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Permanent marking of climbing gear

Richard Tregoweth - Monday, January 11, 2010

Investment in climbing gear is a large expense for climbers and arborist companies alike. Apart from the serial number on each piece of climbing equipment its often hard to tell individual items apart. Many competition climbers say they often return home from the comps with the same amount of gear but it's not always theirs!

A simple way around this dilemma is to permanently mark some form of personal identification on to each piece of equipment. Problem is, your climbing gear is PPE (personal protection equipment) so it's not a good idea to 'modify' it by applying a permanent markers or attacking it with an engraving machine.

Hardware manufacturer, SMC have recognised this problem and have released a 'guideline' for the permanent identification of product. Its written specifically for SMC hardware but the general principle remains the same regardless of brand:

1) Keep away from rope (or load) bearing areas
2) Keep away from gates or openings

The guidelines show graphically where (and where NOT) to permanently mark your gear - SMC recommend electric engraving. This paper makes an excellent reference for those climbers who wish to return from the comps with the gear they left home with!

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