Intro to Rock Climbing Gear

by John Grimes - Date: 2007-09-21 - Word Count: 441 Share This!

When you think of rock climbing, you probably don't think much about the gear involved. After all, what do you really need to climb? If you are taking up the sport, you might be surprised! Let's take a closer look at the gear you are going to need.

The first thing you should consider buying are rock climbing shoes. Climbing shoes are unique in that they fit very snugly and conform to the feet. They are also made with soft, tacky rubber soles that help your feet grip surfaces. Think of a robber ballet shoe and you have the basic idea. You don't have to use them, but they make a world of difference.

Carabiners are the next piece of gear you will need. These are the clamping devices that make everything possible. You can attach things such as ropes, bags and what have you to your harness with carabiners to keep them from falling during the climb.

Your harness is a critical piece of climbing equipment. Harnesses come in many different forms, but generally are stepped into and pulled up to the waist. The run between the legs under each buttocks and around the waist. A good harness provides plenty of support without doing any damage to your back.

The harness is critical because it is your climbing tool belt. Everything you need to climb is carried in the harness. When you run ropes, the harness is hooked on to them with carabiners. Without a harness, you will feel practically naked!

Chalk is a piece of equipment that may not seem to fit at first, but it does. When we talk about chalk in climbing, it comes in a fine dust and is held in a chalk bag hooked onto your harness. As you climb, you will perspire. By dipping your fingers in the chalk bag, you can maintain dry fingers, which helps you gain grip on the vertical surfaces you are dealing with. Even if you are not perspiring, the chalk will increase your grip level.

Finally, you are going to need a rope belay set up. Belaying in climbing simply refers to one person supporting a second climber while they ascend a vertical face. This is done by attaching a rope to the lead climber and then maintaining a loose taughtness on the rope. If the lead climber falls, the rope is pulled tight and the person's fall is terminated.

Climbing is one of those sports that can quickly become addicting. Do it with the right gear and it is something you can do for years and years.

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Related Tags: shoes, bag, equipment, chalk, climbing, rope, rock, tool, belt, harness, carabiners, belay

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