If you’re looking for a new hobby, there are lots of reason why you should consider giving climbing a try. To begin with, there are health and psychological benefits. Climbing is also a great way to see new places because once you become a proficient climber, you can travel all over the world to send new routes.
When you are first starting out, having the right equipment can make a significant difference in your ability to advance and develop skill. The right gear can make you feel more confident, and better able to take on any challenges. Safety is always a priority when climbing and having the best equipment is an essential aspect of that.
Below, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide of all the essential mountain equipment any climber should have. If you’re a beginner, this is the best place to start. Read on to learn more.
1. A Durable Gear Bag
At different moments during your climb, you’ll need various equipment. When you aren’t using a specific tool or item, you want to know that it’s safely stored in a high-quality, durable gear bag.
The trick is to find a bag that is big enough to hold extra layers, equipment, snacks, and water but isn’t too bulky or awkward to wear.
You should also look for a bag that has a waterproof covering on the exterior so that it can withstand whatever weather you happen to encounter.
Everyone’s specific gear bag preference will be a little different regarding shape and style. The important thing is that you find one that has all of these essential elements.
2. A Helmet
If you’re new to the climbing community, wearing a helmet while you climb is a no-brainer. Even for the most experienced climbers, it’s a proper safety precaution. The best-laid climbing plans aren’t always realistic, and unpredictable situations can occur without warning.
There are lots of different kinds of helmets to choose from, and what you end up picking will depend a lot on the climbing you plan to do. For example, a hard-shell helmet is excellent for cold weather climbing when ventilation isn’t a concern. If you plan on climbing in warm weather, you’ll want the opposite.
The fit is also an important factor when it comes to choosing a helmet to climb in. If it’s not comfortable, you won’t wear it. Consider a helmet with adjustable straps, so that you can modify the fit based on whatever feels most comfortable on that particular day.
Finally, shop for helmets that are brightly colored. It may seem like a superficial detail, but it increases your visibility to other climbers or rescuers. If the worst does happen, being able to be seen could save your life.
3. The Right Climbing Shoe
A high-quality climbing shoe is one of the essential pieces of mountain equipment you’ll need for successful climbing. And not all climbing shoes are created equal. Finding the best one for you will enable you to go for longer climbs, and will help you improve your skill and precision.
A shoe like the Endeavor can offer the best overall balance of performance and comfort. It’s shaped to match the natural curve of the foot and includes a triple fork webbing system that makes the fit feel custom. It’s an excellent option for beginners who are working on the more precise footing and want a shoe that can help them.
If you’re someone who wants an all-purpose shoe for indoor and outdoor climbing, then the Butora Advance may be more your style. Its affordability makes it a great choice for newer climbers who aren’t quite sure what will work for them and don’t want to invest too much money yet. But, it should be noted, that its lower price point doesn’t come at the expense of quality or high-performance features.
Whenever you’re shopping for a climbing shoe, flexibility and comfort should be the top priorities. You want something that will allow you to twist and move naturally, and will feel great on your feet even after hours of wear.
4. Layers for Any Weather
No two climbs are the same. That can be a great thing, but it also means that you need to be prepared for anything to happen, especially when it comes to the weather.
If you’re heading out for a cold weather climb, you should plan to dress in multiple layers. For your inner layers, you’ll want long pants and long sleeves that are made from a lightweight, breathable fabric. Next, you should look for fleece layers.
Then, for your outer layer, opt for waterproof shell pants and an insulated, waterproof jacket. You should also plan on gloves, a hat, and a neck warmer or any other accessories that will protect you from the elements.
It’s equally important to dress appropriately for warm weather climbs. You won’t need as many layers, but the fabric of what you do wear is fundamental. Avoid cotton, and look for synthetic materials instead. They’ll pull the moisture away from your body, and will dry faster. And don’t forget to wear plenty of sunscreen! Nobody wants to climb with a burn.
Ready to Shop for Climbing Equipment?
Climbing is a commitment. It requires time, patience, and an investment into new gear that you may know nothing about. But sticking with it is well worth it. You’ll open yourself up to a new form of exercise, a new way to clear your head, and even a new reason to visit new places.
As you get started and as you improve your skill, having the right climbing gear will make you a more confident climber overall.