Rock climbing is a sport but at the same time, it’s an excellent workout. It’s the ideal choice for someone that’s looking for an adrenaline rush. Rock climbing can be done outdoors but also in an indoor climbing gym. Either way, one must be fully equipped because as fun as rock climbing is, it’s also dangerous, especially for beginners.
Rock Climbing Steel Carabiners
A carabiner is a small tool but one of utmost importance when it comes to rock climbing. People that climb rocks defy gravity and the carabiners are the ones that hold all the equipment in place and allow the gravity-defying to happen in the first place. Carabiners are made of steel and come in different shapes and sizes. There are two types of steel carabiners: basic clip/wire carabiners and carabiners with a locking system.
Rock climbers mostly use clip/wire carabiners for attaching gear onto their harness although they are strong enough to hold the rope as well. Quickdraws are also made of clip/wire carabiners and they serve as reinforcement and make sure the rope doesn’t get tangled around the climber during the actual climbing. Clip/wire steel carabiners for climbing are very easy to use and it only takes one simple move for the climber to attach or detach something from them.
Carabiners with a locking system are considered to be the safest option for climbing. Instead of a basic clip, locking carabiners have a clip that can be twisted and locked in place so that the gear or the rope stay safely attached.
There’s one more thing that defines the functionality of the climbing carabiners and that’s their shape and size. The shape of the climbing carabiner has a lot to do with the major axis strength, load distribution, capacity and overall strength of the carabiner in certain positions. D-shaped carabiners and pear-shaped carabiners are the ones with the strongest axis and they’re ideal for climbing, belaying and rappelling, unlike oval carabiners that are heavier and prone to malfunction.
The weight of each rock climbing clip is also very important. Climbers use more than one carabiner so they need to be lightweight. Otherwise, they will weigh the climber down and that’s something to be avoided.
Harness and Ropes
The rock climbing harness goes around the thighs and waist of the climber. It’s the link between the climber, the ropes and the rest of the equipment. The harness is a must. Climbing without a harness is impossible and very dangerous. Climbing harnesses are made from strong materials and have soft padding that ensures the climber feels nothing but comfort. Climbing harnesses come in sizes but they can further be adjusted on-site so that they fit perfectly.
Climbing ropes are either dynamic or static. Dynamic ropes stretch and are ideal for climbing and rappelling. They absorb impact nicely and are especially useful in situations where climbers suddenly fall. The static ropes on the other hand are mostly used for rescue operations. Climbers can use a single or two half rope. Single ropes are ideal for beginners while half ropes are meant for experienced climbers that have mastered the rock climbing techniques.
Backpack for Rock Climbing
Climbers need to store all the equipment they use in something. For that reason, a backpack/bag is necessary. Hiking bags are the ideal choice for rock climbers. They have a big capacity and are made from strong and durable materials. After all, they need to be suitable for the rough outdoor conditions.
Bags and backpacks for hiking come in sizes. You can pick a small one if you don’t plan on carrying a lot of stuff in it or a large backpack. Large backpacks have a capacity of 76l give or take. Unlike regular backpacks, hiking backpacks are reinforced. All the load-bearing points are triple stitched and the fabric itself is super strong and able to endure heavy load.
Hiking backpacks and outdoor backpacks, in general, have an ergonomic design and are very comfortable for hikers and rock climbers to wear on their backs. The backside of these backpacks is made of soft foam that’s absorbent and at the same time allows air to circulate. That way even if the climber happens to carry the backpack for a long period of time, he’ll stay dry. Another cool feature is the waist strap. Hiking bags with waist straps are much easier for a person to carry since the weight of the bag is evenly distributed. So, if you’re facing a choice always go for the bag with a waist strap.
Investing in a quality hiking backpack is a really smart move. You’ll have a bag on which you can rely and a place where you can store all your climbing gear. Hiking bags are made to last, so once you acquire yours, you’ll have it for years to come. Also, you’ll find the multiple compartments hiking bags have very useful because you’ll be able to organize your gear properly and finally with everything assembled you can commit fully to climbing.
Rock climbing is not the safest activity you can undertake. That’s why you need to protect yourself as much as you can and avoid getting seriously injured. You can start by wearing a rock climbing helmet. Rock climbing helmets have a hard outer shell that protects from impact and a second layer made of thick foam. They’re lightweight and have a strap that goes under your chin which helps to keep the helmet in place. With the helmet on you’ll be protected from getting hurt if you fall as well as from rocks that might fall from above. Rock climbing helmets come in sizes and you need to get your size right because otherwise, the helmet won’t be as functional.
Rock Climbing Shoes
Rock climbing shoes have sticky soles. Unlike regular shoes, rock climbing shoes provide climbers with good traction and improve their performance. They are tight-fitting but still comfortable to wear. The proper way to wear climbing shoes is without socks on. Ideally, you should try the shoes on before buying because every person is different and what works for one might not work for other. You need a proper fit when it comes to your shoes. Then again, the choice of rock climbing shoes is enormous and you’ll for sure find the perfect pair for you.