Allow me to start with the bottom line; I want to assemble a bail-out kit for myself.
As I've been shopping around I have been baffled by the number of different descenders available.
Anywhere from $18 to $650!
Now, I know that some of this equipment is for rope rescue, and not bail-out scenarios. But still...there's quite the selection of devices!
My question is, how do I weight the cost/benefits of the different devices? Figure 8's are everywhere and are quite versatile. But, are they legitimately "not as good as" a specialty device like a Sterling F4?
Given the proper training, will the $18 device do the same job as good as the $100 device?
All me to start with the bottom line: I'm not a bail-out "expert."
Given the proper training, I believe it comes down to what is going to work best (safest and most efficient when the brown stuff hits the fan) for YOU. I believe you need to know the components of your system and train on their use until it becomes natural for you, then train some more.
I think the F4 and the CMC Escape Artist type devices have the added benifit that if you get knocked out or otherwise loose the ability to control your decent they will keep you from crashing/free falling to the ground. Where as a more simple friction based decent control device will not slow you down much if you're not actively on the rope.
But like I said before I believe it comes down to what is going to work best for YOU.
Just my $0.02 worth.
Thanks for the input "Doc".
I was about to say "If you get knocked out while descending, you have bigger problems to deal with." But no, I think that would be the biggest problem, lol.
A figure 8 is inexpensive and works well for a rappel, but does not allow you to transition the edge of a window with both hands; one of your hands will be dedicated to holding the slack end of the rope. The Escape Artist, F4, and EXO all allow for using both hands to clear an edge.
Also, I sent you an email.
Just do a search. You are asking a very common question and you can find plenty of threads with great info already posted: http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...ight=descender
Thanks for the link WD6956. I missed that thread while I was doing my original search.
Rescue 2, thanks for the e-mail! That paper was amazing!
Another question I have is with regards to training. Would training in the area of rock climbing/rappelling be of any value? Of course self-rescue is very specialized, but what about general rigging? Belay?
Rapelling and rigging is certainly helpful training. And you do both in rock climbing. But climbing rocks alone will serve no purpose. Unless of course you are in a cave system on fire and need to escape through a window in the side of a mountain and can only travel up to escape. Then the rock climbing may come in handy.
Originally Posted by vonirkinshtine
I don't think it would hurt. If anything more time on rope is great and it's another chance to keep your training on knots in your mind.