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.
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.
What are they and when should you use them?
Your harness is the crucial the link between you and the rope. Here's how to choose.
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.
Here are the five main types of belay device to choose from.
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.
Karabiners - the different types and what they are used for.
After the rope, the humble karabiner (sometimes spelt 'carabiner') is the second most import link in your climbing equipment.
Your rope is the key to safe vertical movement. Here's what they're made from and how to choose one.
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.
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.
Slings (or tapes) are invaluable for climbing. Here's what length slings to use for what kind of climbing.
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