5 Must-Have Rock Climbing Accessories for Every Climber

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If you’ve recently discovered rock climbing, you’re in good company. According to the International Federation of Sports Climbing (IFSC), in the United States alone, 1,000 to 1,500 people try rock climbing for the first time EVERY SINGLE DAY! Another 25 million people climb regularly.

When you’re first starting out, you’ll want to make sure you have all of the right equipment and rock climbing accessories. But what types of climbing gear is really necessary, and how do you choose the safest options?

Don’t worry, we have everything you need to know right here!

Rock Climbing Accessories You Absolutely Need

If you only have the money to get the absolute basics, you’ll want to make sure you pick up the following five items.

1. Rock Climbing Shoes

The number one thing every climber needs is a good pair of climbing shoes. Don’t go too crazy with an expensive pair until you have more experience.

When you’re first starting out, choosing climbing shoes doesn’t have to be complicated. Almost every major brand has a pair designed specifically for beginners and any of those options should be fine for your needs.

2. Chalk Bag & Climbing Chalk

Chalkbags come in a ton of fun designs and are fairly inexpensive. You also don’t have to spend a bundle on premium chalk.

If you’re going to climb at a gym, however, make sure you ask if they have any restrictions on the kind of chalk they’ll allow you to use.

3. Harness

If you want to safely get more than a few feet off the ground, a harness is extremely important. When choosing your harness, comfort and fit should be your top priority.

Don’t worry too much about weight or pay for a lot of fancy features until you’re a more experienced climber. Since they’re not too expensive, it’s an easy upgrade, but you’re likely to find that your first one will last you for a long time.

4. Belay Device & Locking Carabiner

A staple in every basic climbing kit, a belay device, and locking carabiner also belong on the beginner’s necessity list.

A tube-style device is best for those starting out, as this is your most versatile option. As your climbing experience progresses and you decide which type of climbing you want to focus on, you’ll likely need a different device to suit your needs. For this reason, you won’t want to over-spend on your first purchase.

5. Helmet

The last piece you really need to invest in is a quality helmet. If you fall and hit your head, a helmet can mean the difference between a minor inconvenience and a catastrophe. Trust us when we say that the $60 to $100 investment is one you won’t want to skip.

A Few Extra Pieces That Are Nice to Have

After you’ve got a few climbs under your belt, you’ll start to see that there are some non-essentials that will make your climb easier and more comfortable. Here are a few more things you’ll want to add to your shopping list.

  • Climbing pack
  • Quickdraws
  • Crashpad
  • Nut tool
  • Climbing rope
  • Slings and carabiners

Once you get your hands on all of the rock climbing accessories you need, you’ll want to look the part! Check out our lookbook for some inspiration.

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