Looking at buying some sets of cams ideally 2/3sets... I am new to cams and don’t know what sizes, offsets and how many of each size to buy... what would people recommend?
Maybe you're loaded but I don't reckon I would buy more than one set to start with. Buy one set, use them a bunch. See how you get on with them and which sizes you use the most before you buy any more.
I rarely double up on cams. I've only ever owned a single set myself but I'd often have the option of doubling up from partner's racks and it doesn't seem necessary very often. Most UK climbs suit a range of different sizes, you see relatively few near-parallel splitter cracks with no other options, unless you're specifically seeking them out.
I'm sure somebody uses offset cams in the UK but I've only ever seen them hanging in outdoor shops looking quite dusty. They're certainly not a starting-out item.
Personally, I reckon a set of Dragon cams would be a perfect place to start. Though I'm sure someone will pop in to say they're useless without thumb loops.
I agree with the above, generally. Don't get offsets. No one really users them. In terms of specialist gear, you are more likely to want micro cams or massive ones.
One set will suffice for most people for a long time. The sizes which you may want to double up will become apparent after you have climbed with your single set for a while. They would probably be in the range BD purple to gold, but would be different depending on where you climb most.
I prefer Wild Country cams best for the extendable sling.
Cams are not cheap but you can sometimes get deals on sets. DMM dragons 1-5 might be a start. There are smaller sizes but DMM also do the Dragonfly micros which cover the small sizes of Dragons anyway. Personally I've found the micros useful only now we've started playing in around HVS E1 grades.
Depends on what you're wanting to climb I guess. If you're wandering down to a crag with a lot to choose from then that basic set should keep you going for ages.
If I was buying 2 or 3 sets of cams my choice would be
a set of Totems
An expensive day's shopping, but what more could you need.........?
I've already got them!! Love my hexes. I don't own Totems, so for Peak limestone trad I don't use cams. And for low grade Welsh mountain routes it's just passive gear for me. Lake District makes me want cams
2 or 3 sets suggests massive big wall routes outside the UK. Worth checking the prices wherever it is you are climbing that needs 3 sets of cams.
For context I have a friend who only buys small cams 'because 'that's all you need in the real world' and inevitably needs to borrow my larger ones....
One set of cams is fine for 99% of stuff in the UK.
I regularly use 2 sets on the crack climbs in Sweden and Norway that are local to me because I can be plugging cams the whole way. The US can be the same but the UK typically needs a broader mixture of cams and nuts. Gritstone can be quite cam-reliant but the routes are generally too short to warrant doubling up.
I own both Dragons and Totems. Dragons served me well for years but the narrow heads and flexible stems of the Totems means I often take these up a route now when only one set of cams are needed. These only go up to the equivalent of the BD/DMM yellow, so it's good to still have the larger DMM/BD sizes (blue and grey).
Dragons are a poor choice for aid climbing due the lack of a high clipping point, but a thumb loop or no thumb loop has always been academic with me as far as trad climbing goes.
That’s great thanks for the info, I will look into them
Many thanks I’ll look into that the hole reason of wanting 2/3sets is am hoping to climb el cap next year 😊
Yeah am looking to do el cap, the nose next years with a team of 3 😊
Great information thank you
Get each of your mates to buy a set...
as an aside though, if you are new to cams, one could infer you are new to climbing, and far be it for me to suggest otherwise but El Cap is an ambitious target for a years time... unless you climb e3 on hexes in which case crack on!
Maybe as well to just get 3 sets of BD Camalots between you. Should be enough to cover any single pitch........ & they're the local brand, for local climbers (they were my favourite when twin axle was their USP). Or DMM Dragons or Wild Country twin axle cams if you want to support British/European firms..... Don't know whether the micro cams (Dragonflies) would be required, & I would imagine you'd need some bigger cams than exist in the Totem range
It depends on how much free climbing you're planning on doing really.
Minimum though would be all three of you buying a set of cams each. You don't need anything bigger than #5.
I had a set of offset Aliens which were brilliant in flared pin scars, there plenty on the pitches up to Sickle ledge - they really sped things up.
If you are fairly new to climbing as is suggested then wonderful! Please come back on and let us know how you went on. Good luck and do plenty of research.
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