Earlier, people with high tolerance levels and unbelievable daring enjoyed rock climbing. With the advancements in technology, people have access to proper equipment, and great instructors have changed the scenario. Today, every adventure lover seeks a chance to participate in rock climbing. Whether you desire to climb monoliths reaching the height of several hundred or on some boulders, you need to have all the essential stuff handy. Preparing yourself mentally and physically before rock climbing is of utmost importance.
From bouldering to traditional climbing, we will cover essentials for all climbing types, making you feel confident that you have all your needs.
|Bouldering Gears||Sport Climbing Gears||Traditional Climbing Gears||Supplementary Climbing Gears|
Chalk Bag and Chalk
Chalk Bag and Chalk
Chalk Bag and Chalk
Nuts and Nut Tool
|Food, Water, and extra clothing|
Topo Book or Guide Book
Belay Gloves and Glasses
Personal Anchor System
Whether you engage yourself in sport climbing, bouldering, or traditional climbing, you cannot set your foot on the rock without the help of a good pair of climbing shoes. Choose a proper pair of shoes in terms of shape, curve, stiffness, amount of rubber, and materials used, depending on the climbing you desire to participate.
Visit The Climbing Gear site for the best quality and comfortable climbing shoes. If you are a beginner and trying to level up your skills, we recommend you Evolve Nightwalk. It comes with better fittings and comfort level. However, if you are an experienced climber, La Sportiva Futura is the best choice. The La Sportiva Futura has an amazing edging ability and a great fit for professional climbers.
Chalk Bag and Chalk
Although not an expensive item on the list, your chalk bag filled with chalk is one of the most essential one. The chalk (dusted) helps you better gripping and hence a better hold, even if you have sweaty palms and fingers. If you are a boulder climber, you might use a bucket filled with chalk dust and lay it over the ground.
If you are a traditional climber, you need a bag to hold the chalk. However, if you remain unsure where to climb, carrying a chalk bag is the best solution. Although you focus more on the style rather than the function while purchasing a chalk bag, you also need to focus on certain features such as zip pockets, materials used in making the bag, and the point of attachment.
Whether you climb a boulder, a monolithic rock, or ice-covered rock, crash pads become the most essential stuff. Experts recommend carrying more than a single crash pad, which will ensure better safety. Crash pads come in various shapes and sizes. Besides, they have varied types of carrying comfort, exterior fabrics, foam, and fold designs.
An approach shoe is a hybrid between tennis and climbing shoes. The sole of the approach shoes contains the rubber used in making climbing shoes with an extra loop for attaching the carabiner. The shoes allow secure scrambling with sticky rubber. You can use the shoes while bouldering, sport climbing, or even while you travel over the desert on foot.
The approach shoes are the best while you approach hikes as it provides comfort and prevents deterioration and damage, thereby saving your feet from terrible pain. Your approach shoes are not the same as your trail running shoes or lightweight hiking shoes. Rather, they differ in many ways in terms of stiffness, sticky rubber sole, and protective band surrounding your toe box. Sometimes, the approach shoes also come with laces, which provides a snug fit, holding your feet tightly on the terrain.
Sport Climbing Gears
The climbing rope forms the most important rock climbing equipment as it links the entire safety chain, which can save you if you accidentally fall off. During your adventure in rock climbing, the organization or the instructor might offer rental ropes for you to use. However, it is best to check the same beforehand; else, you might have to carry yours. Modern ropes are 60-80 meters long with a diameter varying between 8.5 to 10.2 millimeters. A rope measuring 70 meters in length and 9.5 millimeters in diameter is the best suitable rock climbing size.
Having a climbing rope? Then all that you require is a safety harness to tie the rope. Your climbing harness always has a couple of tie-in points in the front – one at the waist and the other at the leg loops. Like the climbing rope, you need to focus on safety while choosing the best climbing harness. Choose a harness that suits and fits you the best. Comfort is the secondary aspect for consideration.
Ideally, your harness must be built well into your clothing, which will ensure a full range of movements. Purchase a harness that has better paddings, extra-wide webbing, better ventilation, and better moisture transport. Besides, harnesses allow safely belaying your partner and provide gear loops for organizing essential equipment such as quickdraws, carabiners, belay devices, and more.
If you want a professional and best quality harness, check The Climbing Gear. You can grab the most comfortable harness, such as Mammut Ophir-3, at great prices. The Mammut Ophir-3 harness comes in two-part webbing construction. There is a layer of foam and mesh between the webbing on the harness, which lets you breathe comfortably. You can also choose Petzl Adjama if you plan for traditional climbing. The harness is heavy, has great fitting with bigger loops, and comfortable to carry even if you hang.
A belay device is one of the most important and first pieces of hardware purchased by a rock climber. Most of you must not have heard about a belay device. It is an essential mechanical friction brake device, which keeps the climbing rope in control. You might come across several types of devices while purchasing a belay device. Regardless of the varieties available in the market, the device uses friction to stop slowing down the rope, thereby preventing the climber from falling. Remember to use a locking carabiner for securing your belay device to the loop of your harness.
I hope most of you have seen the pictures of climbers without a helmet. However, if you get a chance to meet some real climbers, you might hear a couple of tales during those times when they were glad that they wore a helmet. Both belayers and climbers require using the helmet while performing sport or traditional climbing.
The helmet not only protects your head during an accidental fall but also guards it against the rocks and debris that might fall and even when a climber accidently drops his or her gear. Helmets range from affordable has heavy hard shells to those having ultra-light containing durable expanded foam.
Quickdraws are another vital piece of gear required for traditional and sport climbing. As the climber starts climbing the rock, the climber clips one end of the draw to a permanent bolt while the other end remains clipped to the rope. Rock climbers usually take a dozen quickdraws, but the number of quickdraws completely depends on the routes’ length. Remember to check the beta ahead of time and ensure you have enough of them.
Quickdraws come in varied sizes, with varying carabiners and dogbone (the material that connects them). Lightweight draws are the best for traditional and alpine climbing, but the larger models are most suitable and convenient for sports climbers.
Traditional Climbing Gears
Have you wondered how would you carry all the essential items for climbing without the help of a backpack? Surely, any backpack, even old ones, would do. However, we prefer a bag designed specifically for climbing. A climbing backpack will provide better comfort and convenience. The bags can generally hold up to 40-50 liters, made up of durable fabrics, and feature unique organizational systems.
Are you willing to go for traditional climbing? If yes, then cams are the most essential stuff. Placing your protection as you ascend is one of the distinct features of traditional climbing. Traditional climbing has few to no bolts. Rock climbers place camalots, or “cams” or “friends” in the cracks and secure the rope as they ascend.
The cams vary in shapes, sizes, numbers, and colors, and so do the cracks. An average rack consists of cams ranging from 0.4 to 4. However, there are both smaller and bigger cams than the range; hence, it is best to know the crack’s overall size that you would climb.
Nuts and Nut Tool
Although most climbers take cams with them as essential stuff, a set of nuts or stoppers is also important. The climbers consider nuts as an alternative protection piece in cracks. Like cams, nuts also come in different shapes and sizes. Usually, these are lightweight and occupy very little space in your backpack.
However, nuts lack a trigger to adjust the size and are easily stuck if heavily weighted into a constricting and narrow crack. In these cases, you need to keep the nut tools handy, helping you pounding and wiggling the nut off from the crack.
Although quickdraws are great stuff, you might require a longer draw to reduce rope drags during certain times of your traditional climbing. An alpine draw consists of a couple of non-locking carabiners attached to a 24-inch sling or runner, making it a standard tool for accidental falls. Nylon and dyneema (Dynex or spectra) are the most common materials used in manufacturing slings. Nylon is cheaper and more dynamic yet bulky for most cases, while dyneema is lighter and more abrasion-resistant.
Supplementary Climbing Gears
A carabiner, also known as ‘biner,’ is a strong yet light ring that connects the climbing rope to other protective parts such as camming devices, nuts, and bolts. The carabiners are a combination of steel and plastic containing a gate or opening that allows the climbing rope to pass. Besides, you can also attach a carabiner to your clothing, equipment, and other materials that help climbers in easy movement on the face of a rock. We recommend locking biners for the first-time rock climbers, which you would require to do with a belay device. Carabiners come in different shapes and sizes, and hence you would need to look out for the right one.
Personal Anchor System
Attached tightly to the harness, your anchor system or (PAS) secures you to the anchor while you belay, extend a rappelling device, or even when you clean a route. Although not a mandatory item, yet PAS is convenient stuff. Each loop of the system has full-strength, unlike the daisy chain; you can easily clip the system at multiple lengths.
Sometimes we plan to set our feet on multi-pitch routes. We often like to carry a small backpack containing layers, snacks, and water during such an adventure, and follower packs are the best choice. The packs weigh about 18-30 liters, generally top-loaded, having one-handed drawstring closure and an external zipper pocket that helps you in easy access to the stuff you need.
However, we have enlisted some of the few basic requirements and essentials you would require during your adventurous journey. Apart from the enlisted stuff, you can also keep the optional stuff handy so that you do not have to panic while building your beautiful memories.