Rock Climbing Gear Guide – Tips for Buying Gear for Beginners
Rock climbing can be a challenging sport that is a great way to build strength, develop puzzle-solving skills and focus body awareness. If you’re thinking about taking on this sport, the first thing you may need to get started is the right climbing equipment. Because rock climbing can take you to dramatic heights, it’s important that you have the right gear to stay safe. Luckily, many rock climbers regularly upgrade their gear, and it’s often easy to find high-quality used gear at low prices. Here’s a look at how to buy used rock climbing equipment to help you get started on the rocks.
One of the key parts of rock climbing gear is your harness. When buying a harness, check for overall quality and ensure that nothing is overly worn or loose. It is vital to your safety that the harness is able to support you and is not compromised in any way. Once a basic check is done, look to see if the leg straps are adjustable, how many loops you have for clipping on gear, and how breathable and well-padded the straps are.
Your climbing rope system is also a key part of ensuring safe climbs. When shopping for a used climbing rope, inspect the rope carefully for any damage or abrasions. Ask about its history, especially how old it is, how often it was used and whether it has withstood any significant falls. Major falls, such as when you fall further than your belayer’s position, can compromise a rope, but slight falls would be normal use. If the rope has only been used every other month or so, it can last up to seven years, but if it has been used daily, it should only be used for three months, so the history of the rope is important. You can also buy ascenders and descenders, pulleys and belay devices used, but check these carefully to ensure proper mechanical operation.
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Climbing shoes may also be found used, but pay careful attention to sizing to find a pair that feel comfortable on your feet. Be sure to try them on and see how they feel on your feet before buying. Check the soles for wear and any visible damage. Crampons can be a good item to buy used as well, but check their sharpness and invest in a pair that have little wear and plenty of grip left.
Carabiners are also a great piece of basic must-have equipment to look for used. While simple carabiners can be bought new inexpensively, you may be able to find higher quality ones at equally low prices used. While carabiner preferences are different from climber to climber, keep an eye out for D-shaped carabiners, as they are the strongest shape, and look for ones with large gates, which make them easier to maneuver.
Helmets are important to buy new to ensure that you have a perfect fit, and that they have never been compromised or damaged by a fall.
With this guide to finding used rock climbing equipment, you’ll be ready to hit the cliffs in no time. When shopping for used equipment, always inspect pieces carefully for use and err on the side of safety. Invest in equipment that has been well cared for.