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Basic Rock Climbing Gear

We’ve all seen rock climbers on television or in the movies. Climbing rocks and cliffs take skill and endurance. In case you were thinking about taking up rock climbing, a listing of the necessary equipment is outlined below.

Shoes: You can’t wear your everyday hiking boots to climb a rock. Your shoe should be stiff and fit like a glove. Snug but not too tight. Because comfort is a concern, it’s best not to mail order shoes for rock climbing, you’ll definitely want to try them on first.

Harness: A harness is worn for safety and attaches to a rope so you won’t fall off the rock. Your sales associate will help you find a harness that fits properly, but you’ll want to be sure the harness fits comfortably around your thighs and waist.

Carbiners: These are actually hooks. You’ll use these to attach different items to your harness.

Helmet: This very important piece of rock climbing equipment will protect your head from falling debris. It will also guard you against bumps and bruises if you should happen to bang against a wall. This may in fact, be the most important piece of rock climbing equipment you own. Make sure you try on your helmet prior to purchasing and that it fits comfortably.

Chalk: Rubbed on your hands, chalk will help you grip rocks. Comes in powdered or ball form.

Chalk Bag: Holds chalk and attaches to your harness.

Rope: Rope should be 10 or 11 millimeters in diameter and 50 to 60 meters long and should be able to stretch a bit under tension to protect a climber in the event of a fall.

Belay Device: This is used to hold a climber’s rope. It helps the belayer protect the climber.

If you’re interested in rock climbing but don’t know where to start, be sure to do your research. Not only are there plenty of books available, but there are articles all over the internet. It’s strongly urged that you take lessons with an experienced instructor. If you’re unsure of the proper equipment, your instructor or experienced sales person can help you with this. It’s better to pay extra money to ensure safety than get seriously injured or worse because you don’t know what you’re doing.