Rock climbing is one of the fastest growing activities in the UK, which will come as no surprise to anyone who climbs regularly. If you’re thinking about getting into the sport it is good to know a little about the equipment you will be using. So we have put together a basic rock climbing gear list aimed at letting beginners know what is what, and what they will need to buy if they get into the sport.
You don’t need to buy everything on this rock climbing gear list straight away. Try it first and you will find that not only is climbing a great way of building strength and staying fit but you also have the added bonus of a sense of achievement and overcoming fear. All of this helps with building confidence and self-esteem. If you like climbing then start investing in kit.
What should I have in my rock climbing gear list?
Firstly, you need to know that there are a number of different rock climbing types, both indoor and outdoor, that require slight variations of equipment. For example, the equipment you need for top rope climbing will vary slightly from that used in bouldering.
Then again, your rock climbing gear list will be slightly different for indoor climbing and outdoor climbing. The important thing to remember is that safety is always key. Never attempt anything unless you are absolutely sure you have all the right kit, and know what you are doing. Climbing is a rewarding and immensely enjoyable activity but it can be dangerous, so always get help if you’re unsure.
Don’t try and climb in an old pair of trainers. Not only will you get some funny looks, it’s also not really safe and you will ruin your trainers. Climbing shoes should be a tight fit with little space for your toes to move around. This can feel a little strange for beginners but it will be beneficial when climbing. At points you might have your whole bodyweight resting on one or two toes, so you need to know your shoes can cope.
Sweaty palms can be embarrassing but when you’re climbing they could also be disastrous. Chalk is essential in most forms of climbing, helping to keep your hands dry and your grip firm. Hang the bag from your harmess where you can access it easily. Chalk is either loose or in a little ball, depending on your preference.
If you’re bouldering outside then a crash pad is essential, as is a good friend for a buddy. Bouldering involves using your skill set at a low level but come down on your back and you’re going to know about it. Your friend is there to move the pad as you climb, ensuring it is always underneath you.
If you’re climbing with a rope a harness is an essential item on your rock climbing gear list. Wear it on the outside of your shorts or trousers and run the rope through it. A good harness needs to be very tough and comfortable. It also needs to fit you well.
This is an expensive piece of kit but bearing in mind it might be the only thing between you and a nasty accident, it’s well worth the money. Climbing ropes are long, extremely tough and can stretch slightly to reduce the chance of injury. Always look after your rope and keep in a bag when not in use.
Hook this to the front of your harness and run the rope through it, which will allow someone else to climb. Climbing is a very social sport and this is the part of the kit that explains why.
If you’re indoor climbing or bouldering then you might not need a helmet as there are unlikely to be any loose rocks. However, out on the face, a helmet is an essential piece of kit. Rocks come loose and when they fall, pick up quite a pace. That makes them potentially very dangerous indeed, so wear your helmet at all times.
Carabiners, slings and runners
These little bits of kit attach you to the rope, help to keep the rope straight and ensure that everything hangs more predictably. Sewn runners are also good for belay and top rope anchors. All these bits of kit help to keep the climbing smooth, safe and untangled.
As mentioned above, you may or may not need all these bits of kit depending on the type of climbing you’re doing. As a basic all-round beginners rock climbing gear list, you should try and have as much of this kit as possible. It might seem like this rock climbing gear list for beginners involves a pretty hefty outlay of money and it is an investment, for sure. However, buy quality kit and it can last a long time, meaning once you’ve got everything you need, the cost of climbing from then on is very reasonable.
If you’re interested in climbing, then why not find your local climbing wall and give them a call? Once you’re hooked, and we reckon it won’t take long, then you can start looking into investing in your the items on thus rock climbing gear list.