An important part of rappelling is the rappel rings. As they are not very expensive and do not provide much excitement, outdoor rappelers usually ignore them. It is common for people to treat these mundane pieces of equipment with a lot of casualness. It is possible, however, to look at them from another perspective.
There are some negative aspects of using rappelling rings in the wrong way; we have not yet discussed this. In order to address some of the most common questions about these simple reels, we have compiled this handy guide for you.
To get into the specifics about which type of rappel rings you use or which provides the best value, we can first talk about their fundamentals.
What are Rappelling Rings?
Metal rappel rings are small rings made of metal. Usually, they are attached to a hangar, a small metal piece with a 90-degree bend. Hangers have two sides, one attached to the climbing surface, the other used to anchor the climber.
As a result, rappel rings are metals that are welded, forged, and formed into rings. Climbing and mountaineering have used rappel rings since the beginning of the sport. They are even used as anchors for buildings, for climbing, and for maintenance. They are also used for caving and rappelling.
To fully answer the question of how to use rappel rings, we have to consider the variety of activities they can be used for. A rappel used for canyoning, for example, varies from usage of a hammock, an anchor for a building, or slacklining.
What is the Function of a Rappel Ring
They are also known as rap rings or O-rings. This round metallic ring has many uses. Typical rappel ring applications include climbing, canyoneering, and, of course, rappelling.
During an emergency, people also use them as belay instruments. Generally, these rappel rings are used to anchor ropes and protect them from wear and tear during rough use.
Keep in mind that they need to be replaced regularly. In reality, it all depends on how you use them and how much stress they are put under over time.
A suitable ring for the job is one of the most important aspects and we will discuss about this in the following section.
How Should We Use Rappel Rings for Rappelling
When rappelling, the rappel rings act as touchpoints for the ropes. It implies that you shouldn’t attach the rope to any tube web.
A climber’s job is to ensure that the string passes smoothly through the anchor before the rappel ride is completed. The rope may go through the webbing after a while if you use a tube webbing.
Therefore, a rap ring is used in place of tube webs. By now, it should be crystal clear that if the anchor fails, you are sure to fall.
The rope slides easily across the surface of a rap ring because there is little friction. Rappel rings wear out with frequent use. Make a point of inspecting your rap rings to ensure that they are in good condition.
A rappel ring is made from several types of material. Certain materials wear out faster than others. Aluminum rings, for example, are cheaper than steel and titanium rings, but they wear out more quickly and are less durable.
Which Type of Rappel Rings Should We Avoid
If you are purchasing any equipment or rappel gear, you should never count pennies. When it comes to outdoor sports, quality gear is crucial.
Rappel rings are also subject to the same rules. Aluminum rappel rings that look cheap, hollow, or small must not be chosen. These rappel rings will wear quickly. By the time this wearing out process begins, they have lost more than half of their strength.
Ensure that the rappel rings are from proven brands offering a warranty. There are times when you can’t avoid using potentially substandard rings or when you’re uncertain. To check whether the rings are comfortable, you can do the following.
1. Make sure there are no visible cracks or weak areas. Inspect the building from both outside and inside for such indications.
2. Most rap rings break when they are used in mud or sand. The added friction can damage the ring’s surface. Rappel rings will wear out faster under such conditions. Therefore, you should keep your rap rings and ropes clean.
3. Using your fingers, examine your rappel ring. The rope can be damaged by a metal shave.
4. The rappel ring can be tested in a safe environment. As an example, you can practice rappelling from a safe height to apply pressure.
5. You can return the product for a replacement or choose something else if you find any such defect. Never ignore any fault, no matter how small.
Checklist to Determine a Safe Rappel Ring
1. The rap ring should always be of the correct size. Stopper knots or rope blocks should be sized correctly. Rope wedge blocks into the rap ring can cause a fall. Make sure the knot fits the rappel ring properly for full safety.
2. If you find any rope grooves on the metal, you can observe them. It is possible to spin the ring in reverse to prevent wearing out the same spot over and over again. When you don’t anticipate changing rings for a while, it is particularly advantageous.
3. Check the inside of the ring for any sharp metal edges. When connecting a rappel ring to a carabiner, this is required.
4. In your rap rings, there should not be any gaps or welds. In any case, if you notice a weld, make sure it remains strong.
5. Do not use a rap ring that has become oval and has lost its shape. Its oval shape implies that it has been loaded above its capacity, losing its integrity as a result.
Which One Is Better: a Rap Ring or a Quicklink
The pros and cons of Quicklink and a rap ring are both similar. They both do very similar things.
The following are the advantages of Quicklinks:
- Quicklinks can generally be found in a hardware store. There are numerous options available. Rappel rings, on the other hand, are considered official gear for rappelling. If you want to buy them, you may have to place an online order or visit a specialized store.
- Bolts, webs, chainlinks, and quicklinks can all be unscrewed to attach easily to quicklinks. Therefore, they possess tremendous versatility.
- Quicklinks are lightweight and can be carried easily. These items are available in rope bags and harness loops. They may, however, be easily misplaced. You will need to attach them to rope slings or carabiners so that you don’t lose them.
There are many advantages to using a rappel ring:
- Rappel rings never fail to perform in everyday use. As a result, they are better equipped to provide performance and safety than Quicklinks.
- You can easily retrieve the rope from a rappel ring after reaching the bottom, since they have relatively large central gaps.
- All rope sizes can be used with rappel rings, but Quicklinks are usually too narrow to accommodate thicker ropes such as 11mm and above. It implies that thicker cords cannot be used with Quicklinks.
- Quicklinks are generally more durable than rings. Due to the round shape of the ring, the rope does not wear at the same place every time. Rap rings last longer and are more durable. Because of this, they were chosen as a standard option in our article.
Rappelling with Rapple Rings Is Advisable
Rappel rings can technically serve as belay devices, but we do not recommend doing so. It can be dangerous. The rings are certainly useful for rappelling.
It is relatively easy to use. The first step is to tighten the harness. Then secure the rope bight to your harness by sliding it from the rap ring and the carabiner. The downward rap ring should be clipped from the carabiner. Test it properly before going over the edge.
Even though it may not seem highly complex, these items aren’t designed to act as belay equipment. There is a certain amount of risk of failure, which we would never accept.
Omega Pacific, for example, explicitly states that these rings should never be used for rappelling. In an emergency, however, they can be used. Remember, however, that they are primarily impromptu.
Uses of rappell rings rock climbing
For rock climbing, Rap rings can be used instead of Quicklinks. They have the same advantages as Quicklinks. Rings don’t wear out each time they are used. Rappel rings are located at the anchor ends.
As much as possible, you should use your own gear in place of the rings left by other climbers. In spite of the fact that it is not compulsory, it is part of typical climbing etiquette to show respect.
Any flaw in the community rings should be reported as soon as possible. In most cases, they will be replaced at the earliest possible time if they show any signs of wearing out.
Rock climbing with Rap Rings
To begin with, you need to tie your anchor to the main anchor. Attach the rings using Quicklinks to the anchor. There will now be two anchors parallel to each other.
The gates should be opposite one another by clipping the quickdraws to the rings. Rope should be threaded through quickdraws to avoid abrasion. As a result, the string will not be forced to the rock while climbing.
You will then need to tie a figure 8 knot to secure yourself. Learning all the essential knots by heart is highly recommended before starting any rock climbing session.
If you want to know how to use a rappel ring, you need to know what type of activity you will engage in. As previously mentioned, rappel rings are used in rappelling, canyoneering, and climbing. If you’re unsure how to use a rappelling ring, consider going through the above methods.
Rappel rings are used for a variety of purposes. A climber’s kit should include them. Using the correct gear for the job at hand is important. You should choose the rap rings with utmost care and pay close attention to their size, strength, and wear status. For a complete guide on rappel rings, check out this article.