Climbing Equipment: Beginner’s Guide

Safety is the most important aspect of climbing. Before starting rock climbing, it is essential to receive training and advice. It is recommended to spend at least a year learning how to climb and use the equipment properly. Do not skimp on time or resources to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills before venturing into climbing. Your safety and that of your climbing partners depend on it.

Basic Climbing Equipment

If you have been practicing bouldering all year and want to try rock climbing, for your first purchase you only need a harness, a helmet, and climbing shoes. With these three items, you can ensure your own safety and that of others.

Points to Consider When Choosing a Climbing Harness

  1. Make sure the harness has a UIAA certification (International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation) or CE, which ensures that the harness meets safety standards.
  2. Choose a harness that fits comfortably to your body. Try different brands and models to find the one that best suits your anatomy. It should fit above your waist and provide the best weight distribution.
  3. Ensure that the harness has enough anchor points for your equipment. Modern harnesses usually have at least four gear loops, but depending on your climbing style, you may need more.
  4. Consider the cost and durability of the harness. More expensive harnesses often have additional features, such as more adjustments and gear loops. However, if you are just starting out, it may be wiser to opt for a more affordable but reliable model.

Essential Features Your Climbing Helmet Should Have

  1. Safety: The main consideration when choosing a climbing helmet is safety. The helmet should be designed specifically for climbing and meet relevant safety standards (e.g., CE). Ensure that the helmet has good impact absorption and covers the head well.
  2. Fit: The helmet should fit comfortably on the head without being too tight or too loose. It should cover the entire head and fit properly at the forehead and nape. It is also important that the helmet has an easy-to-use adjustment system to ensure a secure fit.
  3. Ventilation: A well-ventilated helmet is important to avoid heat buildup and excessive sweating on the head. Ensure that the helmet has adequate ventilation holes to allow good air circulation.
  4. Visibility: The color of the helmet can help improve the climber’s visibility in low-light conditions. Consider a bright or reflective helmet for greater visibility.
  5. Durability: The helmet should be durable and resistant to impacts, abrasions, and other damage. Look for a helmet made of high-quality materials that has a good reputation for durability.

How to Choose Climbing Shoes: Tips and Recommendations

It is often recommended to use climbing shoes that are the same size or even a bit smaller than your regular shoe size. However, when it comes to choosing climbing shoes for beginners, the most important thing is to feel comfortable and secure on your feet. While a proper fit is essential to achieve maximum precision and pressure on rock holds, this is a journey that may take some time, but your feet will thank you.

Our recommendation is to start with a pair of affordable climbing shoes that fit comfortably and adapt well to your feet. It is important to wear them enough for your feet to get used to and for you to gain confidence on the rock. Once you have gained more experience, you can start looking for shoes with a more pronounced curvature that allow you to achieve greater precision on holds.

For more information on climbing shoes and other useful tips, visit our review of the best climbing shoes of 2024 at this link.

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