What’s the perfect weather for rock climbing? Warm sunny days? Well, you don’t have to worry about the weather. Whether it is a warm summer sunny day or a storm is closing in, why not go for indoor rock climbing. It is a perfect place for rock climbing enthusiasts all year round.
If you’re a beginner looking to polish up your climbing skills or add it to your list of hobbies, indoor rock climbing is the perfect place to start. You will probably sign up for a climbing gym that’ll provide you with the essential rentals, but you will also need to get your climbing gear sorted out.
You may be wondering what gear and equipment you need to purchase or rent for you to get started. So, here’s our very own guide on all the basic equipment you’d need for an excellent day of indoor climbing.
A perfect pair of athletic shoes is essential in any sport. Most of the sports out there require you to wear a pair of shoes to provide comfort, for protection, and aid you in the kind of sport you want to partake in. Just like any other sport, the number one equipment you need to have in indoor rock climbing is a pair of shoes.
Once you browse through your favourite athletic shops, you may notice that there is a wide range of rock climbing shoes available at your disposal. Still, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can choose whichever shoes you like according to its aesthetic. The pair of shoes that you will get needs to compliment the type of discipline you want to pursue in rock climbing.
Rock climbing shoes are specially designed for rock surfaces. The shoes have a stick and smooth rubber sole constructed for sticking to vertical walls rather than walking on the horizontal, solid, ground. It also needs to have a tight, perfect fit on your shoes as you will soon find out that you need to use your toes which will help the climbers to stick their foot in footholds within the rock surfaces.
The next essential piece of equipment in rock climbing is the harness. Harnesses keep you safe and tie you to the climbing rope whenever you climb. Harnesses are used in every type of rock climbing except for Bouldering which does not use any climbing harness or rope.
Climbing harnesses are composed of the padded and reinforced waist belt and leg loops which can be adjusted to fit any size. As such, these are placed around your waist and on your legs for total support. Traditionally, climbing harnesses are needed to be double-backed for added safety. Much of the accidents and fatalities that happen are due to the lack of double backing. Fortunately, new harnesses these days contain “speed buckles”. These are buckles used for added safety, so you no longer need to double-back your harnesses.
Belay devices are another essential equipment in rock climbing as this device promotes the safety of the climber. The belay device is attached to the harness of the climber on the ground which is secured by the belayer. It is then attached to the locking carabiner and turns clips to the belay loop in the harness. Because of the friction that the belay device is creating, the belayer will be able to control the speed of the rope that is attached to the climber.
There are two types of the belay device.: Tubular which is also known as the ATCs and Self-Breaking Device. ATC is the most common type of belay device as it is used from indoors to outdoors and even multi-pitch rock climbing. The other type is the Self-Breaking Device which is also known as Assisted Braking Device. It has an additional mechanism that when a sudden force is applied such as sudden fall of the climber, it locks automatically to the rope preventing the climber from falling even further.
Chalk Bag and Chalk
As climbers tend to sweat a lot during the activity, they result in having sweaty and slippery hands which sometimes makes it impossible for them to get a good grip along the surfaces. Chalk bags and chalk is what does the trick. It keeps that climbers hand dry in the event of excessive sweating. The chalk is usually made up of Magnesium Carbonate and comes in different forms: loose, block, eco, and liquid chalk.
Loose chalk is your basic powdered chalk similar to talc. It can be pure chalk only, or you can find some with additional drying agents. However, you can find different consistencies of loose chalk. This is sometimes preferred as you can control the texture of the chalk.
Block chalk is the same as loose chalk that only comes in the form of a block. You can also pulverize block chalk to achieve your desired consistency.
Eco chalk is a type of colourless chalk. It is designed not to leave any marks of climbing surfaces of indoor gyms. You may notice that some gyms may require this kind of chalk as it is more convenient and hygienic since it does not leave any traces from the previous climbers.
Liquid chalk is a combination of powdered chalk and alcohol. It gives the same absorption as soon as the alcohol dries up. The only downside to this type of chalk is that it is messy as it leaves traces of chalk behind.