To me, the discussion of climbing gear is dominated by numbers. It is a quantitative topic composed of facts, figures, and specs. How much does a piece of gear weigh? How strong is it? What is the range of protection? Etcetera, etcetera. Of course, then there are the less tangible aspects of different designs that are hard to compare. All of these considerations must be brought together when deciding strategically what gear we should purchase with our limited funds, or haul up with our practical limitations outside.
And yet, all of these quantitative strategies must be brought to a far less quantifiable world. Equipment rarely breaks. It is usually the quality of the placement or the rock that fails. One rarely knows exactly what sizes are needed or how much redundancy they should have in their rack. For those that really care, there are many details to keep track of, and a lot of uncertainty.
While I’m often pretty meticulous in planning for climbs, I have difficulty working with these stale, lifeless numbers. I need to give meaning to them - meaning that gear catalogues never seem to provide. So that is why I made the following figures for this article. Frankly, saying that a #3 Camalot or its equivalent should be brought to a climb means nothing to me. I need a way to make these numbers more intuitive and more tangible.