Kit checklist for traditional climbing

Kit checklist for traditional climbing

Nigel Shepherd suggests a list of equipment, clothing and safety items to take to the crag.

There's nothing more embarrassing than to arrive at a crag only to discover that you've left something essential behind. Here's a checklist of stuff you should consider taking:

  • Rock shoes - technical shoes for short hard climbing, comfy shoes for long climbs
  • Chalk bag and chalk
  • Ropes - single or double depending on the climb but usually a minimum of 50m - 60m ropes are more versatile though just marginally heavier to carry
  • Belay device and screwgate karabiner
  • Harness
  • Rack - selection of wires, hexes and camming devices suitable for the climbs you intend to do
  • Quickdraws - mainly all the same length but a couple of slightly longer ones might be useful
  • Slings and screwgate krabs - about three should do for most climbs
  • Spare screwgates - a couple
  • Nut key
  • Prusik and a Ropeman for emergency rescues
  • Guidebook
  • Penknife
  • First aid kit
Consider taking a selection of clothing (unless you know for sure that you're not going to need it). You should certainly take food and drink.
  • Light shell top
  • Spare fleece
  • Gloves and hat (for belaying on cold winter days)
  • Down jacket (for belaying on cold winter days)
  • Liquid - minimum 1.5 litre for hot days. Flask of something warm on cold days
  • Energy foods - light but effective high energy bars usually taste foul but they do the business
  • Butties - your favourite
  • Chocolate - loads of it
If you know that you are going to need to abseil, perhaps to clean a new line or into a sea cliff climb, consider the following:
  • Static rope - more durable than a climbing rope for repeated abseils
  • Gear to leave for the abseil anchor so that it doesn't use up your precious rack items
  • Wire brush - for cleaning mud, grime and moss off essential holds when doing a new line.

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