To take care of your new rope, one of the best things to do is get a rope bag. will greatly extend the useful time of your rope. There are many different options and features to suite the different forms of rock climbing found in mountaineering. Sport climbing, technical, competition, big wall all expose your rope to different elements during the approach, and climbing out. During the haul in, using a good bag will protect your rope.
Rope Bag protection
The quality and strength of a rope degrades over time. The amount of useful time you get out of it depends on how well you protect it from the elements. Ultraviolet (UV) light and dirt act to weaken it with prolonged exposure. For example, if you're actually on the rocks for a total cumulative time of 2 hours out of a 6 hour session, there is only the need to have the rope out of the bag for a small percentage of the time. Dust particles and rays can't work their way into the fibers as easily if the rope is enclosed. While a trash bag is better than nothing at all, rope bags have features climbers need to make hauling, hiking, storing the rope much easier. Many of them have tarps that unfold and lay on the ground for uncoiling and tying in. The bag itself may have pockets and gear clips and can serve as haul bag for long hikes into the site. Back straps provide easy carrying to the next site.
Convenience from a Rope Bag
Rope bags make it unnecessary to coil the rope. Lay the rope on the tarp and tie the ends to the rope bag's loops. Loops allow the ends to fasten to the bag to prevent the rope from getting knotted with itself. Just untie one of the ends and pull. The rope comes out of the bag freely and without knots.
What to look for in a rope bag
- Nylon, Cordura, Durathane, Vinyl-laminated material including various leathers. The wide variety of material types provide advantage for various application or use. All material should be water repellant to keep the rope dry in the bag.
- Rope bag sizes vary from 3 feet, or 1 meter, to 5 feet, or 1.5 meters.
- Some rope bags are designed for a specific purpose. "Use" is listed.
- 14 to 16 ounces (400g - 500g) is typical for a rope bag. Many haul bags can be used for protecting the rope plus carry much more gear. Haul bags are heavier of course. They weigh about 8 pounds.
- Varies from a year, to lifetime.
Rope Bag Features
Rope bags have features that make it easier and more enjoyable to haul your climbing gear in to the crag.
- External Pockets: Give you a place to keep your wallet and keys while hiking in or on the approach to a crag. Many offer zipper enclosures to keep them from falling out; some are internal to the bag.
- Padded Straps: Let you carry the rope with less strain on shoulder.
- Compression straps cinch the rope into a compact volume.
- Zip, string or Velcro bag enclosures help quickly close the rope bag and make it ready for hauling.