The Ultimate Rock Climbing Gear Checklist
Rock climbing seems so exhilarating, doesn’t it? It can be physically challenging but it’s also extremely rewarding. If you’re an enthusiastic thrill seeker, then this should definitely be your next big adventure. Plus, you get the chance to do it in all parts of the globe, which can be an added benefit because it allows you to explore new places and all sorts of uncharted territories.
However, there are a few steps you need to take in order to prepare in the right way. Perhaps the most important thing you need to get is the proper rock climbing equipment. You can’t try out this sport without it. When you’re first starting out, you might need a little guidance to get the hang of things. That’s completely normal and expected which is why we’re stepping up to the task by providing a complete checklist of rock climbing equipment to start off with. By the time you’ve read the whole list, you’ll be more than prepared to embark on your rock climbing journey.
Is Rock Climbing Hard For Beginners?
Not necessarily. At first glance, it might seem like a daunting adventure sport because you’re so high up from the ground. But it’s actually a fairly controlled environment because you have all kinds of gadgets and equipment to keep you safe. Moreover, there are loads of climbing gyms that offer detailed training and practice so you can try it out there before you go out in the wilderness. By doing this, you can learn the basics and get a general idea of what to expect when you actually start rock climbing.
Word of advice – if you have an extreme fear of heights, this may not be the most suitable sport for you. Sure, there’s always that idea that you can overcome your fears by facing them head-on but if you don’t feel up for the challenge, then you should step down. There’s plenty of other things you can try out instead.
What Equipment Do You Need to Start Rock Climbing?
Now that you’re sure that you want to take up rock climbing, we’ll tell you how to do so safely. Here’s a list of things that you’ll need to get started.
This should be the first thing you focus on because it’s the crucial piece of safety equipment when it comes to rock climbing. Throughout the years, the overall gear design and functionality has evolved to bring us the contemporary climbing anchor we know today. In short, secure rock climbing anchors are made up of separate anchor points which are linked together. This way, they create a convenient spot where climbing ropes and clips can be attached to the rock.
When using rock climbing anchors, it’s important to identify the right anchor point on your trail. Whether it’s a tree or rock features such as horns or wedges, you can use the anchor to find a stable position and keep your balance when finding your way up. So basically, you’ll have extra support when you’re resting and going up or down the trail.
In a worst-case scenario, they can even prevent serious injuries if you slip and fall during your adventure. If you’ve done some digging online, you’ve probably read all those stories of people who have experienced tragic accidents when rock climbing. Do you know why their injuries were so bad? Because they didn’t use a climbing anchor properly. But you won’t make that same mistake because we’re here to keep things in check.
When you’re adjusting or positioning your anchor, you should make sure it can handle all of the intended load. Every single component is expected to be strong enough to hold off the strain of the weight you’re putting on. If not, you can double down on the materials for added safety.
This is what you’ll be holding on to when you’re moving around. When shopping for ropes, it’s important to have an idea of how large the area you want to cover is so that you can get the right length. Too little rope is a safety hazard whereas too much rope will add unnecessary bulk to your equipment. Bottom line is, know before you go.
This small contraption serves quite a big purpose. In fact, it’s supposed to provide the necessary break friction to keep you from falling. Impressive, right? Handling a belay device isn’t too difficult but we’d recommend practising with an instructor first. Better to be safe than sorry anyway.
A climbing harness consists of two parts – a waistband and two leg loops. Both of those things need to fit comfortably and snugly to provide a full range of movement all while maintaining maximum safety. Most harnesses have extra padding and ventilation to wick away moisture and reduce discomfort.
In terms of protective gear, you’ll need a pair of comfy climbing shoes and a good ol’ helmet. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need gloves when rock climbing. While they do protect your skin, they can actually prevent you from having a steady grip on your equipment. So it’s definitely a big no-no.
Since you can’t use gloves, chalk is your best friend here. Let’s face it, your hands will probably sweat quite a bit. And if you continue climbing with sweaty hands, you run the risk of slipping and falling down. This is exactly why you need chalk to keep them dry.
While this isn’t rock climbing equipment per se, but it’s nice to have it nearby. Who knows, you might lose track of time so you’ll need the ideal hiking flashlight to find your way back once you’re done.