Why Is Gear Storage Important?
Protection from damage is crucial for keeping your gear safe and in good working order. Let’s take ropes, for instance. Ropes function differently when they’re exposed to chemicals like gasoline or chainsaw bar oil; they can get nicked if sharp cutting tools are nearby; and they often get gummed up at the bottom of a car trunk or truck beds. They also get wet if they’re not stored properly. Have you ever climbed with a wet rope? It's very difficult.
Keep all your gear in one place. It’s frustrating when you realize you left an important piece of gear at home or in the shop. Now you are forced to use a different piece of gear, which may not be as safe or effective as the one you left behind.
Ways to Store Gear
There are all kinds of ways to store gear. Here’s a list of the options available to you.
Rope bags hold your rope in a neat pile and protect it from dirt particles, moisture, and chemicals. They also prevent your rope from tangling up.
- Rope bags with loops in pockets make it possible to carry and organize the small parts of your climbing system in one place near your rope.
- Rope bags with shoulder straps allow you to easily carry your gear during a short or long hike to a tree. The larger backpack bags hold all of your gear in an organized way.
Rope tarps roll up to protect your rope and roll out for tangle-free rope deployment. Some have a shoulder strap.
Standard hikers’ backpacks are appropriate too. After all, these are designed to carry heavy loads comfortably. But backpacks designed for carrying tree gear use stronger fabrics that are more puncture-resistant. Use a sewn daisy chain to keep your small parts, such as carabineers, strung together.
Haul bags are backpacks that are commonly used by rock climbers and mountaineers. They have a thick outer shell that can take enormous amounts of abuse. They are basic in design. They do not have pockets, but some have holes for stringing light cordage for hanging gear off of.
Rope buckets have a stiff outer shell with a number of holes for stringing small cordage for organizing small pieces of gear on the outside.
Rigging packs are backpacks with a lot of pockets with gear loops sewn inside. The largest (center) portion is for the rope and helmet. The side pockets allow you to organize gear pieces individually hung on small loops -- perfect for carabiners and other gear for rigging.
Flight bags are specifically designed for the traveling climber who wants a carry-on piece of luggage that will store overhead. The center part of the bag will take a 200-foot rope and the side bags have loops sewn inside the pockets for the smaller pieces.
All of the above storage bags allow you to deploy your rope with a minimum of tangles.
Gear bags attached to your saddle are useful. What do you want to bring up into the tree with you? Small bags can hold an extra throwline and other small gear, food, and other personal items.