Rock Climbing Gear: Equipment Explained for Everyone

Rock Climbing Gear: Equipment Explained for Everyone

When you think about the rock climbing team, one of the first things you can think of may include clothes, ropes and a helmet, but there are many more things you should get in terms of equipment if you plan to participate. In the hobby with any degree of security. The things you can expect to have to add to your list include safety equipment and things that can make your climb easier in general. Some equipment is absolutely essential, while others are selected as a matter of preference.

Either way, before you start shopping, it’s a good idea to sit down and write a list of all the equipment you plan to buy. You can use it as a checklist to make sure you have all your bases covered and to get all the essential elements you need for your safety and the satisfaction of rock climbing.

Climbing suit inside and outside.

When creating your list, consider whether you will scale inside, outside or both. Outdoor rock climbing is a challenge, with a change of scenery with each new climbing destination. Indoor climbing is equally exciting, but also allows you to enjoy this sport throughout the year. Participating in both types of rock climbing will give you access to the best of both worlds.

Rock Climbing Gear: Equipment Explained for Everyone

Indoor rock climbing: This type of climbing gives you the opportunity to practice safely in a dry and safer environment. While you work indoors, you can work in unison with a coach during group or private sessions. A coach can educate you about safety, techniques and climbing maneuvers.

You will also have the opportunity to try different climbing routes while working in an indoor environment. For example, you can try main routes, upper rope ladders and blocks, which involve a route with pre-established feet and fixed handles to a large wall of artificial rock. While inside, appropriate clothing includes:

  • Climbing shoes
  • T-shirts and tank tops with breathable lightweight fabrics.
  • Non-restrictive clothing (fabrics without cotton are preferred)
  • Pants: full length, three quarter length, capris
  • Shorts with a reinforced crotch (Note: longer pants are preferred)
  • Women can wear a sports bra.
  • Sunscreen for total protection of the skin.

Outdoor climbing:  This type of climbing includes everything from ice to trad and competitive climbs. The climatic conditions define what you are wearing. Indoor clothing is appropriate for outdoor use in warmer climates, but in colder climates, warm, light clothing will help you escape possible illnesses or dangerous hypothermic conditions.

Rock Climbing Gear: Equipment Explained for Everyone

In colder climates, a light but protective clothing is desirable.

Assurance devices

Insurance is another necessary piece of equipment. When you are climbing rocks, the belay will help you to ensure the progress you have made in controlling the rope that is climbing. You can also use the safety device as a safety device, one in which it allows you to catch yourself if it suddenly starts to fall.

Rock Climbing Gear: Equipment Explained for Everyone

Assurance is a device that we can use to provide tension by winding up the rope or lowering another climber if you are climbing with others. With the application of friction, the assurance is a device that works as a type of “brake”, since it helps to stop the movement of the climber. Your options when choosing a belay include:

  • Brake assisted closures: This option comes with a cam system that causes it to lock on the rope if force is applied to the assisted brake.
  • Figure 8 belays: With a name so appropriate for its appearance, the insurer resembles the number 8. These belays are more commonly used as rappel devices in traditional climbing, spelunking, and search and rescue efforts.
  • Tubular belays: This is the most used option. You will push the climbing rope in and through the belayer, and a carabiner will be used to connect it to the anchor.
  • Belay body: This is when you trust your own body to be safe: in other words, you will apply the necessary friction to your climbing rope. While this is an easy assurance technique, since it does not require additional equipment on your part, it is still a method you must master before you can use it.
  • Belays Munter Hitch: This is another technique used when you do not have a physical insurance in your hand. It is completed by making a loop with your climbing rope in a knot running after running around a locking carabiner.

Carabiners for rock climbing

No list of rock climbing equipment is complete without carabiners (sometimes spelled carabiners), which are small, durable metal rings. The carabiners are what allow you to connect devices, nuts and screws, all of which serve as protection devices, to the rope you are using for your climbing.

Rock Climbing Gear: Equipment Explained for Everyone

In addition, you can use them to place one or more gear slings or make a quick drawing. The average climb requires at least 12 carabiners of first quality. Your options when it comes to carabiner styles include the following:

Carabiner style Better use
Asymmetric D shape These carabiners are stronger than the average oval type. The unit has a smaller end to minimize the weight of the device. The unique shape makes the climbing rope move towards the solid side of the carabiner. Although they have less interior space than the D-shaped carabiners.
In the form of d A selection of stronger carabiners since their unique shape allows for a greater degree of strength in an outward direction. This option allows easy connectivity to the protective equipment of rock climbing.
Oval The oval carabiner is one of the most basic options. It is, therefore, suitable with a wide selection of climbing efforts. They present uniform and soft upper and lower curves to restrict the load change. The units give you a greater degree of retention capacity for your equipment.


Your options when it comes to carabiner doors include:

Door style Applications
Bent It is not necessarily the ideal option for protection during rock climbing, but it is good if you are looking for a carabiner that is easy to cut.
Closing You can use this option if you need an additional carabiner for securing.
Straight The carabiner has a rotary closing function and a simple push operation to open this device with a spring.
Cable This type of carabiner has a stainless steel wire gate.

Climbing harness

With most types of rock climbing, you will need a two piece harness. The rock climbing harness has two loops and a belt, and this is what creates the harness frame “T C Sit”. The belt should be tight, tight, and resting on your hips. Each of the loops is assigned to one of your legs. The loops are often adjustable in some harnesses, and in others, they are even removable.

Rock Climbing Gear: Equipment Explained for Everyone

The harness has a loop on the front side to facilitate and efficient the function in the loop. All harnesses are made with a loop front loop, and some are made with gear rings so you can hang a chalk bag from the strap and a bottle of water while climbing.

When climbing, connecting everything to the harness correctly is essential for your safety during the climb.

  • the Mad Rock Galaxy Harness It is a one size fits all harness available for men and women. This unisex harness is also affordable, with a fair price around $ 40.00. The harness has buckles that lock automatically to ensure the rope is hooked more easily to the proper size. The unit measures 3.5 inches x 6 inches x 18 inches. The harness even has curls to hang the chalk bag and climbing accessories.
  • A Black Diamond harness for women comes in a manufacturer’s Primrose package. The package is a good alternative to the Galaxy Harness. The model has a price between $ 85 and $ 100. It comes with the harness, the ATC insurance, the chalk bag, the carabiner and the white gold chalk. The unit in which measures 13 inches x 5 inches x 5 inches and weighs 1.7 pounds, so it is light.

Must have equipment: helmet

Whether indoors or outdoors, rock climbing activities require you to have a helmet. There are several options to choose from when you are looking for a helmet to add to your equipment list. Just be sure to choose a proven helmet for your safety.

Rock Climbing Gear: Equipment Explained for Everyone

Your options include:

  • Foam: A lightweight helmet with a polypropylene exterior and a foam shell. If something hits the helmet with considerable force, it protects the skull, but the outside of the helmet often ends up crumbling under pressure, so it will have to be replaced. An excellent selection is the Petzl Vertex helmet available in a one size option and several colors for easy customization. The helmet has a chin, a hard outer shell, an inner foam and can place a headlight. The helmet costs between $ 115.00 and $ 156.00.
  • Suspension: Like a construction helmet, the suspension helmet has a rigid exterior that serves as an outer cover that protects the interior webbed suspension system. Both the hard exterior and the interior suspension system help protect the skull from possible injuries. In the event that something falls on the helmet when it is worn, the helmet absorbs most of the impact that might otherwise be harmful.
    An example of this helmet is the climbing helmet for women Petzl Elia, whose price ranges between $ 59.00 and $ 65.00; It has a polystyrene foam lining. You can get a headlight (sold separately) and attach it to use when additional lighting is needed.

Adjustable straps, interior suspension systems and layer room. When you buy a helmet, also look for the following characteristics:

  • Headlights (if you start your rock climbing adventure at dawn, these are convenient)
  • Ventilation holes
  • Lightweight structure

Types of climbing shoes

As a necessity in terms of rock climbing equipment, shoes are among the most important equipment you can buy because they help you make sure you are safe. The shoes also help you maintain a grip on the surface where you place your foot. The shoes you choose will protect your feet from possible injuries, while providing you with the friction necessary to hold onto the support points.

Rock Climbing Gear: Equipment Explained for Everyone

When it comes to rock climbing and shoes, you really need to have a good idea about the type of climbing in which you will participate so that you can get the right style shoes. The characteristics and options of the shoes include:

Type of shoe Basic characteristics Additional characteristics
Indoor Boulder climbing shoes It has a thin rubber sole, a midsole made of soft materials and a snug and tight fit.


For models that offer a perfect fit, look for closures of the hook and loop variety.


If you are dealing with rising ascent routes, look for shoes that have a toe section with a recession.

Rock climbing shoes from the crack It must be durable, with a thin profile and a midsole that looks stiff. These shoes are better when they have a flat tip fit.


Flat adjustment is necessary as it allows you to insert your foot into smaller openings (cracks). The design will also protect you from friction injuries.
Steep climbing shoes Have a well-balanced rigid and flexible midsole. They come with a relaxed heel area and an adjusted toe area.


These shoes are good for intermediate climbers and adepts who participate in trade and sports scales. The shoes will allow the slight curling of the fingers, and when they present a pointy finger, they will allow to put the foot in tight pockets.
General, comfort shoes all day .These shoes have a thick rubber sole, a medium or stiff midsole, a padded and relaxed heel and a flat fit on the toe. These shoes can be used for a variety of rock climbing adventures.

Climbing ropes

A very obvious addition to your collection of rock climbing equipment is the climbing rope. It is, in fact, one of the most important equipment. The rope must be of indisputable quality. In terms of quality, you can choose between two types of rope; Rock climbing and the type of climbing you are involved in determines the type of rope you need.

The two types of rope are dynamic and static. Each string, regardless of the category to which it belongs, must submit and pass rigorous tests by the Union Internationale des Associations D’Alpinisme (UIAA).

When it comes to dynamic ropes, the materials have elasticity and it is a cable to absorb the energy of a fall, despite the great force of a fall. In contrast, a static rope is rigid and has little or no elasticity: this is the type of rope that is best suited for rescue and rappel situations. The most popular type of rope you can buy is about 60 meters long.

The diameter can vary between 9.8 and 10.2 millimeters.

Rock Climbing Gear: Equipment Explained for Everyone

The type of rope you are buying is indicated at the ends of the rope: there is a white tag wrapped around the end of the rope that reveals information about the quality and manufacture of the rope. There are half or double ropes, simple ropes and twin ropes. There are also static ropes, simple thin ropes and simple ropes of a battle horse. Each rope is made with different weights and diameters, suitable for different workloads.

More on climbing ropes.

To make sure you have the correct rope for your weight, you have the correct retention unit that fits the diameter of the rope you are buying. It is recommended that you make some small low level practice drops, probably at a rock climbing location, to test your equipment and make sure that the rope and your equipment can help you stop successfully in case of a fall.

The best place to test your equipment is in a gym with padded floors and steep gym routes.

Keep in mind that the heavier you are, the greater the amount of wear that accumulates on the rope you choose. Any reduction of force and impact will definitely reduce the lifespan of the rope. When you are heavier than the average climber, you must invest in the thickest and most durable ropes available.

Normally, the various strings are used for the following:

  • All around loose ropes: They are good for climbing alpine, traditional and sport routes in snow, ice or simply rock.
  • Half of strings: They are the best ones to use on alpine rock routes or multiple tracks, especially if there is a point where you will have to retreat halfway along the route. The rope is a bit cumbersome and bulky.
  • Skinny single strings: This rope is a bit more risky because it is thinner than other types of rope: it can cut when used in an eave. The rope is lightweight and should be used only for light tasks.
  • Static rope It is fantastic for the efforts of ascent and rescue of great walls, and it is desired when a heavy load has to be raised or lowered. Static ropes are not ideal for rock climbing situations.
  • Twin ropes: They are the best to use in non-errant climbs on rock routes and on ice scales where you will be rappelling at some point. The disadvantage associated with this type of double rope material is that it must hook both rope cords each time and the rope must pass through each piece of protective gear to ensure the correct amount of drag.
  • Single work trestle strings: They are used to climb upper rope routes and large walls. The rope is voluminous.

Passive protection

Any list of rock climbing equipment must have active and passive elements for its protection. The available protection devices can be used to help prevent possible falls during any climbing effort in which the equipment is used correctly. The passive equipment is manufactured with a single-body construction and is free of moving parts. Nuts and plugs are an example of passive protection equipment. The other types of passive devices include the following:

Passive climbing equipment Applications
Cam Wedges


Cam wedges are also one-piece protection equipment options for the rock climber. The difference between the cam wedges and the conical stops / nuts is that the wedges can be twisted so that they can be snapped into place in a pocket or a crack in the rock. Cam wedges are ideal for cracks that are excessively straight or large, making it an impossible fit for conical elements. In addition, cam wedges are your solution when it comes to parallel rock cracks, horizontal cracks in the rock or even round bags in the rock formations.


Hexcentrics They are six-sided tubes with an asymmetrical design: the passive equipment is used to treat narrow crack formations or straight-sided cracks in the rock. When applying force in a downward movement in the sling or cable, the hexagon will rotate for a tighter fit.


Three cameras have a point at one end and a rounded end at the other. Like cones, you can put them inside a crack in a rock. You can also place them in place with the sling placed on the side of a curved edge. This tool requires some time to master through practice, but after learning to do it, you will find it quite practical.

Plugs and nuts


This form of passive equipment is manufactured in durable aluminum. The units are large at one end and are reduced to a smaller end on the opposite side. The purpose of the conical design is to allow the climber to insert the plug or nut into a small wedge or crack in the rock. Keep in mind that these plugs are not ideal for use with parallel rock cracks.


Micro nuts


This type of equipment is 25 percent the size of a traditional plug or nut. The ultra small size and conical design are perfect for super small cracks where a traditional plug can not be properly placed.


Active protection

As mentioned above, active protection equipment for rock climbers are tools that make it easier and safer to climb rocks and routes. The definition of an active piece of protective equipment is that the product has pieces that can be moved and adapted.

For example, a piece of equipment that is adapted to crack sizes because it is spring loaded is considered an active protection piece. More examples of active protection you can choose to use during your rock climbing adventures include:

Active team Applications
Cam units with spring The spring-loaded cam devices (SCLD) look like complex units with three or four cams made of curved molded aluminum material. When the cable that causes the cams to retract is pulled, the unit will tighten. When it becomes smaller it fits into the cracks of the rock more easily. When the trigger is released, the unit expands and, therefore, squeezes the cam device into the crack in the rock where it can not be moved. Whenever it is correctly positioned and immobilized, spring-loaded cams units are definitely desirable active protection tools for the rock climber.


Stems rigid: These are spring chambers that have aluminum shanks in the center. These cams have wire rods that are flexible and durable, but must be used in the right situations or they can be annoying. For example, these cams should not be used in a horizontal crack where the force of a fall could cause the rigid stem of the cam to break.


Simple cable, cams with flexible spring and rods: These cams will work much better when it comes to a rock climbing situation where you have to deal with horizontal cracks, but they offer even less durability than the flexible shank cams. They work well for irregularly shaped cracks and smaller cookies where other equipment will not work.


U-stems, flexible spring cams devices: These devices are excellent for dealing with horizontal climbs and holes. With the thumb and forefinger you can control the trigger on the unit.

Tube chocks Tube chocks are spring devices with telescopic aluminum tubes. With this tube, you squeeze it and force it to contract. Then it is placed in a rock pocket or crack. When you release the unit, the force expands and, therefore, tightens in its position.

In conclusion

When it comes to understanding your list of rock climbing equipment, You will find that there are many teams that are not only excellent and desirable, but also necessary. Much of the list of equipment you create will include elements that you simply can not do without if you plan to approach rock climbing in a safe and sensible manner. The essential elements such as ropes, harnesses, helmets, shoes, carabiners and mats really need to be completed with both active and passive tools that can make climbing safer for you and those you climb with.

Rock Climbing Gear: Equipment Explained for Everyone

When you look for the climbing equipment on your list, do not settle for less than the best: This means getting equipment that is well reviewed and subjected to rigorous testing to ensure that it complies with each and every safety standard.

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