The UIAA equipment standard provides a baseline for equipment performance in a test lab under controlled conditions on new equipment. Although these test conditions are relevant to the conditions encountered climbing, conditions encountered at the crags and the condition of the equipment are equally important. This recommendation from the UIAA member federation The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) provides vital equipment information that is NOT explicitly addressed in the standard, particularly failure modes of the equipment and recommendations for the use, inspection, maintenance, and retirement of equipment.
Basic Cam 0.50
The Basic Cam uses the traditional internal spring and sheath trigger systems to get a narrow head and a very flexible body. We would like to express our sincere appreciation to David Waggoner, passed in October 2009, designer of this awesome design.
We have done our bit to try to improve it: flexible trigger wire ropes system, rounded lobe edges, internal spring on blue size, color anodized upper trigger plate, diagonal micro teeth on cam lobes and more.
Internal cam springs for narrow head width.
Sheath trigger for maximum flexibility. Stainless 5/32" 7x19 wire rope for all Basic Cam sizes.
16 degrees cam angle, soft lobes with teeth for well trusted holding power. Lobes are CNC machined from 6061-T6 aluminum alloy.
Double sheath on trigger. The outer sheath layer has free rotation motion for improved abrasion resistance.
NEW trigger wires system. Flexible and strong while maintaining a correct independent lobe motion.
NEW rounded lobe edges. More consistent rock contact on non parallel cracks and less flash material on lobe edges.
|Weight (g / oz)|
Weight (g / oz)
In grams and ounces, the weight, as stated by the manufacturer/brand.
|56.0 g / 1.98 oz|
|Cam Head||4 lobes, single axle|
|Stem||Flexible single stem|
|Camming Angle||(purposefully not a consistent cam angle)|
|Active Strength|| 5 kN|
|Cam Range (mm / in)|
Cam Range (mm / in)
In millimeters and inches, the maximum dimensions of the cam lobes when shut tight and fully extended. Since the "usable" range is so debatable, all manufacturers now list the full dimensions to avoid confusion.
If a manufacturer lists the usable range, we'll include it here as well (this is now very rare).
| Total dimensions|
11 mm x 17 mm / 0 in x 1 in
|Materials|| Main Material: 6061-T6 aluminum alloy|
Wire Material: Stainless 5/32" 7x19
Not once whilst writing this review have I wished, whilst pumped and scared, that I had any other cams racked to my harness and were I to buy any micro-cam on the market today - this would be it. In fact, if I felt like I needed a double set of cams, or was strong enough to carry another set, I'd buy another set straight away. They are quick to place, confidence inspiring and well made. All that could be done to improve the set would be to make a smaller size!
Totem made some small but noteworthy changes to the sizing of each color. Most important, they consolidated sizes and cam types. Three primary sizes cover the crucial finger range (green, yellow, and red). The Basic green and yellow cams are slightly smaller than the Alien sizes (by about .5mm). The red Basic is about 2mm smaller than the Alien, which makes the grey size redundant and manages to create a greater overlap in sizes. The Basic Cam also comes in two “hybrid” sizes, offset cams featuring two lobes of one size and two lobes of a different size, suited best for nonparallel cracks and pin scars. People who don’t use these hybrid, or offset, cams might not think there is much use for these sizes. Previously, I only carried small offsets for aiding, but I have had so many perfect green/yellow offset placements in the last week, I won’t leave the ground without it anymore. By sticking to the CCH formula, Totem managed to maintain all the unique features of the Alien and bring it to a whole new generation of climbers.
A pictoral representation of the UIAA-125 and EN-12276 standards for frictional anchors (which includes SLCD's [cams] and Ballnuts).
An order form to get a re-sling, have the trigger wire ropes replaced, or springs replaced for any of Totems cams.
Well-done instructions explaining (pictures and words) when, where, and how to use Totem Basic Cams.