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Rock Climbing Gear Guide

Rock climbing is one of the most popular and addictive sports nowadays. Climbing either indoors or outdoors demands skill, concentration, balance, good body shape and of course, the proper climbing equipment. The appropriate gear will keep you safe allowing you to fully enjoy the thrill or reaching the summit of the rock formation.
In particular:
1. Ropes
There are generally four different types of climbing ropes; statics, dynamic singles, dynamic doubles and dynamic twins. All four types have different uses and abilities. Specifically:
- Statics
Statics ropes are exclusively used in rappelling and rigging due to their unique ability not to stretch. Especially in abseiling, statics ropes are the only appropriate type. On the other hand, statics are harshly forbidden for guide climbing.
- Dynamic Singles 
As the name implies, dynamic singles are an excellent choice for either natural rock formations or artificial ones. Their ability to stretch under any load and absorb the impact force of a possible fall makes them your number one friend. Thin dynamic singles are highly suggested mostly due to their light weight and longer lifetime.
- Dynamic Doubles
Professional climbers recommend the dynamic doubles for double rock climbing or difficult courses. Dynamic ropes are in fact double ropes making it easier for you to cover longer distances. Additionally, they maximize protection mostly because they are significantly stronger comparing to single ropes.
- Dynamic Twins
Dynamic twins are generally used in ice climbing. Being extremely solid, the dynamic twins ropes promise prolonged lifetime as it is rather hard to get cut by sharp rocks.
- Dry Ropes
All climbing ropes come into two major types; customary and dry ones. When climbing indoors, it is best to purchase the customary ropes but for ice or difficult outdoor courses, it is highly suggested to choose the dry ones. Dry ropes are waterproof preventing water to turn into ice in low temperature.

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2. Climbing Harnesses
Choosing the right harness may be a daunting task but it is essential as it provides protection to the climber. There are three major types of climbing harnesses; sit strings, chest harnesses and full-body harnesses. Professional climbers suggest the sit strings as they offer full body motion and flexibility. Nevertheless, if your backpack is full, then you should choose the chest harness transferring all loads to it. Full body harnesses are ideal for climbing with children. Rescuers also prefer the full body harnesses as they offer full control.
Important tip: try before you buy! Make sure that the harness you will choose fits you properly being neither too tight nor too loose. A tight harness may block circulation and a looser one may end up extremely dangerous.


3. Helmet
The climbing helmet is essential as it can literally save your life during a fall. Moreover, it protects you from falling rocks keeping you safe and in track. As with harnesses, it is vital to try a helmet before purchasing it. Lighter helmets are usually preferred without tiring you up or causing headaches. Make sure it made out of quality and durable material able to protect you in all cases. Again, ensure that it fits you properly and it does not slip off your head. Finally, many climbers choose the head torch helmets providing efficient light for night courses.
4. Belay Plate
The belay plate is generally used in rappelling. Made out of aluminum, it is ideal for carrying a heavy load without breaking. Most important, it can absorb vibrations and the impact force of a fall making it easy for you to control the rope that holds your partner. If you are both an indoor or outdoor climber, then the double-rope plate is ideal for you.
5. Rock Climbing Shoes
Purchasing the right pair is critical; in case of a bad choice, you may severely harm your toes and feet. If you are new to rock climbing, avoid purchasing a cheap pair as they definitely will not provide you the safety and comfort you need. Professional climbers usually suggest all-around climbing shoes able to protect you for cuts and abrasions. Make sure they feel totally comfortable and allow full motion without tiring you up. Visit a well-known mountain shop and ask everything you need to know. Try the shoes before you buy and make sure they fit you properly. Some stores have artificial rock formations enabling you to try equipment while in action. This way, you will be sure that you have made the right choice.
The basic rock climbing equipment is crucial to boost your climbing experience. A mistaken choice may put your and your partner's life in danger. If you are a rookie and wish to save money, subscribe to a rock climbing school. This way, you will be sure that you wish to keep on climbing before purchasing your own equipment. Moreover, you will know which type of equipment fits you the best saving you from expensive mistakes. Rock climbing is an addictive sport; choose wisely and enjoy the thrill it has to offer!


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