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Myths Debunked 2: Don't Daisy Chain Your Webbing

posted Mar 6, 2013, 1:08 AM by Ken Buscho   [ updated Feb 4, 2016, 3:37 PM ]

Myth: You should not store your webbing in a daisy chain, it fatigues the webbing and will cause it to fail.

(Example from Cave Forums, 1/2011http://www.forums.caves.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=11244)

False as stated, caused most likely by someone not understanding that there are 2 types of daisy chains in the climbing world, and then making a story fit the "fact".

The top picture is of webbing that has been daisy chained for storage.  The knot used here is also called the chain sinnet, or the monkey braid; check it out at Animated Knots as tied in rope.  This is a safe knot to use in storing webbing, see the email abstracts at the end of this from webbing wholesalers and manufacturers for details.

The yellow thing on the right is also called a daisy chain, it gets used in lead climbing for self-belay and other uses.  There are ways to use this wrong, to hook into the loops the wrong way.  When you do that, and take hard fall, you can split the stitching and be hooked to nothing, which is a bad thing.  For more on this, see Myth 5 at http://www.geir.com/mythbuster.html.  There's also more with the video below that illustrates what happens with a bad hook-up:

Daisy Chain Failure



Summary:  There are ways to use a daisy chain and die, but storing your webbing that way is not one of them.


Side note: There is another device used in climbing that's similar in appearance to a daisy chain called an Etrier (Fr: Stirrup) that is designed to be used as a ladder.  Notice that the loops come out from opposite sides, and are foot-sized, as opposed to the Daisy Chain, which are sized for carabiners.








Background:
During a training not that long ago, a Cal-ESAR member was storing webbing in a daisy chain.  A person watching this commented that this was not a good thing to do, per the rumor cited above.  The member, being new to all this, was concerned and repeated the rumor to others, and that's how this got started locally.  I was suspicious that this was an urban (rock?) legend in the making.  Rather than relying on my intuition or opinion, I sent e-mail off to several webbing vendors and manufacturers to get their professional opinions.  Portions of their responses are reproduced below.  Feel free to reach your own opinions, I'm reporting data here...

Ken


From CMC Rescue, Feb 25, 2013
Thanks for the email. Daisy Chaining the webbing is just fine for storage. Knowing the webbings age, history of use and routine inspections would be the best way to determine when to retire your equipment.

Best regards,
Jason

From Black Diamond, Feb 25, 2013
Hi Ken, thanks for the email, personally, I have never heard that this would be a bad way to store webbing, and I cannot for the life of me think of how this would affect the webbing in a detrimental way (only that it always helps to not have a rats nest next time you dig it out).

From Pigeon Mountain Industries, Feb 28,2013

Good Morning Mr. Buscho,

 

I have never heard of any issues regarding the daisy chaining of webbing, (our cave team, myself, and everyone I know keeps their webbing daisy chained). However, I have forwarded your question to my Technical Manager in our Denver office to take a look at, and once I hear back from him, I will relay that information to you.

 

I hope this will help, and in the meantime if you have any other questions please let me know.

 

Thank you and have a great and safe day.

 

 

Peter



Later the same day:

Good Morning Ken,

 

I apologize for the delay in getting back with you on this, and I appreciate your patience. As I mentioned in your previous email, I have never heard of any problems with daisy-chaining and I forwarded your question on to my Technical person in Colorado to get his opinion.

 

In his words:  “Never heard of anything bad, only good things. By daisy-chaining it keeps it tangle free and in a more reasonable length where the chances of it getting dirty or tangled are minimized.”

 

Until your email, I have never heard of any problems with this method of storing your webbing. As you say, I wonder if this might be an issue of semantics and the climbers are referring to something completely different. Certainly if there were a problem, we would have heard of it before now, as almost everyone I have ever encountered stores their webbing this way.

 

I hope this information is helpful, and if you have any other questions or if there is anything else you need, please let me know.

 

Thank you for checking with us and have a great and safe day.

 

 

Peter


From Blue Water Ropes, Feb 28, 2013

Ken,

I see no reason whatsoever to not use daisy chaining as a storage method. I believe they misunderstood. Daisy chaining web will not affect the strength. It will keep it from becoming a tangled mess. Accidentally clipping into a daisy chained section of web is a possibility but only with an unfamiliar partner or group. Those cases always demand a higher level of mother goose syndrome anyway. Please let me know if you have any more questions , conncenrs or input.

Thanks for taking the time to contact us!

                                                                                                            

Best Regards,

 

Scott 


From Mammut, USA, Feb 27, 2013

Hi Ken,

If you daisy chain the webbing for storage, it would not cause any strength loss unless it was tied very tight. 

In theory, even though a knot will have less strength, once the knot is untied, (especially a relatively loose knot) the item with return to it’s original strength.

 

In this matter, the storage conditions are probably more important than whether it is balled up or daisy chained.

 

Being stored in a cool, dry dark place away from any possible chemical or fumes is very important.

 

Please let me know if you need any further assistance.

Best regards,

 

J.P.