April 2, 2019
Rock climbing is great exercise and an incredible adrenaline rush. Here are five equipment essentials you can give as gifts to a rock climber. But not only rock climbers need these essentials; anyone who does tree work or rappels to work on boats or wash windows needs the same good equipment. Remember, there are risks with this sport, so get proper training and practice.
Rock Climber Gift Ideas:
1. Climbing Rope
One of the first things a rock climber needs is strong climbing rope. There are two types of climbing rope: static and dynamic. Static rope does not have any give or stretch. Dynamic rope has some give to it. So a fall and sudden stop on a static rope is going to feel different (abrupt halt) than the same experience with a dynamic rope (a bit more bounce). Rope, of course, also comes in a variety of thicknesses, usually measured in millimeters. Get the proper thickness for the type of climbing you will be doing.
The risk of injury is higher in rock climbing, so safety gear is essential. Your climbing harness keeps you tethered to a rope. The harness is essentially a series of webbing loops that go around several key body parts. For example, there are shoulder harnesses, which are often worn by those doing tree work; there are full body harnesses, often worn by kids; and there are regular waist/leg harnesses. Get assistance from an expert to achieve a comfortable and safe fit because you will be spending a lot of time in it.
A helmet protects the climber and anyone below on the ground from head injury in a fall or from falling debris. Styles range from more foam-like models to hard shells. Helmets should have a snug fit but not so tight that it gives you a headache if you’re wearing it all day. All climbing-specific helmets have some form of venting to prevent overheating. This is one of the most critical pieces of safety gear a rock climber should have.
4. Carabiners and Other Devices
Carabiners connect a climber’s harness to the rope, and they’re used to set up anchor points. In a broad sense, carabiners are one of two types: locking or unlocking. An unlocking carabiner allows the gate portion to move any time pressure is applied. A locking carabiner has a mechanism, such as a screw gate, that can prevent the gate from opening.
Belay devices are used to control the rope and improve safety when climbing. A Figure 8 device allows a climber to descend or hold his position, while a device such as the grigri allows a climber to go down, hold a position or go up.
Shoes are the climber’s contact point with the surface. One important aspect is the sole, which provides the needed friction for gripping the surface. Many climbing shoes, for example, come to a more narrow point in the toe portion of the shoe to allow for toeholds. Aside from climbing shoes, approach and bouldering shoes are suitable for hiking and some climbing.
There are more equipment options, such as chalk and chalk bags, but this list should get you off to a good start. For more information about climbing equipment and knots, contact Bill Jackson’s.