. It sticks like mad, doesn't leave a sticky residue, and if you want to know where your gear is at night, just shine a headlamp at it. BAM!

Allen Corneau · · Houston, TX · Joined May 2008 · Points: 80

I also use nail polish, both hardware and slings. For the slings I color both ends where they were cut with the hot knife, not in the middle and not on any of the bar tacks.

I usually touch things up once a year or so. Getting it in the notches and grooves of the gear goes a long way to making it last.

Bill Kirby · · San Francisco CA · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 480

I saw a product called "The Mark" behind the counter at Ragged Mountain located in North Conway. It looked fancy! I hear it works well.

You really don't need to mark your rack. You'll be able to figure out what's yours at the end of day.

Andrew Mayer · · Driggs, ID · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 130
Kirby1013 wrote:You really don't need to mark your rack. You'll be able to figure out what's yours at the end of day.
I (and many others) disagree. At places like the creek where 5-10 of the exact same cam go up any given route, the only way to figure out what is yours at the end of the day is if everyones rack is marked. (or if everyones is marked except for one person's rack)

I use colored duct tape although it certainly has its flaws. many other ways to do it.
Andy Nelson · · Fort Collins, Colorado · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 341

I use a highlighter to mark white lettering of the CE tag of my runners. I use the same color highlighter as the nail polish on my aluminum gear. Although the highlighter should be reapplied after getting wet.

Dan Felix · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 35

All my biners are marked the same way and I don't expect the markings to wear off soon, if at all. Most are marked with nail polish, some (non-anadized) are marked with colored Sharpie. The nose right above the gate hinge is where the marking is, for solid gates you can't see it until the gate is opened. Wire gates are in the same spot but obviously more visible.

Cam's are marked on the head of the stem. Nuts are marked on the bottoms where the wires come out, except the hollow nuts and Bede's are marked on the insides.

Benjamin Beckerich · · portland, oregon · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 325
Kirby1013 wrote:I saw a product called "The Mark" behind the counter at Ragged Mountain located in North Conway. It looked fancy! I hear it works well. You really don't need to mark your rack. You'll be able to figure out what's yours at the end of day.
I started marking my stuff BECAUSE I had several problems getting gear back from dudes. They wouldn't try to jack stuff deliberately, I don't think, anyway, but blaze orange tape and paint burn bright against your rack when you're telling me "cool lead, bro. see ya!" and walking toward your civic.

How bout you gimme my gear back first?
dst
Matt Roberts · · Columbus, OH · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 85

We use gear tape from identi-tape.com:
identi-tape.com/harness.htm
This is lighter/thinner than electrical tape and the adhesive is way less messy. I recently traded a 3 year old autolocking biner to a friend, and the tape came off by hand and left almost no residue whatsoever, yet had been taped only once, three years ago.

Bill Kirby · · San Francisco CA · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 480
Andrew Mayer wrote: I (and many others) disagree. At places like the creek where 5-10 of the exact same cam go up any given route, the only way to figure out what is yours at the end of the day is if everyones rack is marked. (or if everyones is marked except for one person's rack) I use colored duct tape although it certainly has its flaws. many other ways to do it.
The reason I said that is when my rack was new I always was able to tell which cam's are mine by how worn they are. I didn't mean no one should mark their gear ever.

Rereading this does remind me of something else. I mark all my screws by engraving them with a dremel. I think if the time comes I'll do the same with my rock gear.
    · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 205

I just bought some of these:

toughtags.co.uk/

Hopefully they'll last longer than electrical tape.

Bill Kirby · · San Francisco CA · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 480
dmb wrote:I just bought some of these: toughtags.co.uk/ Hopefully they'll last longer than electrical tape.
I like the fact they put contact information on the stickers! Genius!
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Trad Climbing
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