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Carrying Pro on approach: Backpack or Harness?

Original Post
Niccolo Gallio · · mainly Italy · Joined May 2019 · Points: 0

On a >1h approach where do you carry your pro (SLCD, nuts etc..)? Do you wear a harness and clip them there?
Do you put them in your backpack? Do you clip it to the outside of your backpack?

Thanks!

Andrew P · · Denver, CO · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 20

I always carry gear In the pack, for any approach with a hike, just rack on a sling, and wrap the sling around everything to keep it neat. hiking with gear jangling is a pain!

Niccolo Gallio · · mainly Italy · Joined May 2019 · Points: 0
Andrew P wrote: I always carry gear In the pack, for any approach with a hike, just rack on a sling, and wrap the sling around everything to keep it neat. hiking with gear jangling is a pain!

Me too, I usually use two slings: one for alpine draws and belay device, tge other for pro, cordelettes and HMS krabs. I tgen put each bundle in it’s own tote bag (they cone handy sometimes!) and in the pack. 

I was thinking maybe somebody has a smarter approach, as I often pack in a rush and end up having a c4 #3 poking my back. In my case the smarter approach would be to pack more carefully..Another question: heavy stuff on the top or on the bottom?
Lena chita · · OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 1,070

There is a reason why backpacks exist: it is the most efficient way to carry a load long distance.

Adam Becker · · Bishop, CA · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 26

I've racked at the car in order to go backpack-less. It kinda sucks to carry all that weight on your waist. Backpacking the rope and throwing some of the gear on the "straps" can help. Or on a gear sling over your shoulder. Or just bring a bag.

Josh B · · Cambridge, MA · Joined Nov 2018 · Points: 0

For me it depends on the length of the approach. Here in new England a common situation is to climb a 3-5 pitch route and then hike down. These routes usually have less than two miles of approach. For such a route my partner and I bring one small pack with shoes and water inside. We carry the gear on our harnesses and the ropes in backpack coils.

To avoid the jangly hula skirt issue clip your larger cams short through the thumb loops or in between the trigger and the lobes. This makes them much more comfortable to carry on your waist. 

On any route with more than two miles of approach, or a route where I will spend more time hiking than climbing I bring a real backpack because that's much more comfortable.

Petsfed · · Bay Area, CA · Joined Mar 2002 · Points: 945

Depends on how I get down. If I’m rapping, i’ll bring a pack. Otherwise, I’d only bring a pack if I could climb with it.

Drew L · · Boulder · Joined Jan 2018 · Points: 0

Hiking with gear on your harness kinda sucks. I always end up with bruises on my quads from the cam lobes bouncing into my leg :p You can generally always find a place to stash your pack that's convenient to get after youre finished climbing 

Daniel Joder · · Barcelona, ES · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0

If there is a place to stash your big pack at the base of the climb then pick it up on your way out, then definitely a pack. I may also carry a smaller pack up the route with shoes, water, etc. There could be an odd route where the descent brings you straight back to the car and very far away from the start of the route. In that case, I’ll consider “getting dressed” with gear and harness (and small pack) and not carry the big pack.

Luke Andraka · · Jetta wagon · Joined Aug 2017 · Points: 15

Ive done 9 miles with a full double on my harness, its fine

Jay Dee · · Summerville, SC · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

Rapping off or walking back to the start = pack in with larger pack and carry all on back

Walk off to different area = hip rack on harness and carry small multipitch pack

Nick Battaglia · · Brigham City, UT · Joined Oct 2018 · Points: 0

I rack on a shoulder sling, doesn't jangle near as much.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 212

This thread presumes there’s a choice; in which case, I would always choose to shove it in a backpack.  However, if I’m not planning on hauling said backpack up the climb or coming back to the base (e.g.: walkoff that takes a different trail back than you took to get there), the only option is to rack on your harness.

brian007m Martin · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 0

I have racked on my harness and slung it over my shoulder before.  More comfortable than all the gear on a sling and cams not banging into your legs like harness around your waist.

Niccolo Gallio · · mainly Italy · Joined May 2019 · Points: 0
brian007m Martin wrote: I have racked on my harness and slung it over my shoulder before.  More comfortable than all the gear on a sling and cams not banging into your legs like harness around your waist.

Good one!

Anna Swanson · · Jackson Hole, WY · Joined Oct 2018 · Points: 30

I always keep Pro neatly packed in the backpack. Personally, I dont wear my harness on approaches. I keep the harness in the backpack, my theory is that hiking with it might wear it out faster. 

Pnelson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 521

There used to be a great thread on redriverclimbing.com called "POST PICTURES OF NOOBS PUTTING ON THEIR HARNESSES IN THE PARKING LOT HERE."

Vince Buffalini · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 152

I don't always rack up in the parking lot, but when i do it's a double rack of hexes.

Ryan Williams · · London (sort of) · Joined May 2009 · Points: 1,265

This is what I do, regardless of the length of the approach:

If I can leave a pack  at the base of a climb and easily retrieve it after climbing, then I take a cragging pack full of gear. 

If I don’t plan on leaving anything at the base of the climb, then I wear my harness with some gear clipped on it, some on a shoulder sling, and maybe a few pieces in my muiti-pitch pack if I have it on.

Hobo Greg · · My Van · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 200

If you rack on some of the slings you’re bringing, take an alpine draw, clip it in front of all the gear on said sling, and then clip the other side to the back of your harness. Keeps it in place.

Mark Hudon · · Lives on the road · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 420
Luke Andraka wrote: Ive done 9 miles with a full double on my harness, its fine

You can’t be serious! 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Trad Climbing
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