In rock climbing terminology, Friends are a form of protection which are wedged into a crevice in the rock face. The climber's rope is passed through an attached carabiner, thereby affording a protective anchor point in case of a fall.

Friends were developed by adventurer Ray Jardine, who began development work in the 1970's. They became commercially available when Wild Country, the climbing equipment manufacturer, started selling them in 1978. They revolutionized climbing.

The great thing about Friends is their unique design. They are a camming device, with two pairs of opposing, spring-loaded cams. Prior to placement, the cams are retracted by the climber. The device can then be inserted into the rock face and the cams released. The cams allow Friends to wedge themselves firmly into even parallel cracks, where conventional wedges will not work. This made previously-unprotectable routes possible for those climbers with a sense of mortality.

One thing that the unwary climber should know: Friends have the habit of 'walking' themselves deeper into cracks if the attempt to remove them is botched. This can get quite expensive.