7. Cam Placements – Hand Sized Cams

In this video we review considerations for placing hand-sized cams.

1. Pull the cam’s trigger until the lobes are about 70-80% cammed (100% is when you pull the trigger as far as it will go). If the cam is too small for the crack, we say it is “tipped out” (see video for visual).

2. Look for sections of parallel cracks or pods when placing cams. They are designed to protect these types of crack features. Constrictions are protected using passive gear, or chocks, like stoppers or hexes. Pods are great for cams because they help prevent the cam from “walking” further back into the crack—this is especially useful for larger cams which tend to walk more than smaller ones. Avoid uneven cracks (which will make the four cam lobes uneven) or sections that widen in the direction of pull (yikes!).

3. Always place cams so that they are angled in the direction of pull, whether for anchor use or protection from potential fall. Placing a cam perpendicular to the angle of pull (or fall!) will cause the cam to rotate when weighted (which can change the position of the lobes) or bend the stem of the cam.

4. After the piece has been placed, give the cam a pull test and check that all lobes are even.

We hope you found this video helpful. Feel free to comment below with questions or thoughts!


Please remember, climbing is inherently dangerous. Climb at your own risk.