The carabiner (or karabiner) is an essential piece of safety equipment for rock climbing and crossing dangerous icy areas. It is a metal hoop with a springed latch to open and close. Climbers use the caribiner to connect elements in their safety equipment, such as securing a rope to a harness or an anchor. In climbing it is made of very light but strong aluminum, but for heavier loads there are also steel carabiners. A hiker can keep a few of the light carabiners on a clip, and with one free hand quickly attach or unfasten the carabiner to a safety point. As an extra safeguard there are also carabiners that come with an extra sleeve on the outside to "lock" them on their fixed component.
This lightweight piece of climbing gear is made in a shape that is compact, easy
to handle, and that can bear a heavy load. It was designed to withstand great
force, but in practice it is meant to be a secondary load-bearing element. As with
all safety gear, it is there as a backup in case you need it. Other components
are more aptly designed for direct load bearing, such as pulley systems. The
carabiners also serve a great general purpose camping and hiking accessory since
they work so simply and quickly to attach items together. They work great to
attach a water bottle to your backpack, to hang things up on a tree, or to keep them
bundled together. Having a few carabiners of different sizes clipped to your
backpack will come in handy in ways you can't yet imagine.