Rock Climbing Supplies: An Overview of Rock Climbing Benefits

The sport of rock climbing is becoming very popular in recent times. Once the domain of professional rescuers and climbers, rock climbing is now within the reach of the casual weekend climber. Rock climbing is also a great way to stay fit by exercising not just all of your muscle groups, ensuring a well-toned body, but also the faculties of concentration, balance, stamina and attention to detail. The very fact that it is now becoming a corporate team-building sport is testament to the fact that it builds character and fosters trust in your climbing partners. It will even be a test of whether you can go the distance and stick with the climb without backing down.

Your Lifeline To A Safe Climb

Without the right equipment, rock climbing can be an extremely dangerous and foolhardy sport. Even though professionals might make it look so easy that you think that the equipment is redundant, the true expert knows that everything depends on how well his equipment can hold up when he really needs it. Rock climbing is not a very expensive sport on an ongoing basis, but it does require considerable investment to begin. A brief look at the kinds of rock climbing supplies that you will need should give you a firsthand idea of the costs involved.

Rock Climbing Supplies: Happy Feet

Shoes are probably the first investment in rock climbing supplies that you will be making. Choosing your rock climbing shoes is a very important step that cannot be taken lightly. Not only will they provide better grip and protection for your feet, they will most certainly make some of the climbs possible. Shoe technology has advanced tremendously, and the models that are now available are specifically designed to increase the friction and control they afford you. A really good pair of climbing shoes should cost you in the neighborhood of $150. They might feel tight and uncomfortable at first, but that's only because they shouldn't allow your feet to slide around inside when you're climbing – that can be dangerous. Besides, the trade-off between safety and comfort will always make it worth the trouble.

Rock Climbing Supplies: Rope Galore

Rope is the next item on your rock climbing supplies list, and lots of it. Good climbing rope is usually made to a kern-mantle design. This consists of in inner core called the kern, where the strength of the rope lies, and the mantle, made of continuously braided nylon fibers. The final effect is a tough sheath covering a strong kern and protecting it from friction, heat and the weather in general. Climbing rope is also minimally elastic, which allows the rope to break the fall of a climber without a sudden jerk that could cut through flesh, break bones or dislocate joints – thing of it as bringing an anti-rag-doll element to rock climbing. Rope is usually available in an eleven mm diameter and a length of about 50 meters, or 165 feet and costs about $150 to $180.

Rock Climbing Supplies: The Missing Link

Carabiners – those crucial rope-securing mechanisms – are your next stop. There are a variety of choices, and what you buy will depend on whether you want added safety, quick rope insertion and release, or symmetry. Carabiners are a very important part of your rock climbing supplies, and are available from $5 to about $20. They should be able to hold at least 1.5 to 2 tons each.

Rock Climbing Piton's And Rotors

If your an avid climber exploring rock faces and cliffs in the wild, hardware is as important as your rope.
A piton, also known as a peg, is essential in the safety of your climb preventing you from falling to your doom in the occurrence of equipment failure. Pitton's, which are jammed into the cracks and crevices of rock faces look like metal spikes with a eye-hole on the end. A carabiner is then attached to the piton acting as another pulley point for your rope.

Depending on the material of your rock climbing supplies and piton's, deformation can occur over time changing the geometry of your hardware. At times, when a piton undergoes deformation while in a rock crack or seam, this can be left for long term use by other climbers. Many famous rock faces have piton's permanently stuck in place from climbers years prior. A piton is as vital to the safety of your climb as any other piece of rock climbing equipment in your arsenal.

Rock climbing camming devices are another piece of hardware that is essential in the safety of your climb. A cam, also known as an SLCD or friend, can be jammed between two rock faces and attached to your carabiner-rope system. When the spring loaded cam is pulled on, the cams expand and generate enough friction and leverage to stay intact between a crack in a rock face. The cams expand when large amounts of force are exerted on the spring which occurs when a rock climber falls. If the spring loaded camming device successfully executes, it may be the difference between falling or being held up. There are a wide variety of camming devices but the most reliable models are the Camalot's made by Black Diamond.

Piton's and camming devices are integral in ensuring the safety of your climb and preventing your climbing system from completely detaching from the desired rock face. Hardware ranges from $50.00 to $500 and can be purchased online or at retail stores such as Mountain Equipment Coop.

Rock Climbing Supplies: Hold On Tight

You will also need a harness to attach yourself to the rope, and to be able to easily hang from it with your weight evenly distributed between your waist and your legs. A good sewn harness will cost between $50 and $80. You will also need to learn how to use a figure eight follow through knot to 'tie in' to the rope with your harness.

Random Rock Climbing Supplies

Other rock climbing supplies include belays, protections, and spring-loaded camming devices, used for descending and to prevent you from falling. Together they'll cost you about another $200 to $300 dollars. With all this equipment in stock, you're now ready for your first rock climbing classes. Enjoy the view.