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Cyclopath

Tell me about chalk bags...?

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The store has a Blue Water Ropes bag for $12, and an Arc'teryx bag on clearance for $28. Both of them have a draw string so your chalk doesn't fall out, and my hand fits into both. Do I actually get anything out of the expensive one? I don't mind spending extra on something that's going to keep me comfortable, but I can't see how that'd be the case with a chalk bag.

 

Mind you, I have a dead bird jacket, and I love it. I've also got a crag pack they made, and it's great, too. I tend to like their stuff, I just don't see it being important here?

 

When you're wearing a harness, how do you wear the chalk bag? Do you attach it to the harness instead of around your waste, or do you put the strap over the hip pads?

 

I have one last question, and this only applies to the gym. It's pretty crowded in there, and I think there's a lot of chalk dust in the air. I get this weird residue in my mouth after I've been there a couple hours. Other people must get that, too? Is there anything you can do about it? Can't climb outside in Seattle in the winter, and I don't like chewing gum.

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Get what's cheap and your hand fits into. use a strap to wrap it around your waist. The loop on the back of the harness isn't called the "chalk bag loop"...

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Get the one that looks the coolest. Definitly.

 

A lot of people tie their chalk bags on with some cord or webbing so that they have extra tat in a pinch.

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Chalk is way overdone, and should be the one of the last things to add to your quiver. Somehow everyone starts with it anyway. Sadly.[/end preaching] I tend to not use chalk on easier routes or in the desert, but do have a use for a trad chalkbag anyway. If you are planning on getting outside on longer routes, a "Trad chalkbag" (my term) might be looked at and this is why. "Trad Chalkbags" have a zipper on it that leads to a small pocket.

 

Put inside the pocket these 4 items:

 

1st) A small lighter. Smallest you can find. Bic makes reliable stuff. It is smaller than the regular (but still small) Bic lighter. Don't be fetching it out all day long to spark doobies or it might be out of fuel for when you get overnighted far from the car in cold weather and wish you had it working to start that small fire that will save your life.

 

1237391014_11161.jpg

 

 

2nd) A half a piece of paper towel (aka discount toilet paper that will double as firestarter). I like the paper towel as they are strong. If you wish to go totally minimalist, just put in a single square of toilet paper in there. But don't come whining when that breakfast burrito you wolfed down in the am despite smelling funny goes bad on ya and your fingers wind up smelling bad.

 

square_of_toilet_paper_760236_answer_3_xlarge.jpeg

 

 

 

3rd) A small lightweight knife (or alternatively, a razor blade wrapped in tape. 2 words only: Trango Piranha....or is it Razor ... Blade? Hmmm. Both will cut webbing at belay stations or in case you need to cut your partners rope AKA Joe Simpson style, but the Trango has an edge for slicing small sticks and twigs to make fine kindling. The razor blade comes wrapped in a stiff paper that you can burn. Once you take the tape off:-)

 

PiranhaHand.jpg

 

6186001554_079e721e33.jpg

 

 

4th) A lightweight emergency headlamp. Black Diamond has a small 30 gram monster called the Ion (OK, about an ounce) that will beam out pretty good for 20 meters they say. The little batterys cost almost as much to replace as the light, which is cheap to start with. In fact, all my neices and nephews and kids got one a few Christmas's back. The price you pay will long be forgotten the first time you almost shit your pants out in the dart till you remember that you have it stashed in your bag. Be aware that they have a parasitic leak, meaning that eventually they will die, so reverse teh battery if that's an issue, which is bullshit to have to redo when it's dark out, but pick one. A) dead battery when you need it B) Pain in the ass to configure but working.....This little thing is to augment another headlamp, not to replace it. Or for emergencies. My kid had one in his chalkbag and he and a group of friends got benighted in Hells canyon on a climbing trip. They had one headlight between all of them and a bad steep trail. It was the POS I'd bought the kid, an old early model Ion AND IT STILL HAD BATTERY LIFE! It was enough to make it safe and helped out a lot. The boy listens a bit closer when the old man liberally rambles incoherently now.

 

BlackDiamond_Ion_Headlamp.jpg

 

Sierra Trading post has them for $10 now. http://www.sierratradingpost.com/black-diamond-equipment-ion-headlamp-led~p~3539r/?utm_source=GooglePLAs&utm_medium=PaidShopping&utm_term=Black_Diamond_Equipment_Ion_Headlamp_-_Led&utm_campaign=PCGOOGLEPLA2&codes-processed=true Plan on paying about that to replace the little POS unusual 6V battery inside.

 

I had bought that Arc'Teryx bag that has the zipper for my boy, the 50p (REI had it for $24.93, which is too damned much $ unless it's a gift I suppose) works great for him and he loves it. The Metolius, Wild Country are also high quality. The Red Chili, however, leaks dust into the zippered compartment. Note that all of those companys also make non-zippered bags as well. The total weight of all those items will be less than if you just took some of the chalk out, and it will be much more important in an emergency.

 

ta ta!

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Nice Bill, but how about fire starter tabs. When I was in Boy Scouts we had fire starter tabs that would burn well when you lit them, used to come about 5 of them in a little tube. Army surplus. Those things rocked.

Now I just fire up the Jetboil.

or call YOSAR.

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A lot of people will balk at the price but I really like my Arc'terx C80 chalk bag. Nice and big, cinches closed well, and stays wide open when I want it. Has a little zippered compartment too (that's where people like to stow their weed I'm guessing).

 

 

 

Chad

 

 

 

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Chalk is way overdone, and should be the one of the last things to add to your quiver. Somehow everyone starts with it anyway. Sadly.[/end preaching]

 

At the gym, at least, my hands get sweaty before too long, and then it's much more difficult to use them on holds. As soon as I mentioned this to my partner, another climber told me chalk is the solution, and gave me some of hers. It helped! A lot. (This hasn't been an issue for me outdoors, though.)

 

If chalk is overdone and almost not needed, then how else do I address this problem?

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Chalk is way overdone, and should be the one of the last things to add to your quiver. Somehow everyone starts with it anyway. Sadly.[/end preaching]

 

At the gym, at least, my hands get sweaty before too long, and then it's much more difficult to use them on holds. As soon as I mentioned this to my partner, another climber told me chalk is the solution, and gave me some of hers. It helped! A lot. (This hasn't been an issue for me outdoors, though.)

 

If chalk is overdone and almost not needed, then how else do I address this problem?

 

 

Taking the middle ground seems prudent and is something I need to work on. Chalking less often and only when sweaty, not out of nervous habit.

 

 

Chad

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Don't overthink the chalk bag but if gear is important to you then buy the fancy one the first time around. Some of us are stuck at computers all day long and can only get out on the weekends and drooling over cool gear helps the week go by faster. I actually really like the newer Arc'teryx bags with the reinforced rim but since I already have a perfectly functioning bag I can't justify another one, I should have just splurged the first time.

 

I agree with getting a bag with a zipper so you can stash enough stuff to get you out of trouble. I also agree with tying it around your waist with a piece of chord. A friend that I climb with has seen a few people climbing with them clipped take ground falls (pad falls?) at the gym trying to get out of tricky sit starts and get punched in the kidney by the 'biner. We were talking about it yesterday while we were walking back to the car.

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I'm a late arrival to this post, but Bills idea of stuff in the zipper of the chalkbag is awesome. I love that single sheet of tp. Make it a paper towel in a baggie and you'd be set.

 

Larry Kemp taught me years ago to tie my chalk bag on with 1 inch webbing. I use a double loop now. It's long enough to tie around a large tree for emergency rappelling.

 

I also clip/tie into it while rappeling and belaying to avoid a Todd Skinner style accident.

 

I've started making my own chalk bags. There aren't hard. I make them with leather collars on the top and bottom so they last forever.

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