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Carabiners are obviously essential in certain circumstances, such as with any type of climbing / rappelling. But are they a good tool to have generally as well, and if so what might be some example uses other than the obvious? They're generally small and lightweight, so was wondering if they had any uses I hadn't yet considered.

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Makeshift brass knuckles in case of squirrel attack? – Nathan Long Feb 14 '12 at 4:31
Just remember to get real climbing carabiners instead of the crappy keychain biners, even though you might not use them for climbing. They're only a little bit more expensive for the cheap wiregate biners. – whatsisname Mar 21 '12 at 18:27
... pose value?? – Roddy May 9 '12 at 21:25
@whatsisname, I do not agree! Climbing carrabiners are uselessly heavy. Why carry my keys on a 12kN piece of steel? – Vorac May 27 '14 at 12:53
A modern wiregate carabiner will be made from aluminium, weigh as little as 28g, and support a 20kN load. That said, alternatives such as S-biners are much lighter and more than sufficient for many of the suggested uses (hanging shoes, lights, etc.) – requiem May 28 '14 at 17:37
up vote 20 down vote accepted
  • Hanging things on your pack
  • Hanging things on that little loop at the top of your tent (like a nightlight)
  • We use ours to lift and hang our packs
  • As a simple pulley to change direction of a pull (less abrasive to your rope than a tree)
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You also need one to hang a PCT style bear bag. – StrongBad Apr 5 at 13:46

If you want to store your hiking poles on the outside of your pack I find a carabiner works quite well as a stirrup for holding the lower parts of the poles.

I also put a lot of my loose items on one in the top pouch of my pack including, headlamp, lighter (on a keychain ring), multi-tool, flashlight, keys, etc. Easier to add/remove items than on those little plastic clips, and less likely to break.

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  • Store your sandals or boots on the hip belt of your pack, while walking barefoot.
  • Hook small items to your pants belt rings - while camping or in the city.
  • Hook the nylon pouch, used to collect rubbish, to a tree branch (no one will step in it).
  • Hang your sunglasses pouch to the plastic rings on the shoulder straps for easy access.
  • Secure your travel mug to the exterior of the backpack for easy access and "mountain guy" looks
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