How To Use Belay Devices
Do you want to know how to use belay devices? Belay devices are an important piece of safety equipment for climbing and caving. If not used properly, climbing can be dangerous. Getting familiar with the specs and characteristics of a belay device is vital for the safety of any climber.
What you need to use belay devices:
- A belay device
- A harness
- A locking carabiner
- A climbing rope
- An anchor
- Put on the harness. Pay attention to avoid wrinkles or bends that can make the harness uncomfortable and unsafe. Close the belt strap with a double buckle, leaving at least three inches of webbing after the second loop on the belt.
- Attach the rope to the anchor at the top of the climb. Guide the rope through the rappel device as instructed by the device's manufacturer.
- Clip the belay device to the harness using the carabiner. Make sure the carabiner is loaded properly by the longest side and the gate remains locked and facing upward.
- Test the setting of the belay device by loading on the rope. Conduct this test in a safe spot.
- Feed rope through the belay device at the desired speed to allow a smooth, safe descent. Belay devices work by friction. The rope is gradually stopped by friction with elements of the belay device or within different loops of the rope.
- Generally, the closer the sections of rope are to being parallel, the faster the rope runs and vice versa. Keep both hands on the rope at all times. A fall can occur at any time, so keep your eyes on the climber and your hands on the rope.
Remember that climbing safely is a result of careful preparing and permanent watching. Keep your eyes on the ball game and have fun.