Climbing Equipment & Safety Guide

25th May 2015

Rock climbing is a sport in which the climbing equipment will play a crucial role. Your own safety depends on the quality of the equipment and its proper use.

Harnesses climbing-harnesses

A Harness is used for rock climbing, which costs about £30-80. Slightly padded harnesses offer more comfort but usually these are more expensive.

Tip! Be sure the waist belt sits above your hips. Before purchasing a harness, try it on a climbing wall, if it is available at the shop.  On the leg loops have to be loose. You should be able to fit a hand on it. You should be able to hang in a harness without any pain, pressure on the bones and muscles. Important! There are different locking mechanisms. Please read carefully the manufacturer’s instruction before using a climbing harness.

Climbing Shoes

womens-climbing-shoesIndispensable equipment for any sort of climbing is shoes. The following three points have to be considered before purchasing a product.

There are four different types of climbing shoes on the market. The ballerinas or slippers are too soft for beginners, but the price is attractive due to the simple design. The laced and firm soled shoes should be the model of choice for beginners – alternatively there is the Velcro strip instead of laces. Climbing shoes have to sit tightly, because otherwise the tip of a shoe can bend away and you can’t stand safely on small edges. Too tight climbing shoes can become easily a painful nightmare. Ensure that your climbing shoes fit well in your feet: the toes should be slightly bent and the shoe should not press.

Chalk bag

A chalk bag is a small bag, which is worn around the waist. In this bag you will find a Magnesia, a product which absorbs the sweat of the fingers and ensures a better grip. This is not absolutely necessary, if you are climbing on a wall for beginners. The magnesia is essential for semi-professionals and professionals though. Size, shape and colour are a matter of taste. I personally prefer the chalk bag with a thin cord to tie around the waist. So you can easily move him to the side. But you can attach it to the belt by using a carabiner.

Rope

On the packaging, you can find an information on diameter, length, falls, weight and height of the impact force and details of the rope elongation in use. In addition to price and length, the numberclimbing-ropes of standard falls is an important selling point. An impregnation against moisture and dirt is not absolutely necessary for the purpose of sport climbing. Important is a length of 60m or more, so you can safely climb the top rope. Stay away from the new, very thin ropes (< 9.7 mm ). It requires extreme hand strength and experience to deal with these ropes safely. Check out our wide range of climbing ropes here.

Carabiner

carabinersA carabiner is used to connect a harness with a rope or slings with hooks.  There are several types of carabiners: a normal carabiner can be connected usually with a short sling to a Quick Draw. Quick Draws have a straight gate on the hook side. Once the sling is on, you can rotate the carabiner in the loop. The other side of the gate is bent, to facilitate the hanging. The carabiner is often fixed with a rubber in order to prevent rotation. Quick Draws are available in various lengths. The strengths are indicated on the carabiner and all of them must have printed the UIAA standard note.

Belay Devices

The simplest type of protection is via carabiner and HMS nodes. Unfortunately, the rope abrades quite quickly. Therefore, other methods have been preferred. The easiest way to learn and cheapest is a tuber. This can also be used for rappelling. Attention! The braking effect of the device are very different, test it in the store.

Helmet

It is an indispensable piece of equipment. By wearing a quality climbing helmet you increase you safety and decrease the risk of being hit and getting a severe head and brain damage. Wearing a helm is a must inclimbing-helmets the mountains. Hard shell helmets are less sensitive and foam helmets are much lighter.

Minimal equipment indoor climbing

Harness, rope (provided in some halls), carabiner, belay device, climbing shoes, chalk bag

Minimal equipment climbing on the rocks

Strap , 60m rope, quickdraws 8-12 , 2 carabiners , belay device, 2 tape loops, climbing shoes, chalk bag , helmet depending on the area.

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