New to climbing? It can be intimidating when you aren’t sure what gear to buy. Don’t let it keep you from trying out this fantastic sport, or growing in it.
For indoor climbers, these are the things you’ll need:
- Harness – A good harness is required. One that double-backs (webbing on loops folds back through the buckles for safety) and has some gear loops (you won’t need a lot at first) will do just fine.
- Shoes – Basic is best here. The footwear will fit tighter than your street shoe but shouldn’t be downturned or too aggressive (unless you’re climbing very technical routes). There should be a right amount of thickness on the base of the shoe. Laces or no laces is your personal preference. With laces, you can adjust the tightness whereas velcro and moccasins are quicker to take on and off.
- Chalk Bag – It is the bag that hangs around your waist or on the back of your harness with chalk in it. Chalk soaks up the moisture on your hands. You will want to chalk up before making a big move or especially when you are trying to hold on to slopers.
Are you climbing outdoors? First of all, yeah buddy! Not everyone wants to take it the next level. There is a wide array of outdoor gear available for many styles of climbing including sport, traditional, bouldering, and ice climbing. So, do your research before buying. Here is what you’ll need on top of the previously listed items:
- Quickdraws – Two carabiners attached by a strip of webbing. These are the clips you’ll use to connect yourself to the rock when sport climbing.
- Rope – Make sure you check out the durability, thickness, and length to ensure it is appropriate for the areas where you climb.
- Helmet – Climbing is a dangerous sport. Listen to your mom, wear a helmet.
- Belay Device – Feeds the rope through a device attached to the belayer. Some have “teeth” or ridges that add friction. The Gri-Gri has an automatic braking system that is very popular. An ATC is another common device that doubles as a rappel device for descending from routes.
These are the things you’ll need when climbing outdoors. You may need extra carabiners, webbing or daisy chains, depending on the type of climbing you will be doing.
Get to know your gear, it’s the only way to stay safe in climbing. With indoor climbing, you can easily rent gear or ask the gym staff for advice. Outdoor climbing is a different case. Make sure you are with someone who is knowledgeable in the sport. Hire a guide or find a very experienced friend to take you out and teach you proper safety procedures.