Rock Climbing and What You Need To Get Started

Like many people, you started rock climbing for fun at a local indoor rock climbing facility.  As you got better you’ve decided try your hand at the real deal. Great! You probably know that rock climbing is great exercise and a wonderful way to experience the outdoors, while testing the limits of your body, but you may not know what you need to get started. Like many people, you may have gotten an REI coupon in the mail and, upon entering the outlet store, find yourself completely overwhelmed by the range of rock climbing products on the market. Don’t worry! Getting started rock climbing is really quite easy.. Here is what you need to get started!

1. Rope- A good length of rope is your most important piece of equipment! It is best not to skimp and buy a cheap rope, or you may find yourself in a tight spot with an unreliable safety net. Instead, buy the best you can afford. A 10.5 to 11 millimeter cord style rope will serve you best. You do not need dry rope unless you are planning on climbing in snow and ice, and should get approximately 200 feet (60 meters) of rope. You may also be interested in purchasing a rope bag to keep your rope clean while you climb.

2. Quickdraws- Quickdraws are a pair of oval or d-shaped clip hooks connected with a strong piece of webbing. Though they may seem small and insignificant, quickdraws are absolutely necessary to your safety, second only to rope! One end of the quickdraw attaches to a bolt, nut, or cam in the climbing course, and your rope threads through the other end. You will need approximately twenty of these.3. Belay Device- A good belay device is very important. Belay devices are used to secure your rope, or to rappel back down the rock face. You won’t get your feet on the ground without one! Belay devices come in several shapes and sizes. It is recommended, especially for beginner rock climbers, that you purchase one that locks automatically.

4. Harness- Even the most experienced climbers rely heavily on a harness. A lightweight harness is cheaper and is perfectly fine for most sport climbing. When purchasing a harness, try to get one with four or more gear loops. Each loop is capable of holding seven quickdraws.

5. Climbing Shoes- A good pair of climbing shoes is going to be one of the best investments you ever made if you wish to continue climbing. Many sport climbers like a slipper-shoe, which fits your foot like a glove. Whatever you choose, be sure you have good foot-movement and flexibility!

6. Chalk- While it’s not absolutely necessary, most sport climbers like to have a bag of chalk. When you climb, your hands become sweaty, and chalk dries them out and helps to re-tighten your grip.

Got all your gear? Great! Now you’re ready to start climbing!

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