Essential rock climbing gear to get started in the sport
Climbing, Gear Reviews

Essential rock climbing gear to get started in the sport

Rock climbing can seem intimidating to a beginner, but with the right stuff, you can get started and have fun in no time.

Ok, let’s get you started on the rock climbing gear you will need. Showing up at a gym or popular climb spot and seeing experienced climbers jangling with gear and carabiners, defying gravity as if it’s nothing, is enough to make newbies turn tail and run. If that doesn’t do it, looking at the price tag the first time that you go out to buy gear might.

However, buying your first set of rock climbing gear does not have to be daunting or break the bank. Here is a guide to the essential tools that you will need when you are first starting in the sport of rock climbing.

Choosing the best rock climbing gear

Whether you are hanging from a gym wall several feet in the air or clinging to a precipice out in the wild, you want to be sure that your gear will not give out on you. That is why it is best to buy new gear as opposed to used so that you know exactly where it’s been and what damage it’s taken.

You can also get advice on reliable brands from other climbers, or reliable sources such as ours! 😉

Climbing Shoes

Proper shoes are the first and most important piece of rock climbing gear that you will want to purchase. A shoe that is properly fitted to your foot will make you more secure in your climbing, as opposed to sweaty, floppy rentals.

There are many different types of climbing shoes with different closures and bends. Depending on your climbing style, different types of climbing shoes may fit you best. For example, flatter soles are better if you plan to take on milder climbs at the beginning.

The best way to test that you are getting the right climbing shoes is to try them on in the store. They should fit more tightly than your average sneaker, but not so tight that your toes lose circulation. If you can, try to climb a bit in the store before purchasing them as many climbing stores have walls where you can test them out (don’t climb on the shelves, we don’t advise that).


Another essential piece of rock climbing gear is a harness. A harness is a particularly important piece of equipment if you are looking to start climbing at a level that goes beyond a few turns at the local gym. You use the harness to tether onto a climbing rope, which can be used for belaying (when someone stands below you) or other types of climbing.

Tarantula Climbing Shoe

The right harness should fit snugly. If it fits too loosely, you’re going to have a very wriggly climb, but if it fits too tightly, you’re going to be uncomfortable. It should also have plenty of loops and clips to attach other gear, such as belay plates and a carabiner. Finally, a good harness should have padding; after a while, those straps can chafe!

Climbing rocks is always more fun with a buddy!


Every good climber has a carabiner or five. There are a few different types. If you are planning to belay while climbing, you will need a locking carabiner to connect to your belay loop. The most common one is the HMS type, which is shaped like a pear and comes in a few varieties based on the locking mechanism.

If you are hoping to climb outdoors, you should also get a wiregate carabiner, whose closure consists of a loop of wire made out of stainless steel. These are best for outdoor climbing because they withstand extreme weather conditions and shock during a fall better.

Vapor Aluminum Carabiner - Straight Gate Nonlocking
AMP Vapor Aluminum Carabiner – Straight Gate Nonlocking
Essential rock climbing gear to get started in the sport

Safety Equipment

Last but not least, you want to stock up on equipment that will keep you safe. Rock climbing is a fun sport, but you can never forget that it is also dangerous.

Every climber is covered in white powder — chalk, that is. Chalk is an essential part of your rock climbing gear because it dries out your hands and helps you improve your grip. You can get loose chalk or block chalk in several varieties. You should also get a bag to carry your chalk.

Finally, don’t forget to get a helmet, particularly if you’re climbing outdoors. Helmets can save your life, and it is better to feel silly wearing one than to regret not having one. A hard shell or impact-absorbing foam helmet are both good choices.

Gathering Your Gear

Now that you know what you will need to get started on rock climbing, let us help you stock up. You can get everything you need to start your climbing career at our shop, where we only carry reliable products that are tried and tested by fellow climbers. If you have a friend who is also interested in climbing, send this article to them! After all, climbing rocks is always more fun with a buddy.

Gear up for your next rock climbing trip at Extreme Outfitters

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