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Marking your Climbing Biners


Shane Forsythe · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 0

I am another finger nail polish user. For biners I mark them on the spine where the UIAA stuff is. For cams, I make anywhere that doesn't see abrasion. For nuts I push the wires through a bit and mark the place under the wire. I have never had to retouch a single piece of gear since the paint is in a protected location.

Jake Jones · · Richmond, VA · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 1,734

Most modern biners are manufactured with recesses on the sides of the spine, and on mine (I mostly use BD Hoodwires) that recess makes a perfect place to mark that won't rub off with lots of use.  Another option is to put a dot or two of polish on the flat spot where the hinge of the biner rests (works best on wiregates) if you have the type of biner that doesn't have "I beam" construction or recesses.  It has helped me quite a few times sort gear at the end of the day, and thankfully, with many partners, I haven't lost anything yet after years of climbing.  I think it's the best option for the reasons mentioned above.  YMMV.

Robert Hall · · North Conway, NH · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 16,318

There once was a Company that sold colored, "clear" epoxy (not to be confused with epoxy paint).  3, or so, different colors.  This stuff stayed on FOREVER. I Forget the name of the co. or the stuff, I think I bought it from one of the smaller climbing gear shops.

Aaron Nash · · North Bend, WA · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 212

Most people's racks are in different enough conditions or made of up different pieces that you will be able to pick your specific pieces out of a combined rack. If the contrary is true and it's that hard to tell your gear apart from your partner's identical gear then does it REALLY matter if you get your exact same cam back, all things being even? I'll answer that; No, it doesn't.

So why bother marking your gear? Gear tags, tape, epoxy, nail polish; it all comes off and lands on the ground. The amount of gear tags and tape I see on the ground around popular climbs is more than you may think (it surprised me at first too). Look around next time; you'll see it. It's not worth the litter it causes imo.

Zach Parsons · · Tacoma, WA · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 100

Nail polish works fine, until you run out and can't find that exact shade of sparkly green you've been using.

Jaren Watson · · Idaho · Joined May 2010 · Points: 2,345

Pheromones.

Jim Turner · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 320

I seem to mark mine with blood.  And nail polish.

Jaren Watson · · Idaho · Joined May 2010 · Points: 2,345

+1 for Jim Turner’s blood. It’s good stuff.

Pavel Burov · · Russia · Joined May 2013 · Points: 50

Nail polish. Two or three colors. The most idiotic color scheme is a way to go.

Kevin Mokracek · · Burbank · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 275
Aaron Nash wrote: 

So why bother marking your gear? Gear tags, tape, epoxy, nail polish; it all comes off and lands on the ground. The amount of gear tags and tape I see on the ground around popular climbs is more than you may think (it surprised me at first too). Look around next time; you'll see it. It's not worth the litter it causes imo.

This is true.  I spotted a marmot this summer at a popular crag in the Sierra that was sporting a bright pink nail polish.  She was also snubbing out a discarded cigarette on the forehead of another marmor that I’m guessing was her boyfriend by the way he was following her around.  

Pick up yer butts. 
Ben VanderStouw · · Rochester, NY · Joined Nov 2016 · Points: 85

I use nail polish but I've heard bycycle paint works well if they still make it. I have some really old biners that still bear their little gold streak from the old Schwinn bike paint.

I haven't had luck at bike shops but worth a try! 

rees labree · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 192

white nail polish, nobody has it and it shows up on any colored carabiner

Mark Verosky · · Columbus, OH · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 30

Epoxy with a dye added to get the color you want. I did this to all my gear about a year and a half ago and it is still going strong, looks the same as the day I applied it. Search for crevices (side of the biner) and durability of your desired marking shouldn’t matter all that much. The epoxy is really nice for labeling trad gear that will get abused though. 

Racechinees . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 0

+1 on nail polish, although some things are just not marked. I mean who else has QD's with a Stubai top biner, Singing rock sling/rubber and Kong biner at the bottom?

Andrew Krajnik · · Plainfield, IL · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 1,673
Mark Verosky wrote: Epoxy with a dye added to get the color you want. I did this to all my gear about a year and a half ago and it is still going strong, looks the same as the day I applied it. Search for crevices (side of the biner) and durability of your desired marking shouldn’t matter all that much. The epoxy is really nice for labeling trad gear that will get abused though. 

+1 This is what I did. I picked up some epoxy dye from amazon, and added it to loctite marine epoxy. (The stuff designed to epoxy metal parts together for marine applications.) I'm 2 seasons in with my gear marked that way, and have seen no signs of chipping or peeling.

CTdave · · Victor, Id. · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 216

Using microfractures is like giving each biner its own distinct fingerprint.  No two sets are alike.  Just bring a small magnifying glass and sorting gear is a breeze.

Steven Roberts · · San Jose, CA · Joined 16 days ago · Points: 0

I use duct tape, never had a single piece come off.  Electrical tape is far less durable.  

Billcoe · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 833

The tape will fall off at some point and lay like trash. Model paint. 2 colors, first one, then the next. Use "goof off" to clean yer brush. @ maybe 3 drops then wipe it off with a paper towel, repeat a couple times and you're good to go. Mark your gear.  

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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