Rock Climbing Equipment – The Basic Elements Required at Every Level

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Since rock climbing equipment has seen advancement in its safety features, many people show their interest into performing this sport and reach mountain routes they have never imagined of reaching. Due to the newly introduced techniques into bolting and Cams creation, rock climbing has become a more accessible sport to many categories of climbers.

Here is a quick overview of the basic elements that make for a rock climbing equipment regardless if this one is for climbing walls in gyms or the real thing out there in nature:

  • Each type of climbing will require harness, climbing shoes, as well as chalk bag – although this can be seen as an optional detail. This is also valid for the indoor top rope climbing.
  • When you are involved in sports climbing, there are more elements introduced to your equipment aside from those pieces described above, such as: belay device, dynamic climbing rope, sling that has an attached carabiner, helmet, quickdraws and 4 carabiners (that have long slings for anchoring).
  • For the trad climbing there are pieces of protection included that will have to be set inside the rock such as SLCDs (Spring Loaded Camming Devices), nuts (wires), and hexes (this one is in accordance to each climber’s preference).

These elements will be described in more detail as follows:

  • The harness – is very diversified but it is basically created to hold your upper body in an upright position providing attachment point for the climbing ropes.
  • Climbing shoes – are specially designed to use smaller foot-holds when doing the rock climbing.
  • Chalk bag – is usually carried to be applied on the hands and prevent them from slipping away when clinging to a crag.
  • Dynamic climbing rope – is called this way because it is designed to absorb the force from fall.
  • Helmet – is obviously destined to protect your skull from rocks that may fall or gear that drops from the climber ahead of you.
  • Belay device – is designed to offer more friction to arrest a fall from the person who is climbing.
  • Quickdraws – are pre-rigged carabiners with which you can clip the rope as you climb further.
  • Nuts/Hexes – are pieces destined to offer protection that can be set by you into the rock.
  • Slings – are strong strings of nylon and you make use of them with any part of your climbing, especially with those parts when you need protection. It is important to mention that they are not dynamic but rather static therefore they cannot absorb force.

All these elements are only the basic ones included with a rock climbing equipment, but you must always get properly informed about any other parts that may be of use for your climbing experience.


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