Friday, May 28, 2010

Adventure Gear

When dealing with family vacations and student trips to Costa Rica you have to be sure you are using only the best equipment and gear for your adventures. Costa Rica is a country that lends itself to some amazing adrenaline pumping activities such as rafting, ziplining, and rappeling. These are all adventures where your gear can not be bought at Wal-Mart. You need to find proffesional gear used by proffesionals. Here we are going to give you an introduction to some of the basic gear you will see during an adventure trip to Costa Rica.

First of all you have ropes. In a country that is only 50 miles wide and has a peak of 13,000ft you can imagine that many things are vertical in Costa Rica. In vertical situations ropes are your best form of transportation unless you have a helicopter which mine is in the shop.
There are many different types of rope some are called Dynamic which means it has a bungee feel to it which works well on belay lines. Other ropes are called Static lines which stay firm and dont give. These are good for rescue lines. Ropes come in different sizes, braids, and materials.

A second piece of equipment is a caribiner. This is probably the single most popular piece of equipment for any adventurer. A caribiner you will find from rafting, rappeling, zipling, or even hooking gear up during a hike. The caribiner is made up of different parts. Different caribiners are made of different shapes and materials. They are measured by how strong they are by what is called kilo-newtons which is marked as KN on the caribiner. For each KN the caribiner can hold 225lbs of pressure.

The next and happens to be my favorite piece of equipment is called webbing. This is my favorite because it is by far the lease expensive. Webbing is incredibly strong and used as an achor to hook ropes up to rocks or trees inorder to do your descend.
On rafting trips the guides often use webbing as flip lines. The flip line is used to flip the raft over.

Another piece of equipment that you might see or you might not see are called handled ascenders which are used to go up the rope. This is the easiest way to climb up the rope but these ascenders have little teeth in them and over time they can damage the rope. Keep in mind they are not used for a rescue which means only one person can use them at a time. This is also a very difficult excercise and should only be done with experience. As you can see in the picture its a face of struggle.

There are many many more pieces of equipment that you might see during your adventure to Costa Rica but if you are into the outdoors and on a student travel trip or a family vacation this is a good start at what you should expect to see.

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