Home > Rescue Physics > Unit Conversion

It is important to know how to convert between kilograms, kilonewtons, and pounds.

You can use this nifty calculator (which adheres to the mass and force terminology), or you can use the following approximations.

- A pound is a little less than one-half a kilogram (i.e., ~0.45 kg).
- A kilogram is a little more than two pounds (i.e., ~2.2 lb).
- A kilonewton is approximately 100 kilograms-force (i.e., ~225 lbf).

Most climbing and rescue gear is rated in kilonewtons, so it's essential that you can either think in kilonewtons or quickly convert between kilonewtons and your native units. A memory aid for pound-handicapped rescuers is to think of a friend who weighs approximately 225 pounds and nickname them "Kilonewton." Then when you see a piece of equipment rated at, for example, 26 kN, you'll quickly know that gear could hold 26 of your friends.