Five Items You Should Never, Ever Purchase Used

5-items-to-never-buy-used-featured1. Know Your Ropes
Buy­ing a used rope is like buy­ing a used mattress…you don’t know where it’s been, what’s been on it, or the pound­ing that its tak­en. Water, dirt, and expo­sure to the ele­ments all come into play when deter­min­ing if the rope is fit for climb­ing or should be retired. Fur­ther, ropes are often mea­sured by the num­ber of falls they can sus­tain (UIAA Fall Rat­ing) and you just don’t know this infor­ma­tion when buy­ing sec­ond hand gear so play it safe, and pur­chase new. As for your mattress…well, that’s up to you.

2. Trad is Rad…When Pur­chased New
Trad climb­ing is chal­leng­ing and, at times, heart stop­ping. Falling on a piece of gear that you’ve placed for the first time is always a bit of Russ­ian Roulette.  That being said, buy­ing this gear used is very risky because wear might not show. If you do buy used, ask lots of ques­tions and be sure to check for defor­mi­ties, frayed wires, and visu­al wear. Or maybe just don’t buy it used…maybe.

3. A New Har­ness is a Hap­py Harness
Whether you’re sport climb­ing, moun­taineer­ing, or canyoneer­ing, your har­ness is one of the essen­tial pieces of gear that moves your booty up those sweet walls and ensures that you don’t fall to your death in a canyon crevice. That being said, if you pur­chase a har­ness used you may be left in the dark con­cern­ing the age or the har­ness and the gen­er­al wear and tear that it’s tak­en. Per­haps it was over-exposed to the ele­ments, which would com­pro­mise its integri­ty. Not to men­tion, buy­ing used online doesn’t allow you to try on your har­ness first; an ill-fit­ting har­ness can be uncom­fort­able and down-right dangerous.

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4. For the Dare-Dev­ils: Hang-Glid­ers and Parachutes
For all you wild and crazy hang-glid­ers and base jumpers out there, the point here is buy­ing these items used is super risky. If you’re just get­ting into the sport, par­tic­u­lar­ly, make sure you know how to inspect the gear’s integri­ty and you know what ques­tions to ask the gear’s pre­vi­ous own­er if you do decide to go used. Bet­ter yet, pur­chase from a trust­ed friend. Your life lit­er­al­ly hangs in the balance.

5. It’s All in Your Head: Why Used Hel­mets are No Bueno
Hel­mets should be retired after they take one force­ful fall. Unfor­tu­nate­ly most peo­ple don’t know this, which com­pro­mis­es the integri­ty and effec­tive­ness of the hel­met and that, in turn, com­pro­mis­es the safe­ty of your cabeza. To that we say, no bueno. Even bor­row­ing hel­mets from friends can be risky, so always make sure to ask if your friend has tak­en a fall in the hel­met or, bet­ter yet, just buy your own.

What else would you hes­i­tate to buy?