Organizing gear


Original Post
M Kilts · · Hooper, Utah · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 15

I am in my first year of climbing and just acquiring the basics from skill to gear.

Just curious about how others like to keep their gear organized both in and outside of your packs? I have seem some keep most of their equipment on a sling. It seems pretty common. Any tips/advice for keeping an organized pack?

Muscrat · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 3,040

JUst throw it all in a pile and hope for the best!
HA, just half kidding.
I sort as follows, each on its own keeper biner:
.1-.75"
1-3"
4,5,6
ballnuts
I split my nuts into 1-5 and 6-11, each subset on a keylock, both subsets on a keeper
5 draws per set
5 alpine draws per set
5 lockers
5 free bines
offset cams
offset nuts
brassies and Rp's
big bro's
hooks, copperheads, etc on a sling.
Bolt kit in its own bag WITH A CHECKLIST (nothing like no having a hammer when you are out route developing!)
Attached to my harness is my regular kit; ATC, GriGri, #10 hex (YES!) prussic (always always keep a prussic on your harness) 3 lockers.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 45

Think he means sport gear based on the forum...

If by ";gear"; you mean quickdraws, then yeah...a sling is great. Don't go nuts and buy a gear sling, just get a cheap shoulder length sewn nylon. I prefer nylon because I like to hang the sling around my neck when I'm racking, and dyneema is less comfortable because of the thinner diameter. Nylon is also cheaper. I also like to shove the whole thing in a stuff sack to keep everything from getting mangled in the pack.

M Kilts · · Hooper, Utah · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 15
Ted Pinson wrote: I also like to shove the whole thing in a stuff sack to keep everything from getting mangled in the pack.
haha and yeah sport equipment, I have not yet done any other climbing.
That had not yet occurred to me, thanks! same bag with loose carabiners, tethers, repel/belay?

may seem like obvious question but i appreciate the responses!

Muscrat wrote: JUst throw it all in a pile and hope for the best! . . . (always always keep a prussic on your harness)
Hahaha I sometimes have felt like that is my only option. even with everything on a sling! somehow the sling manages to get all tangled in the carabiners and stuff.
I am not entirely sure what the prussic is but a quick search showed me its used when repelling? do you use it for anything else? also do you keep one tied or just through one together when you get to a climb?
Bill Lawry · · New Mexico · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,407

Prussic hints at a whole other topic which is self-rescue of which a rap backup is just a part.

Sport climbers in particular can be pretty limited in terms of equipment options when it comes to self-rescue (I.e., if one carries just rope and quickdraws). Adding a prussic is good - but, more generally, getting familiar with self-rescue techniques is a good idea. Then decide for yourself what self-rescue equipment you need / want to bring sport climbing.

Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,240

It really depends on the pack you are using. For instance, with the Scrote-N-Tote, it's generally a question of left or right side. Or rather, whatever you are most comfortable with.

Mike Hazard · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 90
Stich wrote:It really depends on the pack you are using. For instance, with the Scrote-N-Tote, it's generally a question of left or right side. Or rather, whatever you are most comfortable with.
Sweet pack for multi pitch right there.
Bill Lawry · · New Mexico · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,407

More direct to your question what I tend to do ...

Full Water bottles usually go in first to help keep weight low.

Harness usually goes in next.

For draws, I usually clip them together in groups of 4 or 5 and lay the bundle in the pack; start with the biner of one draw and clip the other draws to it to make a "bundle."

Extra clothes next. Food last or in top lid with head lamp, etc..

Rope goes inside pack if there's room ... at bottom or on top of water bottles. Else it is strapped outside. Learning how to butterfly coil with "straps" for backpack carry is good if not room inside and can't directly attach to outside of pack.

Shoes sometimes go inside but otherwise I use a biner to attach outside and often back that up by tying laces together and also attach laces to pack - the combo of two means of attachment also helps keep them from swinging.

Probably more than you were asking - and yet maybe I missed something.

Matthew Williams 1 · · Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 0

In general packing, however you decide to organize it, heavier items higher in the pack make for easier carrying, better load balancing and ultimately less strain. So fleeces, shells, climbing shoes, sleeping bags (and any other bulky items you're not using on the approach) will do best at the bottom of the pack where they take up volume but add little weight, and then pile the rack and rope up high in/on the pack.

Bill Lawry · · New Mexico · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,407
Matthew Williams 1 wrote:In general packing, however you decide to organize it, heavier items higher in the pack ....
Instead, keeping the heavier stuff lower puts center of gravity closer to the hips and so closer to your strongest muscles (legs) - in this, making full use of a pack with a waist belt matters. Makes it easier on your upper torso - save those smaller muscles for climbing - plus improves stability which can be important on uneven terrain.
Muscrat · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 3,040

My bad, when i heard 'climb' and 'gear' i thought....well, i thought climbing with gear.
And when i said ALWAYS keep a prussic on your harness, i meant ALWAYS. What, no one has ever rapped multi-pitch sport?
ALWAYS HAVE A PRUSSIC.

Daniel T · · Riverside, Ca · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 15

I usually end up carrying my 55/65L pack when I go climbing (I'm also usually carrying my lady's stuff in my pack). The following is a quick rundown of how I pack my pack. Might be more than you needed to know.

cavity of pack:
~Rope, in rope bag)
~Shoes, usually stuffed on the side of the rope bag
~Climbing hardware, everything is clipped to a single length sling, I sort it out prior to climbing
~Harnesses, chalk bags, long sleeves, wind shells, sunscreen, wide brimmed hat.
~water bottles are put in side pockets of the pack
~larger snacks on top of clothes

top cap of pack:
~Smallers Snacks (clif bars)
~guidebook
~sunglasses
~belay glasses
~car keys (verbally confirmed with partners they are in the top pocket)

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 45
Michael Kilts wrote: haha and yeah sport equipment, I have not yet done any other climbing. That had not yet occurred to me, thanks! same bag with loose carabiners, tethers, repel/belay? may seem like obvious question but i appreciate the responses! Hahaha I sometimes have felt like that is my only option. even with everything on a sling! somehow the sling manages to get all tangled in the carabiners and stuff. I am not entirely sure what the prussic is but a quick search showed me its used when repelling? do you use it for anything else? also do you keep one tied or just through one together when you get to a climb?
Yeah, I usually clip the PAS to the same sling and shove everything in the stuff sack - that way, if I'm going sport climbing, I just have to grab the "sport" bag. Belay devices I keep clipped to my harness, because I might need them in the gym or trad climbing.
Firestone · · California · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 449

Emergency/first aid on bottom (hope to never touch it)
Warm layers next because they compress (puffy, hat, gloves)
Rack goes in next on one or two slings depending on the objective
Harness on top so I can put it on right when I get to the cliff.
Water and snacks go in outside pockets for quick access
Rope is always outside the pack to save space

steverett · · San Diego, CA · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 40
Firestone wrote:Emergency/first aid on bottom (hope to never touch it)... Water and snacks go in outside pockets for quick access
I prefer to keep my first aid kit in the outside pocket as well, for quick access. Don't want to have to dig down to the bottom of my pack in an emergency.
Jake Jones · · Richmond, VA · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 748

Soft goods at the bottom. It keeps sharp edges from digging holes in the bottom of your pack where it contacts hard surfaces the most. Mine goes like this: Slings and draws at the bottom. Then harness, then shoes. That gives you that nice cushion that ends up saving your pack and extending its life a bit. Then I rack big cams (5,4,3) on a sling. Do the same with 2, 1 and .75 and then micros on another sling. Passive gear, nut tool, extra biners on another. Throw all that shit in, then in other pockets and spaces I squeeze in chalk bag, jacket, food, water, guidebook and other stuff. I generally pawn the rope off on someone else. If not, I try to see if I can fit it inside the pack. I wear it on the outside if I have to.

This process simplifies a bit if you don't have to worry about trad gear. Take what you have and mess around with it a little bit. Everyone has a different system. The key is to have a pack that rides well, experiment with different ways of carrying your stuff, and you'll work it out.

I love a pack that has a full zipper opening, or a U shaped zipper that opens the pack up like a suitcase. Top loaders with no full access are a pain to me. But it's whatever your preference is.

M Kilts · · Hooper, Utah · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 15
Jake Jones wrote: Everyone has a different system. The key is to have a pack that rides well, experiment with different ways of carrying your stuff, and you'll work it out. I love a pack that has a full zipper opening, or a U shaped zipper that opens the pack up like a suitcase. Top loaders with no full access are a pain to me. But it's whatever your preference is.
I am beginning to see there is no one BEST way. I did consider the Cragsmith when shopping for packs but ended up getting the Ascensionist. Makes sense the top loader can be a little bit more of a hassle. I think I will come to like that I can overstuff it if needed.

Better yet, I have a better idea of what others have on their lists of what to bring. Some of which is already on my list such as First Aid, water, gear etc. Thanks for the feedback.

stich wrote: Scrote-N-Tote
I found my old one the other day, smaller than I remember. I only really use it when talking to girls though.

Bill Lawry wrote: I usually clip them together in groups of 4 or 5
i like that! Seems like keeping them in a bundle keeps it easier to sort them out when I get to the crag. Also, had not considered bringing extra clothes with me. It does make sense to me to have more weighed gear at the bottom too. but to each their own.
Lee Durbetaki · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 0
Michael Kilts wrote:It does make sense to me to have more weighed gear at the bottom too. but to each their own.
Many packs, particularly those will full suspension systems, ride better when loaded so the heaviest items are about a quarter to a third of the way from the bottom. An unloaded human's center of mass (COM) is roughly at hip level. When you put on a pack, your combined COM is higher, which is why you lean forward when carrying a pack: in order for the system to be in balance, the COM must be over the mid-foot.

When the pack's COM is too low (or too far away from the wearer's spine) the COM for the entire system winds up farther behind the mid-foot, and you feel like the pack is pulling you over backwards.
kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 9,632
Daniel T wrote:water bottles are put in side pockets
Multiple water bottles?

I guess the old-school "hydration" philosophy still lives on.

I know at least one very experienced climber who goes out on bolted multi-pitch (non-desert) routes with No drink liquid at all.

Ken
Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 45

Dude, I easily drink 3L at the gym, lol.

M Kilts · · Hooper, Utah · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 15
Lee Durbetaki wrote: Many packs, particularly those will full suspension systems, ride better when loaded so the heaviest items are about a quarter to a third of the way from the bottom. An unloaded human's center of mass (COM) is roughly at hip level. When you put on a pack, your combined COM is higher, which is why you lean forward when carrying a pack: in order for the system to be in balance, the COM must be over the mid-foot. When the pack's COM is too low (or too far away from the wearer's spine) the COM for the entire system winds up farther behind the mid-foot, and you feel like the pack is pulling you over backwards.
hot damn thats good info. I suppose that the heavy stuff at the bottom would have to be pretty heavy. I mean, the heaviest things I'll be carrying to the crag is my rope, water, and maybe draws. those kinda balance out throughout most the pack though, i think? maybe with the exception of my rope (60M). I can see how this may be much more useful with distance backpacking though.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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