I often get asked by climbers new to the outdoors what gear I use for trad and why I use it. These pages will be a list and explanation of all the gear I use and why I use it, what gear I like and what gear I can’t stand. These posts are aimed at people getting into trad.
"Tis but a scratch"
Size 11 DMM Offset
I’m going to start super basic with nuts/stoppers.
Nuts are possibly the most simple form of climbing gear. They work by fitting into a crack in one direction and not fitting out in another, the trick to placing a good nut is having the direction they don’t fit out in, be down.
My favorite nuts to use are the DMM Offsets. They seem to jump in cracks right when the legs are about to start doing the Elvis. Offsets are different to normal nuts because they have an asymmetric shape and that allows them to sink deeper into a crack that narrows at the back. Think of it like sinking your hand into a narrowing crack, pinky finger first, your smallest finger can get deeper than your thumb will.
I’ve heard people say that offset nuts can be more awkward to place and climbers new to trad should start on normal nuts and then move onto offsets, I think that’s a great way to waste money. Offsets are a better choice a lot of the time and in my opinion should be the norm when it comes to nuts.
I occasionally climb with two sets, and always with at least one. The largest nut size I will carry is around the size 11 offset. I find the usefulness at the larger size falls off dramatically, for larger crack sizes I usually place a cam instead.
Nuts are a great way to start a trad rack and should be one of the first things you get, they offer great bang for your buck and will last for years. My first set of nuts was a set given to me by my uncle who had retired from climbing, they were about 10 years old when he gave them to me and that was about 10 years ago, I still use a lot of them every time I climb.
cover photo by @climbingdojo
Link to where you can find DMM Offsets for sale below.