It’s that time of year again! Summer is just around the corner and BASE jumpers all over the world are pulling their gear out of the closet for the first time in months.
You went hard last year. Maybe you took a couple of trips, made regular visits to your local objects, or perhaps you were caught up in other adventures all season and your gear went largely underutilized. Regardless of your BASE activity level last year, a pre-season inspection is well-advised when it comes to life-saving equipment. So lay a tarp out in the backyard, make space in the garage, or move some furniture around in the living room to clear a packing area. Do whatever you need to do to make sure that your first canopy inspection in 2017 doesn’t occur while you’re in the saddle!
A word of caution: This inspection should be more involved than your standard gear check. If you’ve spent any less than one hour combing over your rig you probably didn’t do a very thorough job. If you’re not up to spending that kind of time and attention we’d suggest you send it to a professional rigger instead of using this guide to pretend that you've completed a proper inspection.
Assuming you’re starting with a packed rig, here’s a good checklist to work from. Make sure that the following components are in good condition and without signs of wear, abuse, or any other form of deterioration:
You’re starting to get the idea here. Check everything! This is a single parachute system that you’re trusting with life and limb, so take your time and make sure your gear is in proper working order. You’ll feel a whole lot better on the exit point if you do. Take notes or photos of wear points to catalog them and then ask for help if you are ever unsure!