23

I seem to have accumulated a good number of carabiners that, while probably still safe, I won't climb on anymore. They might be worn, of questionable origin, or just plain made obsolete by an upgrade.

What are some creative uses for these carabiners? I already have plenty of shoe and leaver 'biners, so non-climbing uses would be most useful.

17

You probably already do this, but make sure you mark all 'retired' carabiners with their own color of tape so that you never accidentally climb with one.

Then let the fun begin. If you do any backpacking, they are extremely useful for attaching things to your backpack.

A few other favorites: dog leashes, making clotheslines, or use with hammocks.

If you're feeling adventurous, maybe chain a few together and assemble lights to hang from the ceiling with said chain.

20

Give them to those who need them.

First of all, novice students in your gym or mountaineering school will be happy to use a bit heavier/older gear, but ease the burden of buying everything for their first trip. Just make sure that carabiners are safe, because the newbies can't tell themselves.

Then, any local non-commercial groups, who organize rope fun for kids or everybody. A hand-made fun park needs a lot of stuff.

Finally, if you are heading to a remote Asian mountain region this summer, you can take carabiners and old ropes, which the locals will happily use for many years in their households to tie their livestock, etc... Of course, this is tricky because of limited airplane weight.

  • 2
    Love this idea. – user2766 Jul 16 '14 at 9:10
  • @Steed: +1, I too loved this idea, specially the last one. They really value the equipment like no other non-adventure person does! – WedaPashi Jul 17 '14 at 6:07
  • 2
    @Steed Always great thinking of others and passing things on...Great suggestions! – AM_Hawk Jul 23 '14 at 15:44
14

As Hillsons suggested a good way to use it, let me put in what I would do:

  1. You can use it as a Weight. Simply knot a carabiner to the end of a rope that needs slinging over a pole or onto a roof. The weight helps with accuracy.
  2. Clip keys inside backpacks to loops for extra security
  3. Link a few together for your kid to play with while you are shopping.
  4. Attach your water bottle to your backpack.
  5. Hold electrical cords in a loop (Don't like to have cable-tie?)
  6. Tie the neck-belt using the Carabiner to secure your pet to an anchor.
  7. Tie up all your key-chains to it and hang it using a sling?
  8. To hang whatever stuff you wanna hang. Please bear in mind load specifications.
  • 1
    WRT 8, I am having trouble thinking of non-insane loads that a climbing carabiner could not take. Being that climbing carabiners are rated incredibly highly. I guess something like shock loading it with a hanging motorbike? – Lyndon White Jul 29 '14 at 13:42
  • 1
    Point 1 only works for heavy biners or very light ropes. A 30g weight doesn't help that much if your rope weighs 50g/m... Apart from that: good answer! – anderas Apr 5 '16 at 12:44
12

You can drill some holes in your carabiner and use it as handle for mugs and other things in your home you need to lift.

enter image description here

mug example

  • I've seen these mugs before and they always look fun :) +1 nice fun option. – Aravona Jul 23 '14 at 8:49
  • 2
    That seems like it would be difficult with a proper carabiner :). – Felix Jul 23 '14 at 14:20
  • with the aluminum carabiner it should work to drill a hole in it – ibex Jul 23 '14 at 14:41
12

Obsolete biners are very useful for retreating. If (as you state) you've retired them because:

made obsolete by an upgrade.

and they are generally solid.

Then it's well worth dragging a few of these along on climbs you're worried you may not be able to complete. I've been welcome of some old steel biners when retreating off of climbs in the past. They're solid and dependable and I don't mind loosing them. Well worth the extra weight.

11

If you're handy with welding (or a drill and screws, brackets, or a hot glue gun), you can make a pretty cool coat rack or key rack out of old carabiners. You can remove the gate for a coat rack by knocking or drilling or cutting off the pins, or leave them on if you're making a key holder. Just attached the carabiners with the hook down and out from the wall by welding, gluing, bracketing, or drilling and screwing it onto some form of a back plate.

To address the safety issue: once carabiners have been mechanically attached to a wood or metal plate and hung on a wall, no one will identify them as serviceable climbing equipment (except for children, who would probably recognize dental floss as suitable rope for rappelling off the roof before they could remove the carabiner from your wall).

10

This is probably going to be an unpopular opinion because it's not nearly as "feel good" as helping remote Asian herdsmen. (Which incidentally is probably one of few exceptions to what follows.) Nevertheless:

It is my belief that unsafe carabiners should be destroyed. In my opinion it is too great a risk that someone will get ahold of one and see that it has the right marking to be a "real" carabiner and use it for some kind life-support application.

Mind that I am strongly opposed to excessive safety regulations and I firmly believe in using your brain and "swim at your own risk" etc. This notwithstanding I feel that the risk outweighs the benefit when it comes to distributing unsafe carabiners. (I also realize that even when new carabiners are dangerous for those who do not know how to use and inspect them but people do not usually give away brand new carabiners.)

For the uninformed there may be certain expectations of climbing equipment. Just as "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing" so too I believe is a bit of old climbing equipment in the wrong hands. Worse, the "real" equipment may give a sense of validation to ignorant use that results in greater risk-taking than if hardware-store equivalents were used.

Now if the old carabiners are truly still safe to use then use them! If your equipment doesn't wear out before it truly becomes obsolete you should make it a mission get out and climb more. :-)

  • 1
    I completely agree that the only way to really retire unsafe climbing gear is to destroy it. – Felix Jul 23 '14 at 14:19
  • 1
    You are right, of course. However, there are answers here (like the coat rack by @pheidlauf) which gives the retired carabiner a good use and is unlikely to be mistaken with a good one. – Roflo Jul 31 '14 at 16:35
6

A nalgene water bottle holder! You can then clip it to the back of your pack, and it helps with carrying it around!

nalgene caribiner

You may want to decorate yours though.

Also caribiners are nice just to always be attached to your backpack for anything with a loop!

  • 1
    Be aware that the plastic lid connection is really flimsy. I've had quite a few of them snap or roll off, so I generally attach some thin cord around the neck of the nalgene, and clip to that. – Felix Jul 23 '14 at 14:21
  • @Felix Really? I haven't ever had that problwm – Liam McInroy Jul 23 '14 at 14:28
  • @OutlawLemur I've only had the plastic slide right off when the nalgene is full and I use a key chain biner to my pack...I too agree that the lid connection is flimsy... – AM_Hawk Jul 23 '14 at 15:42
  • 1
    @RogerB I put it in the water bottle pocket, but still attach it so if my waterbottle were to fall out I would not lose it forever. And it is pretty terrible to walk with it clipped on only though. – Liam McInroy Aug 8 '14 at 16:00
  • 1
    We digress, the question is actually about uses for old carabiners. The point I was making was that using them for attaching things to you pack isn't a great use for them, as you also confirmed. – RogerB Aug 8 '14 at 16:08
1

Get a set of curtains and make the carabiners the rungs for the curtain, just make sure that the bar that it slides on is of a good diameter for the carabiners, or if you can find a bar sturdy and narrow enough you could take the core out of a retired climbing rope and put it over the curtain bar for bonus points.

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