Rock climbing is both a fun and challenging hobby, and an excellent workout. Luckily, getting started doesn’t require much equipment. However, these accessories can help you start building or upgrading your rock-climbing kit.
Your needs will be different depending on whether you climb indoors or out, or engage in bouldering or sports climbing. However, there are a few staples that all climbers need. This list of accessories will make your (or your favorite climber’s) experience on the wall far less strenuous and more enjoyable.
If there’s one thing no climber can ever have ever enough of, it’s chalk—unless he or she uses liquid chalk, of course. Some use it to keep their sweaty hands dry, and others to boost their confidence with difficult holds. Regardless, chalk-free hands aren’t a common sight near any climbing wall.
The downside to this, however, is dry, damaged skin on your hands. That’s where FrictionLabs’ chalk comes in. It’s high quality, contains no fillers or toxins, and keeps your hands dry, longer without damaging your skin. Any climber would welcome this as a gift!
Those who are just getting started need two things: a good pair of well-fitted shoes and chalk. But where do you put your chalk? In a chalk bag, of course.
This set is perfect for a beginner. It includes the bag, a small bottle of liquid chalk, and a refillable chalk ball. The latter is often mandatory at many indoor gyms to prevent chalk from flying everywhere.
The best part is the bag has pockets, so you can stash your phone, keys, or anything else you need to keep safe while you’re climbing.
Rock climbing is a very demanding discipline, especially for your hands. Newbies, especially, find that they get many blisters and scratches as they have yet to improve their technique to minimize that kind of damage.
A nourishing hand lotion, like this one by climbOn, can help with that. It’s made of (and packaged with) all-natural ingredients derived from plants and beeswax. You can rub it on cracked skin or very dry patches, like calluses.
climbOn All Purpose Body Lotion Bar | All Natural Moisturizer for Dry Skin | Made From Plants and Organic Beeswax | Hand Cream for Rock Climbing | Original Scent (1 Oz Tin)
A key physical feature of most climbers is a set of well-developed forearms. Because we don’t use our forearm muscles much in everyday life, they quickly become prominent after rock climbing for a while.
Beginners looking to improve their skills, even outside the gym, can benefit from some grip and finger training. These six strengtheners are made of silicone and come in three different difficulty levels to suit everyone’s needs. Additionally, they’re easy to wash and carry in your purse or workout bag. They also make an excellent gift for anyone who’s getting into rock climbing.
Once rock climbers reach more advanced levels, their training often changes. Many focus on improving their ability to hang off the tiniest holds by using hangboards. You’ll generally find these at bouldering gyms.
They come in different shapes and sizes, and while you can buy one to have at home, there are also options for those who like to train outdoors or at the gym. This double hold set of two is perfect, as it takes up little space and is easy to transport.
It also offers different grip depths for varying difficulty levels and ropes to attach these anywhere you want to train.
If bouldering doesn’t cut it, and you’re ready to try something more adventurous, the next step is top-rope climbing. It’s practiced with a partner (known as the belayer), rope, and a couple of essential pieces of gear you’d never need to climb a boulder.
One of these is a harness. You need one to attach yourself to the rope and allow the belayer to pull you up the wall and catch you if you slip. This harness by Black Diamond is ideal for beginners looking for something comfortable and trustworthy enough to get them started on this new journey.
As a belayer, you spend all your time checking your partner’s progress up the wall. You follow their every move, make suggestions if welcomed, and do your best to soften their fall if they slip. For belayers, neck pain and strain are pretty common.
Cue belay glasses. Instead of standard lenses, belay glasses have small mirrors positioned to reflect what’s happening above you, so you don’t constantly have to look up. They take a little getting used to, but the pain they’ll help you avoid is worth it!
The key piece in a top-rope setup is the device that connects your harness to the rope because a tight knot is nowhere near enough. It’s made of two components: a carabiner that hooks directly onto your harness and an ATC device.
Anyone who’s getting started in this discipline and trying to set up their top-rope kit will undoubtedly benefit from this ATC device and locking carabiner combo. They’re both top-quality products that will get the job done safely.
GM CLIMBING Micro Belay Device Tubular V-grooved or Belay Package EN 15151-2 UIAA Certified (Orange Belay)
A great alternative to an ATC device is a Grigri. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced climber, you can benefit immensely from using a Grigri for belaying.
This device was specifically designed to assist the belayer in handling the rope, giving him or her better control. It also provides more safety, as it can help break a fall with the slight pull of a lever—something an ATC device doesn’t offer.
Petzl GRIGRI Belay Device - Belay Device with Cam-Assisted Blocking for Sport, Trad, and Top-Rope Climbing - Blue
Rock climbing is tons of fun, but there are many other reasons why people get into it. Whether you’ve been doing it for ages or are just getting started, the right tools are essential. Any (or all) of these items can help you step up your game or just make rock climbing even more enjoyable.