Tag Archives: equipment

Crampons (Brittany Champagne)

General Information about Item:

  • Genre: Material Lore- Equipment
  • Language: English
  • Country where Item is from: USA
  • Informant: Katie Harris
  • Date Collected: 11-2-17

Informant Data:

  • Katie Harris is a member of the class of 2019 at Dartmouth.  She is from central Illinois, specifically Lincoln.  Katie described her home as super rural and full of many families. Illonois to her is a “typical mid-west state,” the families are very close knit and tend to stay put rather than have a lot of new families moving in. She is from an area surrounded by a lot of farming and a love for the outdoors. Both her parents introduced her to hiking early on. When she was 3 years old and didn’t have a choice her parents would strap her to their back and go on hikes. A family vacation in the Harris household always seemed to involve hiking and led to Katie’s love for the activity.

Contextual Data:

  • Social Context: Crampons are necessary attire for all hikers attempting to hike in areas where ice and poor traction may be found.  The gear is typically wore prior to reaching difficult terrain but may be stored in a backpack until they are needed.
  • Cultural Context: Weather has always been an unpredictable factor for many hikers.  Preparedness is a key to backpacking as is wearing the proper attire for safety and health purposes.  Winter months require different attire than summer months do.  The ice and snow in the winter makes it necessary for proper shoes to be worn.  An avid hiker understands the consequences that can stem from deficits in equipment or attire.  Thus, hikers understand the reasoning behind using certain gear, such as crampons, and why they are so important for backpacking.


  • Crampons are used  to gain traction, especially on ice.
  • Used for safety purposes but can also be dangerous if not used correctly
  • You must wear “gators” with them
    • Gators are thick sleeves that go up to your knee to prevent crampons from tearing your pants

Informant’s Comments:

  • “In the winter you need an ice ax and crampon’s, but you have to wear gators with them to keep crampons from tearing actual pants.  Crampons can add a dangerous element to hiking if you are not careful.  When going down a hill specifically, you have to be careful to watch your footing; slipping with crampons can cause you to break your leg when the bottom catches the ground”

Collector’s Name: 

Brittany Champagne


  • equipment, crampons, gators