Rock Climbing Elucidated: The Gear You Need For It
Climbing is gaining height in all directions. In recent years, numerous people have taken up rock climbing sport. This has increased participation in outdoor as well as indoor rock climbing. But, like any other sport, rock climbing gear is also a vital part of this sport.
Choosing the right gear and knowing what you need for this recent popular sport is essential before starting. This is even more important as proper rock climbing gear can save your life in some instances.
To help you understand and choose the rock climbing gear for you, we have prepared a guide. In the article, we have covered some of the most important rock climbing gear pieces under the guidance of some experienced climbers, which will help you get going.
Rock Climbing Gear: The Essentials
Whether you are going for indoor rock climbing like in a rock climbing gym or outdoor rock climbing gear is what can make the difference. Some of the essential rock climbing gear you are going to need are:
Rock Climbing Harness
When you take up the rock climbing sport, the first piece of equipment you are going to need is a rock climbing harness. The confusing thing about choosing the right harness for yourself is that over a dozen brands make rock climbing harnesses. So, choosing the right one can be confusing.
When choosing the rock climbing harness, keep in mind some aspects like sizing and prices. Some more things to know when buying a harness are:
- If you are a beginner in the sport, go for a basic and wallet-friendly harness model.
- One thing to know is that the leg loops on the harness you purchase are adjustable. This is vital as the rock climbing harness with fixed loops don’t fix on the winter rock climbing clothes. So choose one which you can use in both winter and summer without any issue.
- If you are going for top-roping, then a simple climbing harness is fine. Although once you start the lead climbing, the gear loops become a vital part of building anchor gear and rack pro.
Falling off the loose rocks in this sport is a concern for all climbers. This is even dangerous as a falling loose rock may hit your head, which sometimes can cause serious injuries. Other than this, sometimes you may hit your head against the cliffside due to various reasons like strong winds.
For all these reasons, rock climbing helmets have become an important rock climbing gear, which is a must for everyone. It is specifically vital when going for outdoor rock climbing.
Some things to know when buying a rock climbing helmet are:
- The first thing you must look into a helmet before purchasing it is that it fits you perfectly. This is important as a loose helmet may fall off, while a tight one might cause problems. The helmet must also look good on you, as this is something that will inspire you to wear it.
- A traditional version of the rock climbing helmets, like the hard shell helmets, are durable and can take abuse. However, they are not that comfortable, so you can go for a more lightweight version of it, the foam-based styles. The only thing to remember is to choose the one which suits our needs.
- Another thing to look out for is the certification of the helmets. In European countries, the European Committee For Standardization certifies helmets. While in other countries, the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA) certifies them. So look out for these certifications before purchasing to get a quality product.
- There are also some women-specific helmets, so getting one can be good for you if you are female. These helmets are ponytail-compatible, so it will be more comfortable for you.
Rock Climbing Shoes
Getting the perfect shoes is an essential part of any rock climbing gear kit. Tight fit and sticky rubber allow the rock climbing shoes to get a minuscule hold on the cliff’s cracks and jams. So, when buying rock climbing shoes, always spend some time to get one that fits you well. This will give your wall-climbing abilities an instant boost.
Some things to know before purchasing the rock climbing shoes are:
- Tie shoes, slip-on styles, and velcro closure are some options for climbing shoes. We recommend the style of lace-up shoes with a relaxed or moderate fit for intermediate and beginner rock climbers. However, these shoes should be close-fitting, but not in a way that they are painful.
- Aggressive rock climbing shoes are also an option. However, these are especially for advanced-stage climbers for advanced climbing routes. So before stepping into these kinds of shoes, wait to have the experience.
- Shoe sizing is different across various brands. So try on the shoes before getting one.
Lock Carabiner And Belay Device
The belay device, along with the locking carabiner, is attached with your rock climbing harness. It is used to control the rope and your movement along with safety and thus vital rock climbing gear. There are various types of these devices available in the market, although all accomplish the same task to keep you attached to a rope.
Some aspects to know before going for these devices are:
- For your first belay device, get a simple and affordable one. This is crucial as it will help you learn the tricks and techniques to use this device properly.
- The skills which you develop from the basic devices, in turn, help you in using the more advanced versions. It helps you use advanced devices like the ones which offer assisted braking.
- To use your belay device, you will need a locking carabiner. The one thing to know before going for a carabiner device is that there are many variants available. So, choose one that is easy to lock and use along with a wide gate opening.
Chalk is a small but important part of the rock climbing gear, as it helps you in keeping your hold. The chalk is used to keep the hands of climbers dry, thus helping in the maintenance of the holds.
However, each climber’s needs are different as some don’t get sweaty hands while the others might. So, using the chalk or not is up to the climber.
Something to know before purchasing a rock climbing chalk are:
- There are various chalk brands available in the market. Some brands promise superior grip, while some promise less sweating. However, for intermediate and beginner climbers, any type of climbing chalk works. It depends on the personal preferences of the climber.
- When using the chalk for climbing, always look out for the regulations. This is vital as some climbing areas don’t allow chalk or allow only certain color chalk. For example, Arches National Park, which allows only red color chalks.
- You will also need to add a chalk bag to your rock climbing gear list as it will make chalk holding and using easy for you.
These are some of the essential and vital rock climbing gears which you will need whether you go for indoor rock climbing like in any rock climbing gym or outdoor rock climbing.
The above equipment will not only keep you safe but will also uplift your rock climbing skills.
Whether you go for pebble wrestling or professional climbing, having essential rock climbing gear is essential. It is vital as it is what is going to make or break your climbing day.
There is nothing more frustrating than realizing that you don’t have the needed gear after you reach a climbing spot. So, always keep your rock climbing gear handy when going food of any type of climbing as it is what is going to make your day a well-spent day.