Basic rock climbing equipment
Q. What kind of basic equipment do I need to go rock climbing with some friends?
— Bouldering Brandon, via email
A. If you’re headed to a climbing gym, it’s easy: Most gyms rent everything you need. If you’ll be climbing outdoors, your friends might already have all of the ropes, carabiners and belay devices for the group, so that means you’ll need only a few things.
First, get a climbing helmet like the Petzl Elios ($66; petzl.com). (A bike helmet won’t work because it’s not designed to protect you from falling rocks and such.) Next, you’ll need a climbing harness. It’s basically a waist belt with loops; it lets you attach yourself to the climbing rope. Look for a basic model like the Black Diamond Alpine Bod ($40; blackdiamondequipment.com). Climbing shoes would be nice, but for your first time, regular athletic shoes or light hikers will work just fine. Be sure to wear pants that are slightly loose to give your legs plenty of mobility. Have fun, and climb safely!
If you are going ice climbing you’ll need an ice axe and some crampons, depending on the altitude your climbing at you might need an oxygen tank, don’t worry though it’s still great!
Well you will obviously need good rope, carabiners, belay/rappel devices. But some stuff that you wouldn’t always think of is plenty of webbing and chalk. Webbing is used to secure anchors, tie a sort of Swiss-Seat tied harness, and many more things. Chalk is used to keep your hands dry. Have fun and be safe