Are you new to rock climbing? If so, you’re probably very excited about getting started! However, before you go and get yourself on the rocks, you need to make sure you have the proper equipment to see you through a climb. The type of equipment you have, and the amount of it, will all depend on how big your climb is. If you’re not sure, then you might even want to rent equipment instead of buying it – how do you know the novelty of rock climbing won’t wear off after your first few climbs? This list is a great place to start when getting your equipment together:
You’ll need to wear appropriate, comfortable clothing. Some people climb while wearing just shorts and a top, while others choose to wear tight lycra bottoms that wick away sweat. When rock climbing, it’s important that you don’t try to make a fashion statement – this could result in injury! You need to be very comfortable and able to move around freely to grab hold of different rocks and step onto different footholds. You might even want to invest in a pair of rubber soled climbing shoes that mould to the shape of the rock and can help you stay on track if you find it difficult to get on a foothold. Be sensible!
A harness is an essential piece of equipment as it attaches to the rope you’re using and stops you from plummeting down into the dark abyss below (or the blue crash mat). In the event of a fall, it’ll also help you stay upright (which comes in handy when you’re staring into a black hole).
Chalk and a Chalk Bag
Sometimes when you’re climbing a big rock and getting a little nervous, you can begin to sweat. If your palms get sweaty there’s a chance you can slip, so it’s important you chalk up your palms to avoid that situation. It’ll also be much more comfortable!
An Oxygen Concentrator
If you’re going on a particularly tough climb, an oxygen concentrator can help you to stay focussed and breathing normally. You can find plenty of oxygen concentrators for hire, so if you think you might get a bit out of breath on your climb and need some help, it’s something you should definitely consider!
Fairly obvious as a helmet stops rocks from falling on your head! Many climbers don’t wear these, so it’s totally up to you – just remember it’s your safety you’re risking.
Special rock climbing rope is essential! This can be expensive, so you’ll probably want to rent at the beginning.
Carabiner and Nuts
This is a metal link you can use to hold the rope in place securely. Climbers often have multiple ‘beaners’ as they are nicknamed, so make sure you’ve got a couple before your climb. Nuts will allow you to link your rope with your carabiner and protect you from falling.
Descenders and Belay Plates
The rope runs through these to stop any friction as you climb.
That should be everything you need to get started with rock climbing – remember to start small and work your way up to bigger climbs for the best result!