There is a sense of exhilaration and accomplishment when you pull yourself over the edge of a summit you have been climbing. Whether this is at a training centre, or on an actual climbing spot, nothing is more important than the integrity of your climbing and safety equipment.
There must be no compromise on the equipment you carry, in terms of necessity and quality. Take a look at some of the important gear you should have:
Climbing Helmet: You should choose a helmet that provides protection and comfort. Rock climbing enthusiasts like you need to protect your heads if you lose grip and bang into a rock face, or end up tilted at odd angles. Select one that you will be comfortable in for long hours.
Climbing Harness: There are different kinds of harnesses available such as:
- Gym harnesses: These are available in a range of simple as well as high-end versions. The most basic is suitable for indoor rock climbing. Others such as the double back waist belt buckle or the thin belay harnesses are great when you want to get in and out of them quickly and carry minimum weight on you.
- Traditional Harnesses: These are generally light and comfortable, but need more gear than required by gym harnesses. They come with features such as adjustable leg loops, gear loops, durable padding for lumbar, etc. Ice and mixed harnesses are available to deal with extreme climes.
- Alpine harnesses: These may be used in most seasons and are flexible.
- Specialized harnesses: These are created for unique climbing styles such as competitive climbing, canyoneering, big wall climbing or rescues.
Belay Device: This is a device that grabs hold of you if you slip and fall, preventing a fatal accident. It is also used to give you a breather when climbing. These devices come in three forms:
- Tube, usually used by novice climbers.
- Auto-blocking, a slightly advanced version of the tube.
- Assisted braking which is popular among climbers because it has a mechanism that grabs a rope if a climber slips.
Climbing Ropes: These are ropes that help you gain leverage as you move up a rock face. Dynamic ropes are most preferred as they stretch, which is good if you fall, as it reduces the shock on your body.
Knowing what you need and getting comfortable with your climbing equipment before you use it in the field is a good idea.