Monday, April 9, 2007

Gear Review: Carbide Spikes Grip Trail

Boulder local, Jim Collins, coined the term BHAG……Big Hairy Audacious Goal. The term BHAG aptly sums up a mountain traverse I have begun training for. It is something gigantic, outrageous, and if conditions are right, something I will attempt this fall; going bigger than I’ve ever gone before. It lives in my heart and mind for now - and I affectionally refer to it as the "Jillywray Traverse".

My training involves long hours on trails. Sunday I logged 20 muddy-sloopy-sloggin’ trail miles. At the onset of the day, there were some icy spots. These conditions were perfect for trying out Camp’s “Gripper”.

I am no stranger to trail shoe traction doo-dad’s. On this outing, my plan was to compare the traction and performance of Camp’s Gripper with 3/8” hex screws.

Camp’s Gripper did not disappoint me! Basically, it’s 20 carbide tipped spikes specially designed to go into rubber shoe/boot soles. (10 for each shoe, 4 short & 6 long) The big plus, is that Camp ships a small tool, which allows for easy insertion into the rubber sole. Getting 3/8” hex screws into your shoes without a tool is challenging to say the least. With Camp’s tool, getting your "traction fix on" is E-A-S-Y. Even though these spikes stay in the shoes under punishing conditions, removing them with the Gripper tool is a breeze.

Camp’s carbide spikes gave me just the right amount of traction. The greater surface area of the 3/8” hex screws tends to catch on rocks and other surfaces – occasionally throwing one off balance and in some cases suddenly off trail!

If you’re looking for a dependable and easy-to-use traction system for your mixed-trail outings, try Camp’s Gripper.

See Camp’s line of gear at