How to Put on Crampons

Crampons are walking accessories worn on the bottom of regular footwear, such as boots or shoes, that make it easier to traverse icy or slippery terrain without the wearer falling or incurring injury. Crampons are used primarily by explorers, spelunkers, mountain hikers, and such. They are constructed of a metal plate, with strapping that attaches to the footwear. Crampons have sharp, hard metal teeth that grip the ice or ground as the wearer walks. Because crampons are so sharp, they should only be worn outdoors. They are typically donned only when it becomes necessary to use them. When not in use, they can be stored inside a backpack with other hiking gear. Crampons are increasingly being made for specialized use, so when purchasing crampons it can be helpful to keep in mind where and for what activity they will be used.

Prepare the Crampon

The crampon should be put on one foot at a time. In other words, fully and completely don the first crampon before starting to put on the second crampon. Lay the crampon down on the ground, with the spikes toward the ground. Crampons are made to be right and left foot specific, just like a pair of shoes. The strapping should be always be on the outside of the foot, so the crampon with the straps on the right is to be worn on the right foot. The crampon is extendable, so make sure it’s fully extended before donning. Do this by pulling gently on either end of the crampon so the slider moves.


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