Rock Climbing Essentials: Your Equipment Checklist
Are you tired of sitting in a chair and staring at your desktop? Maybe it's time for you to trigger your adrenaline rush and explore nature in the most thrilling way possible. There is no better way to set out on an adventurous journey than rock climbing! You may have already been to some climbing expeditions in school or worked out on the climbing walls in your gym. However, to hit real boulders and natural cliffs, you need to be extra prepared for the whole experience. Apart from having the right fitness level, all mountain climbers should also arm themselves with the proper climbing equipment.
Here is a rock climbing equipment checklist to help you out!
1. Climbing Rope
Climbing rope is perhaps the most important rock climbing gear that you should carefully select. Essentially, there are two kinds of ropes - static and dynamic. While a static rope is stiff with low elasticity, a dynamic rope is elastic and designed in a way that allows it to absorb the energy of a fall. For the purpose of rock climbing, using a dynamic rope is preferable as it provides considerable stretch in case of a fall. Consequently, this saves your shoulders and back from excessive force and makes the fall softer. You should also consider the thickness and length depending on your rock climbing proficiency and the climbing route you have chosen. Ordinarily, a 70m rope with a thickness of 9.5mm is preferred.
2. Climbing Helmet
Safety is a top priority when it comes to adventure sports. Rock climbing is no different in this regard. While gathering your rock climbing accessories, ensure that you have a high-quality climbing helmet. Essentially, there are different helmets made specifically for climbing activities. The design of these helmets is such that it cushions your head from debris and falling rocks. Some climbing helmets also protect climbers in the event of a fall. When buying a helmet, wear it on your head to check if it's comfortable or not. It should neither be too tight or too loose.
3. Climbing Harness
Once you have a suitable rope, you need to find a suitable climbing harness that you can attach it with. In rock climbing, a harness is extremely important as there are higher chances of falling. So, you will find yourself hanging in the air most of the time. A climbing harness generally consists of two parts - waist belt and leg loops. When selecting a harness, you should again focus on comfort and choose the one that fits you well.
4. Climbing Shoes
You should never attempt climbing without wearing appropriate shoes as it can be both unsafe and uncomfortable. Getting your hands on the correct rock climbing shoes is paramount. Selection can depend on numerous factors such as your climbing ability and the terrain you will be climbing on. Ideally, you should choose a pair of climbing shoes that gives you the perfect grip. Varieties of rock climbing shoes are available in the market categorized on the basis of climbers' skill level. For this reason, you will find different shoes for beginners and advanced-level climbers.
5. A Belay Device
A belay device is another essential piece of equipment that must be on the checklist of a mountain climber. It is a safety device that protects climbers from falling and assists in lowering them during an ascent. A belay device controls the rope by acting as a friction brake. There are a variety of belay device types for you to choose from. It is advisable to practice climbing using a belay device in controlled environments before attempting rock climbing outdoors.
6. Other Climbing Accessories
Other than those mentioned above, there are many rock climbing accessories you should have. Some are:
-Chalk: Mountain climbers prefer to carry chalk with them as it helps them to improve their grip on the rocks by keeping their hands dry.
-Locking Carabiners: Carabiners are metal rings to which you can attach a number of things. For instance, you can connect the climbing rope with other pieces of climbing protection like nuts and bolts using a carabiner. They are also used to form quickdraws.
-Headlamp: Headlamp is a useful tool to keep you safe in the dark.
-Rope bag: Using a rope bag is a great way to increase the life of your climbing rope. It keeps the rope organized and clean.
-Chalk Bag: Chalk bags are small kits with an opening big enough to fit your entire hand. It makes the task of chalking your hands easier while climbing.
-Clothing: Wear comfortable clothes as per the climate in the area. Also, ensure that your clothes do not get in the way of your climb.
Now that you know all the essential equipment required for rock climbing, head to the market, grab them, and go climbing!