Rock climbing is surely not an activity that everybody can indulge in. However, with more and more people taking an interest to explore the terrain around them, there is an increase in interest in the sport of rock climbing. Whether you are either a rock-climbing kind of person or you are not or ‘testing the waters’ get geared up and get the adrenaline boost of climbing in the great outdoors.
Unlike most exercises, rock climbing is not something that you just on a whim. you need the right preparation and the right gear to ensure you have a fun and safe climbing experience. Check out some of the essentials listed below for you to get started with.
Rock Climbing Essentials
Rock climbing shoes
Just like any other sport, there are specific shoes available for the purpose of rock climbing. They generally come with a tight fit to promote maximum performance and allow you to employ the smaller holds. These shoes are not made to be comfortable for walking and best left for climbing only. It is crucial that you invest in the best rock climbing shoes that you can afford to ensure the best grip and safety. Some of the renowned climbing shoes brands are La Sportiva, Scarpa and Tenaya Tarifa.
Climbing harness and ropes
Climbing harnesses and ropes should be of the best quality and in good condition. Even the best of cords get weak over time. The harness should not dig into you and should be comfortable to fit over all of your layers of clothing and gear. Before you decide which climbing harness to buy, be sure you know which surface you are climbing on and whether it is granite, sandstone, limestone or ice. This will get you towards the right harness for you. Climbing harness and ropes should be chosen with different parameters in mind like climbing harness sizing and whether it is a full-body climbing harness or the regular half-body kind. Rock climbing ropes in a wide variety, so be sure about what exactly do you want.
A good quality helmet is of great importance. Invest in the best quality of helmet that you can lay your hands on, because this is not the area to skim over. It will potentially end up saving your life. Try to buy a helmet which has a lamp on it, so that you get access to the best visibility and you can see everything clearly, even the sun is low and for shaded areas. Also, ensure that you get fitted to get the helmet which fits snugly on your head, as you don’t want it to be too loose or too tight. This might be distracting and not get a good job in terms of safety. You can choose rock climbing helmets from brands like Petzl and Simond.
A belay device is a technical piece of climbing gear used mainly to control a rope during climbing. However, this is created to ensure the safety of the climber by enabling the climbing to complete the task in a more relaxed and stress-free manner and with minimum effort. These devices act as a resistance brake in order the break the fall of the climber, so it is required to buy the best quality belay device you can get your hands on. In fact, the belay device helps by creating tension on the rope, thereby protecting the climber and ensuring climbing safety. There three types of belay devices that you can choose from are tubular, assisted braking or figure 8.
A carabiner is a particular form of restraint. It looks like a metal loop with a spring gate and is a safety system to help the climber in case the climber needs to hold any of his gears like rope, the belay device, etc. It is mainly a utility hook to help the climber keep his things in reach. There are three basic variants of carabiner namely the auto locking, manual locking, and non-locking kind. Different acts of climbing necessitates different variations of carabiners. Hence, it is crucial to understand the differences between them all and make the most informed decision. In fact, you can go this by considering three different factors like shape, gate type, size, weight and strength. You can decide on which carabiner to buy by assessing what kind of climbing you are potentially doing.
Ascenders are climbing devices used for ascending on a rope. This essentially means that it allows the rope to slide smoothly in a particular direction. However, it will be tight when tugged in the opposite direction, locking it for security. Usually, two ascenders are used to climb a fixed rope. There is also a variant of ascender which enables the robe to move either way but locks up with the rope moves too slowly.
Rock climbing doesn’t necessarily have to be done in the wild. In fact, there are various indoor rock climbing classes which have come up. Besides, these rock climbing gyms allow you to hone your skills in a protected environment, with facing any perilous challenges. Whether you do rock climbing as a leisure activity or are serious about it, several health benefits come with the sport. It provides one with various physical benefits like boosting endurance and building muscle flexibility.
Along with physical perks, there are certain mental benefits. Rock climbing is known to keep stress under wraps and builds your mental strength. In fact, it forces you to step over your fears and conquer them. However, to do the same, you will need to have the proper gear. This will prepare you for the unprecedented trouble which might crop up. By doing it without the proper gears can land you in more trouble than good. Investing you in the few basics will save you from potential danger and allow for an amazing rock climbing experience.