Rig Bags – Why The TSA Loves Us

Raise your hand if you LOVE trying to explain to the TSA agents at airport security a) what the heck that heavy spinny screwy thing in your bag is and b) what you plan to do with it. OY! (Here’s a helpful hint – just tell them it’s rock climbing equipment, it’s more likely to get you through without having to pantomime a 90 minute show.) In any case, that bag they’re so carefully scrutinizing is your rig bag, and we’re going to chat about what you might want to have in there. This is a whopper of a topic, so expect more posts on this down the line.

Rig bag fun!

 

First, your bag should be sturdy canvas, denim, or other heavy material. I like a zippered closure, and it’s really nice to have several pockets on the inside to separate out some of your gear. Speaking of gear, let’s get to it! Here’s what we bring to a “light” event, meaning we know ahead of time that we will only need the bare essentials (rigging to pre-hung truss for example). Remember – it’s better to be looking at it than looking for it!

  • steel carabiners (for load bearing points) in the appropriate size for your apparatus
  • aluminum carabiners (for non-load bearing points – to swag your apparatus off, for example)
  • span sets/slings of varying lengths (we prefer black for masking reasons, not because we’re New Yorkers)
  • at least one large span set with cable running through
  • tie line for making yourself crazy when you tangle it swagging equipment out and at least one pulley
  • swivel(s)
  • duct or electrical tape to safety the gate on carabiners or keep them from flipping when swagged (also great for marking/identifying your equipment, or for shutting up that obnoxious guy who keeps asking you if you’ve ever tried trapeze naked)
  • assorted clips of varying sizes come in handy here and there
  • a small flashlight on a cord or a head lamp (you’ll look so cool)

Thems the basics! If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then you don’t need a rig bag, you need a rigger. Start educating yourself TODAY – your life depends on it. Happy dangling, mah peeps!

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