During my time in the Army, I served in both the infantry and Special Forces and had to hump (carry) all of my gear over some hellacious long distances and across various rugged environments with extremes in temperatures.
By Bama Bull, a reader of SurvivalCache.com
One of the things I learned is that your gear has to be rugged enough to withstand a lot of abuse and the weather conditions where you use it. The other key issue is weight – which can and will have an impact on survival and mission accomplishment. I learned a long time ago that 60 pounds of lightweight gear is still 60 pounds. So anywhere I can cut weight or bulk – I do. When I went looking for a carabiner for my bug out bag, I wanted something strong yet light and built to last.
RockD Auto Lock
Here is a quality piece of gear that you can safely bet your life on. The RockD Auto Lock is a D shaped carabiner with a spring loaded barrel locking sleeve with a “locked” indicator. The locking sleeve adds to the strength rating, stops the gate from accidentally opening, and prevents gate failure (opening and pulling apart) during a shock or force event. It weights approximately 2.9 ounces (81 grams) and has an incredible weight to safety ratings. True certified carabiners have a kiloNewton (kN) rating stamped on its spine. A kN (a combination of weight with gravity, not static weight or mass) is a unit of force measure equal to about 225 pounds (actually 224.808), which is how much force it can withstand to absorb a shock or force before failure – such as generated by a person falling from a height.
WARNING: I give this warning to everyone: “Do NOT use any carabiner or other types of climbing gear for a life support function that doesn’t have a certified kN rating! Watch out for cheap knock-off carabiners!”
The Rock Exotica carabiners are well constructed from quality materials with high kN ratings and extensive safety testing. The RockD carabiner has a kN rating of 29 (6,520 lbs. or 2,957 kilos) along the spine when locked and has been tested to half of its rated strength at 3,250 lbs. An incredible safety load before it reaches a failure point.
This does not mean carabiners with lower kN numbers are inferior – they are safe and can be used. However, if you need to be absolutely sure and lives are on the line, then go with the best. Would you buy the cheapest, lowest rated bullet-proof vest to take to firefight?
The RockD Auto Lock is a little larger than most carabiners and has a full 1-inch wide gate opening – which allows you to connect it to larger sized anchor points and to thicker ropes and cables. Most other carabiners only have about a 5/8th of an inch gate opening. I personally like the larger size of the RockD since it allows one-hand operation and ease of connecting to anchor points. My RockD is large enough to allow me to clip the handle on my dog’s retractable leash to my pack or my pack to hard points in different vehicles.
Carabiners are not just for climbing, but can have multifunctional uses – such as connecting cables or tow lines to vehicle, or a quick connect for attaching gearing together, or securing gear to a hard point.
For my protection and that of my family members, I would put my trust in the quality of the Rock Exotica product line. They may cost a little more, but this is not an area I would go cheap and scrimp on. Safety is not something to take short cuts with. You know the Rock Exotica products are good… They’re USA made in Utah!
Photos by: Bama Bull
Below – please share what you use your Survival Carabiner for!