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Clog Cams, Ya or Nay?
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By Jsimon25
From Bristol, Vt
May 9, 2012
So I am relatively new to the climbing scene (got a little over a year of outside experience). Typically I second behind my more experienced climbing partner but have recently, this season, been leading and I love it. So I've been leading sport climbs and trying to gather as much knowledge about leading trad as possible. Ive started leading a few easier trad climbs and some mixed climbs, clipping a few bolts and placing some cams/nuts. Its too good, climbing is amazing and leading climbs traditionally is what I want to do.

So I am at the place where it is time to start putting together a rack of my own but, like most climbers I am certainly not Mr. Moneybags. The question I ask all of you is, should I buy some off brand cams and get almost an entire rack for half the price or do I save up my money and slowly piece together a rack?

I most recently found a bunch of Clog Cams for super cheap but am hesitant because it's my life on the line...

Just looking for some advice, anything and everything is really appreciated!

Jess

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By Elena Sera Jose
From colorado
May 9, 2012
bacon
Nay but do buy used BD cams in good condition then trade and or sell them o replace with new ones as you go. Best of luck building your rack man!

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By John D
May 9, 2012
I bought clog cams when I first started climbing, they're cheap, but worthless. I never use them. I wish I had just saved the $25 I paid for each of them, and used it to buy BD or Metolious cams. Used cams are plenty good, and you can find them for about what you would pay for clog cams.

If all else fails, remember, buy nice, or buy twice.

Also, if you decide to get clog cams, they're safe, just not fun to use.

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By Jon H
From Boulder
May 9, 2012
At the matching crux
I would look into Wired Bliss cams. Made in America, time-tested design, and absolutely bomber. They are also the least expensive of the "good" companies. My set of WBs are nearing 15 years old and in fantastic shape.

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By Jim Titt
From Germany
May 9, 2012
Not exactly "off-brand", they are a budget line of cams from Wild Country.
Certainly a bit outdated compared with more modern offerings but safe as they come and fit nicely into the rest of my rack!

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By sanz
From Raleigh, NC
May 9, 2012
One of my first trad leads, on Ooga Chocka at Crowder's Mountain.
Yeah, you could buy a full rack of cheap cams for half the price, but you will still buy a full rack of Metolius, BD, DMM and WC after your first season...

Just buy the good stuff first. You will want it eventually. Better to buy a full price rack now than a half price rack now and a full price rack later.

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By Jsimon25
From Bristol, Vt
May 9, 2012
Thanks for all the responses. Thats pretty much what I figured. I guess there really is nothing more frustrating than trying to place a piece of pro when you are all pumped out and your cam jams up or its action just sucks.

Altough I wish I wish I could buy a full rack now I guess I'll just piece it together slowly as I can afford it.

Thanks a lot guys!

Jess

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By Darren in Vegas
From Las Vegas, NV
May 9, 2012
Skiing around.
Sounds like you have people to climb with who have a rack, this buys you time. I would agree that building slowly is the better way to go. My first rack was a set of Stoppers, a #1 and a #2 camalot, and the large half of a set of hexes. I no longer use the hexes, but they were great for covering larger sizes at a minimal expense while I was building the rest of the cam set. This small beginning rack got me up a lot of routes, and as many will tell you, learning how to place passive gear is a useful skill set.

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
May 9, 2012
Bocan
Jsimon25 wrote:
Altough I wish I wish I could buy a full rack now I guess I'll just piece it together slowly as I can afford it. Jess


I spend YEARS slowly putting together a rack, starting with passive and what I could afford at the time. Cam by cam, always looking out for sales. Then when I found a preference for gear, I'd sell some and get something different.

This "buy an entire rack" is kind of a new mentality I'm seeing. Maybe people just have more excess capital than I did and do. :o)

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By Tom Grummon
From Golden, CO
May 9, 2012
Top of Montezuma's Tower
I started by climbing on my partners' racks. Then I bought a set of stoppers and hexes, and when I couldn't borrow any cams, I would just climb some easy climbs all passive. I maintain that that was an important time in my learning trad. Passive pro is important and some of my friends aren't nearly as comfortable with it as I am, despite the fact that they have been climbing longer.

Then I stopped being a student and started collecting a pay check... I now have a new shiney set of cams.

But that's just one way of doing it. If there is some one you climb with alot, try to fill any gaps they have in their rack first (though not the obscure stuff).

If you looking for cheep, used is probably better than new off brand.

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By Rob Warden, Space Lizard
From Springdale Ut
May 9, 2012
blah
+1 to not buying shitty cams. Look on here you can get a whole rack at a fraction of the price, and get good stuff. personally I would get Wired bliss as they are cheap and offer a discount and price break. I would look for Pre C4 camalots in decent shape. I would buy a single rack of Aliens from Totem and I would take my time doing it ordering in small chunks. for three years in school all I had was a Grey CCH Alien and Black CCH Alien and a huge rack of nuts. I would say that about 80% of easy trad routes can be lead with nothing but nuts and maybe two cams. so do your self a favor get a lot slings and biners for alpine draws and two racks of regular nuts, one rack of offsets, and some bigger Brass nuts with that alone you could over place the hell of just about anything. if you know you need cams borrow them until you can buy them.

best of luck

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By Freddy.Mondale
From Boulder, CO
May 9, 2012
+1 on buying lots of passive gear first... Its way cheaper and depending on where your climbing, you can often get by on some easy stuff. I bought 10 CAMP aircams for cheap here on MP and though i led a bunch of stuff on just those and nutsi still found myself borrowing my friend's c4s when leading. I recently bought some c4's for myself and now that i have the option between the camps or bds i find myself reaching for the bd's 70% of the time. That said i still place the camps especially at anchors or to make sure i have the bd for another section of the climb. I really like having the choice because there are spots where each feels more bomber. Ive never seen clog cams in person so i dont know how they feel but my CAMP's are perfectly acceptable cams

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By Jsimon25
From Bristol, Vt
May 9, 2012
Wow, so many responses! I really do appreciate it. So basically what I've gathered is, get over my affection for cams and "sack up".. I'm going to buy a set of nuts and beef up my draw selection with more apline draws(24" runners right?). Maybe I'll try to buy a #.5 and #1?

If I were to buy just two cams which size would you recomned?

Once again thanks so much!

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By agd
May 9, 2012
alaska
You can also get a set of the smaller sized (blue and smaller) tri-cams for pretty cheap. They will let you protect the same (generally) types of cracks as cams will, and they are far far cheaper.

They can be more of a pain to place, but if you still new to leading leading routes that are well within your ability you shouldn't have too much of a problem fiddling with them. For what its worth, I just bought three tri-cams here a few months ago (a blue and two browns) for $20 shipped. They were essentially brand new.

In case you don't know what a tri-cam is, see rei.com/product/471141/camp-us...

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By Mark Mueller
From Flagstaff, AZ
May 9, 2012
Great quality rock on this one!
get c4s. if only two? i'd say a #1 and #2. get tricams and love them, with both active and passive options they are vital in the smaller sizes.

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By Darren in Vegas
From Las Vegas, NV
May 9, 2012
Skiing around.
Jsimon25 wrote:
If I were to buy just two cams which size would you recomned?



Darren in Vegas wrote:
My first rack was a set of Stoppers, a #1 and a #2 camalot, and the large half of a set of hexes.

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