Bouldering is an excellent way to get into climbing because both beginners and experts can enjoy the challenge and require minimal equipment, unlike most other types of climbing.
You still need a few essential items to start bouldering safely and effectively. We’ll give you a simple list of bouldering gear, so climb aboard (pun intended) and let’s get started!
Bouldering is, well, climbing on boulders. To be more specific, it’s climbing on boulders, rock outcroppings, or indoor bouldering walls that are low to the ground (max 10 feet up) without a harness or other traditional climbing equipment.
Essential Bouldering Gear Checklist
That being said, “bouldering gear” is just climbing gear that you use while bouldering. That’s the other great thing about bouldering: the equipment you buy to go bouldering can be used for more complex and advanced climbing later. If you advance past your local bouldering walls, this stuff won't go to waste!
Climbing shoes will provide the essential traction and grip you need while bouldering. They’re also designed with thin rubber layers so you can get a feel for the rock or surface underneath you.
Chalk and Chalk Bag
Chalk gives you a better grip on rock and holds during your climb. It absorbs your sweat and allows you to get a better hold.
A chalk bag makes the chalk accessible to you during the entire climb. Before buying any old chalk and bag, check out our article for tips on choosing the best chalk and chalk bag.
Athletic tape isn’t always necessary, but it’s handy to have around nonetheless. You can use tape to cover cuts or sensitive areas on the hands and support weak spots on your body like injured tendons or wrists.
If you continue to more advanced rock climbing, you’ll definitely need tape, so you might as well pick some up for bouldering!
You probably read “no harness” earlier and got slightly nervous, right? Well, don’t worry. Besides learning how to fall safely, you should also always boulder with a crash pad. A crash pad is exactly what the name implies: a mattress-like rectangle of foam that you put underneath your bouldering area that you can fall onto safely.
It makes your fall's landing zone soft, protecting your body from the impact. It will also make the area you fall on flat and free of sharp stones, sticks, debris, etc.
Ready to Go?
You’ve got your bouldering gear checklist and are ready to go. Still, need to add some of these items to your equipment bag?