When you're belaying for someone who is climbing, you want your complete attention to be on what you're doing. One annoyance that can distract is your carabiner spinning around when you make the transition from slack to tension.
This hack prevents that, as well as cross loading - which is where force is distributed down the minor axis (short edge) of the carabiner, rather than the much stronger major axis (long edge). Although the type and strength of the force exerted on carabiners usually means this isn't a big deal, this can be dangerous in extreme circumstances.
So avoid the headache of spinning carabiners with this quick hack!
Sugru is great for this project because:
- It's flexible when cured
- It is durable, and great in the outdoors
- It bonds really well to metal
All you need for this project is:
- A carabiner
- A minipack of sugru.
If you need some, sugru can be bought here.
We've also made a tutorial video for this instructable - watch it below!
Lets get started!
Step 1: Attaching the sugru
Open up your minipack of sugru and kneed it in your hands for about 15 seconds, until you have a nice smooth ball.
Squash this onto the carabiner.
Start by wrapping the edges around the carabiner, eliminating any gap between the metal and the sugru by working the edges down with the tip of your finger. This'll minimise the points that the sugru could tear at, ensuring your hack keeps on going.
You can use the edge of your finger as a roller to ease the sugru down onto the carabiner. This also provides the right kind of curve for the hooks base.
Step 2: Extruding the hook
Once you've got a solid base of sugru on your carabiner you can start to create the actual hook.
Start to ease the sugru into the shape of a hook. Do this by gently pinching and smoothing the sugru through your fingers, whilst moving them out from the wall of the carabiner. This'll slowly pull the sugru into the correct shape. Keep doing this until a hook is formed.
You want the hook to be thin enough to be flexible when cured to allow the belay loop in and out, but thick enough to withstand continuous use. Similarly, it should be long enough to keep the belay loop at bay, whilst allowing enough of a gap to easily remove the hoop when needed.
Step 3: Cure Time
Lean it up against something heavy, like a stack of books, without disturbing your sugru hook.
During the first couple of hours, the hook might start to slowly straighten itself out thanks to pesky gravity. To counteract this, gently encourage it back into the required position. You shouldn't need to do this more than 4 or so times.
Here's our resident climber, Mike, used his: