Appropriate apparel is a necessity when climbing. While comfort is important, safety must be a primary concern when selecting clothing. Clothing must fit in a way so as not to be excessively loose. It must also provide a good fit for your safety harness. You'll also want to make sure that the clothing you select is weather-proof. Since weather conditions while climbing can change very rapidly, this is an important consideration. Stores like Sierra Trading Post and The North Face offer good climbing apparel.
Realize That Layers Are Important
Layers are essential to keeping you warm when climbing. Wearing layered clothing provides better protection from the elements than simply a heavy outer garment. These layers help your muscles work more efficiently while providing good insulation. The base layers should be made of material that effectively pulls sweat away from the body.
Your pants should be especially durable since your legs might bump or rub against the rocks. By minimizing the amount of sweat, you'll stand less of a chance of becoming chilled. If you avoid becoming chilled, you'll have less of a chance of developing hypothermia.
Choose Effective Outerwear
The type of outerwear that you use while climbing will also impact your comfort level. A fleece jacket should be worn between your outer waterproof jacket and your base layers. This provides climbers with extra warmth, in addition to waterproofing. While a fleece jacket is sufficient for cooler temperatures, a waterproof jacket is also needed in case of sudden temperature changes.
The jacket that you select to use should be designed especially for climbing. Most of these have layered shells that make them ideal for climbing even in the coldest conditions. Mittens or gloves made from waterproof material should always be included. They help protect your hands against injuries from rocks, as well as frostbite. A hoodie or close-fitting cap will guard against heat loss through your head. Caps that can fall off easily should be avoided. You'll need to remember that your headgear will need to fit under a helmet.
Proper Shoes or Boots Are Essential
Besides protecting your feet from jagged rocks, shoes or boots designed for climbing provide more stability. Shoes used for everyday wear, such as sneakers, fail to provide the balance that's needed when climbing. Unless you're absolutely sure where you'll be climbing, choose a pair of shoes that are ideal for different types of climbing situations. Remember that not only will you be climbing different types of surfaces, you'll also be in situations where rain or snow could occur with little or no warning.
You should have room to flex your toe area, and the shoes should fit nicely without pinching. Each type of shoe will have different types of fasteners, such as laces, velcro, zippers, or hooks and loops. Some shoes are of a slip-on design, without any fasteners. The types of fasteners your shoes use will be mostly a matter of choice. The shoes should always feel comfortable when all fasteners, if any, are in place.