Considering the amount of abuse you subject your crampons to when you are out walking or climbing, don’t you think that you should at least return the favor and give them the proper care they deserve? Just as you care for your other climbing and hiking gear, crampons are no different. If you want them to last a long time and always be in peak condition, you must be a responsible owner of your crampons.
Things To Do
Before going on a trip or a climb, you should first inspect your crampons.
- Are the straps and buckles complete and in place? Check if they are worn or starting to fray. If necessary, replace the straps and buckles.
- Are the screws and rivets complete and in good working condition? If you think they are not going to hold up when you are out there climbing, you better replace them with better or new ones. The same is true if you notice the bolts and nuts are cracked or bent out of shape. Make sure also that there aren’t any loose screws or rivets. Tighten them accordingly.
- Is the fit still good? Check that the bails still fit to your boots and that the boot welts guarantee a secure fit on the toes and heels.
After a climb or a hike where the crampon has been used, some maintenance will also be required. The points of the crampons, after much use, will have the tendency to become blunt. In order to ensure that the crampon remains in top working condition, you should sharpen those points.
- Look for bent points and straighten them if you can.
- Use a hand file to sharpen the points. Proper sharpening should be done by following the direction of the teeth. Keep a straight line from the frame to the tip.
- Never use a grinding wheel. It can damage the metal.
Things To Remember
- Spares: It is better to be prepared and always keep some bailing wire and other spare crampon parts such as straps, rivets, and screws. Having a wrench will also help to replace the parts of your crampons.
- Be careful of the points: Sometimes, too sharp points could damage your clothes and even hurt your skin. You can use padded crampon cases or even rubber point covers in order to stay safe.
- Store properly: Do not store your crampons when they are still wet, or dirty. Clean them thoroughly and make sure they are completely dry before stowing them away. Simple rinsing of the dirt and air-drying them will do. If you expect them to be stored for a long period of time, it would help if you coat them with a light oil.
- Follow instructions: There are manufacturer’s notes that come with any purchase of crampons. Make sure you follow the instructions regarding the care of the crampons because there are instances where a particular brand might need special care or attention.
Be a Responsible Crampon Owner
If you want to climb or hike outdoors for many years, don’t you want always to have something reliable to “accompany” you? Taking proper care of crampons will go a long way in ensuring that you will be enjoying them for many more years to come and keeping them in peak condition. This is also a way of guaranteeing that you will be safe while you are climbing or walking.