Climbing equipment

Climbing equipment

Internationally-renowned climber, speaker and equipment specialist, Andy Kirkpatrick, writes about equipment which is essential for climbing and other more desirable climbing gear. Everything from bouldering mats, chalk bags, harnesses, helmets and ropes is covered here.

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Bouldering equipment- mats

Bouldering equipment- mats

by Tim Emmett

Bouldering mats are cushioned pads of comfort to absorb the impact of a short fall when you're bouldering and keep you off the dirt and debris. Alternatively, they make great mattresses for a siesta in the afternoon sun, or to recover from the night before.

Climbing equipment- chalk bags

Climbing equipment- chalk bags

by Tim Emmett

What are they and when should you use them?

Climbing equipment - harness

Climbing equipment - harness

by Andy Kirkpatrick

Your harness is the crucial the link between you and the rope. Here's how to choose.

Climbing equipment- accessories

Climbing equipment- accessories

by Andy Kirkpatrick

Once you start buying climbing gear you realise that you have never got enough... Here's what's essential, what's not, and some gadgets, gizmos and weirdness.

Climbing equipment- belaying devices

Climbing equipment- belaying devices

by Andy Kirkpatrick

Here are the five main types of belay device to choose from.

Climbing equipment- helmet

Climbing equipment- helmet

by Andy Kirkpatrick

If you take your safety seriously then you should make wearing a helmet a top priority. In sports like horse riding and mountain biking wearing a helmet is now the norm, and it won't be long until climbers follow suit.

Climbing equipment- locking and belaying karabiners

Climbing equipment- locking and belaying karabiners

by Andy Kirkpatrick

Karabiners - the different types and what they are used for.

Climbing equipment- quickdraws and karabiners

Climbing equipment- quickdraws and karabiners

by Andy Kirkpatrick

After the rope, the humble karabiner (sometimes spelt 'carabiner') is the second most import link in your climbing equipment.

Climbing equipment- ropes/rope bags

Climbing equipment- ropes/rope bags

by Andy Kirkpatrick

Your rope is the key to safe vertical movement. Here's what they're made from and how to choose one.

Traditional climbing equipment- ascenders

Traditional climbing equipment- ascenders

by Andy Kirkpatrick

An ascender is a mechanical rope-climbing tool designed to help you scale steep or difficult ground on a fixed rope. Here's what to use them for, and how.

Traditional climbing equipment- protection

Traditional climbing equipment- protection

by Andy Kirkpatrick

Today the rock climber has a vast array of hardware at their disposal; gear that is lightweight, incredibly strong and easily placed or removed one-handed, even while climbing at one's limit. Here's what you need and why.

Traditional climbing equipment- slings

Traditional climbing equipment- slings

by Andy Kirkpatrick

Slings (or tapes) are invaluable for climbing. Here's what length slings to use for what kind of climbing.

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