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Definition of Climbing Equipment Word



Climbers carry lots of different-sized cams to protect routes.

Photograph © Stewart M. Green


A cam is a metal, mechanical spring-loaded camming device (SLCD) that fits in cracks and crevices to protect a lead climber by securing the climbing rope, which is clipped to the cam with a carabiner. The devices, with either three or four cams, come in various sizes from a ½-inch to eight inches wide to fit different-sized cracks. Cams are made by different manufacturers like Black Diamond, Wild Country, and DMM, and are often referred to by the brand name such as Friends or Camalots or by the number of cams they have such as TCU for three-cam unit.

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