When you go climbing for the first time you don’t have to worry equipment too much as most indoor climbing walls have kit that you can hire it all.
However once you practise it regularly you will want to buy your own climbing equipment.
You will be using:
- Climbing shoes
- Comfortable clothing
- Chalk bag
- Belay device
Rock Climbing shoes
Climbing shoes protect your feet while providing the friction you need to get a better grip on the climbing wall. Most styles are universal but your climbing ability plays a large role in choosing the correct shoe. For the best performance your climbing shoes should be tight but not painful. If possible, compare and try on a different models based on your climbing skills.
There is clothing that is tailored to the needs of a climber but they are not essential to being able to climb. You just need to make a sure that you have something comfortable. Loose or lycra clothing are viable options but not too baggy because it can get caught in your belay device.
There are several different types of chalk:
Loose chalk- easy to use and you can get the right amount of chalk on your hands. It needs to be put in chalk bag as can be very dusty
Chalk ball - reduces the amount of dust in climbing walls
Liquid soft chalk- ease of use, quick drying, reduces the spread of chalk dust in the climber’s environment.
Choose one big enough to allow you to put your hand in.
If you are just starting out then go for a simple harness with less gear loops (as you won’t be using much). The more advanced you get the more options there are available but they all fundamentally function in the same way. All harnesses have different fitting so make a sure you are choosing the right one for you.
Belay device are safety equipment used to help the belayer control the rope. The Belay device is attached to the harness of the person on the ground using a HMS shaped carabiner with the rope threaded through it to allow for friction.
Large HMS carabiner suitable for belaying. There are a number of options here will different locking mechanisms and other features so go with the one you are happy using.
Climbing walls have ropes for top-rope climbing already in place but when you decide to practice lead climbing you will need to take a rope with you. 25-35m is the norm for indoor ropes as the walls generally won’t be much larger than 12m.
Equipment for kids
While you need all equipment described above your kids will need to use only climbing shoes and harness. You are going to start with full body harness as it makes your kids feel more secure. For a higher security you can use climbing helmet as well. Once your kids grown and advance they can start to learn how to belay others.
Written by Michaela