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A Traditional Rock Climber's Gear List

Make sure that you are ready and fully-equipped in Traditional Rock Climbing. In this section, we will take a look at the gear list of a Traditional Rock Climber.

If you have the basic stuff like the Climbing Shoes, a Harness, a Belay kit, and a Climbing Rope, here's a list of suggested items to complete a basic but useful Climbing rack.

Start off by buying the passive protection. These solid, non-moving Nuts and Hexes can be wedged in the rock, and stay in exactly where you put them. These are both very lightweight and inexpensive.
Then, your active protection that literally works for you by expanding and gripping the rock harder when pulled outward should consist of a variety of devices fitting cracks from about a half-inch to five inches. There are lots to choose from in terms of brand and style, so do some research.

A typical starter's rack consists of:

Slings Slings - 6 over-the-shoulder slings of 1.5 cm webbing and a length of 1.20 metres
Dyneema slings are lighter, less bulky, and easier to knot than nylon slings. However they are a bit more expensive. Our Rock Climbing Shop has a large collection of Slings for you to choose from.

Quickdraws - 6 quickdraws of 15 cm
Quickdraws which are 15 cm are perfect for trad and sport climbing. 10cm are a bit too short for trad climbing and 20cm are a bit long and dangly. Avoid cheap ones with poor gate action. Quickdraws in all sizes and types can be found in our Quickdraws shop.

HMS Carabiner HMS Carabiners - 2 HMS Carabiners
One can be used with the belay device and the other is useful for constructing belays.
A large collection of HMS carabiners can be found in our Carabiners shop.

Screwgate Carabiners - 6 Screwgate Carabiners
These will be used to make belays. When buying Carabiners, do note the gate opening. This should either not be too wide and not too narrow. Narrow screwgates are more difficult when clipping in the rope.

Wires - A set of Wires (1-10)
For easier handling, the wires should be racked together on two snapgates. When buying Carabiners, do note the gate opening. This should not be too wide and not too narrow. Narrow screwgates are more difficult when clipping in the rope.

Camming Device Camming Devices - 2 or 3 Camming Devices (size 1.5 and 2.5 or size 1,2 and 3)
Go for Camming Devices with a flexible stem and high passive strength such as Wild Countries Tech Friends or Camalots.

RockCentrics - 3 RockCentrics e.g. size 5,7,9 on Dyneema
The slings should be doubled and then clipped onto a snapgate carabiner for easier handling. RockCentrics can be found in our Climbing Slings shop.

Eventually, you may end up with a full rack that could look like this:
  • 3 x screwgate Carabiners (2400 kg or above)
  • 25 - 35 Snap Gate Carabiners (2400 kg or above)
  • 10 - 15 Quickdraw Slings of different sizes (10, 15 and 30 cm)
  • 2 x 4 ft Circumference Slings (20 or 25 mm tape)
  • 1 x 8 ft Circumference Sling (20 or 25 mm tape)
  • 1 - 2 Complete sets of Nuts on wire
  • 3 - 6 Pieces of larger protection (i.e. sizes 6, 8 and 10 hexes) and / or Camming Devices (i.e. sizes 1, 2 and 3 friends)
  • 2 - 6 Microprotection (specialist use only)
  • 2 x Prusik loops
  • 1 x Nut key
Remember that an ideal rack is a matter of personal preference and depends on the areas climbed and experience.

Rock Climbing Shoes Rock Climbing Shoes
The shoes' requirements are similar to the one of the Sport Climber. Visit our Sport Climber's Gear List section for more information.

Rope Rope
A Trad Climber's Rope is similar to the one of the Sport Climber. Click A Sport Climber's Gear List section for more information. In addition, a dry treated Rope would be practical, as you might climb in wet weather conditions.

Harness Harness
Your Harness should fit over any sort of clothing you plan on climbing in. Trad climbs involve a lot of scraping around in cracks and chimneys and hanging belays, so avoid lightweight sport Harnesses. You'll want waist loops for racking gear. Price range: $40 to $100.
Price: From $40 to $100
Life Span: 2-3 years

Belay Device and Locking Carabiner
Best Brands

Visit our A Sport Climber's Gear List section for more information.

Helmet Helmet
Buy a good quality Climbing Helmet that is either (or both) UIAA or CEN certified. Price range: $40 to $85.

Those are the different pieces included in a Traditional Climber's Gear List. Make sure to prepare the necessary pieces of gear in Rock Climbing before taking the climb.

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Article Comments
Friday 19th March 2010 at 10:52:31 AM  

how much will all of this stuff cost, all together?

Tuesday 20th April 2010 at 8:12:28 PM  

Total, I speculate that it will cost over $1000, and maybe closer to $2000, but you can get started with shoes, harness, belay device (I suggest BD ATC XP) and locking carabiner (such as black diamond''s "Rocklock", and a helmet if you are climbing outdoors or leading....Generally, it appears to be an expensive hobbie, but you can get started and have lots of fun for just about $300! have fun, and always climb with others that know more than you do-;until THEY tell you that you are alright without expert advise....Have Fun Climbing! ps. bouldering is probably rope etc....and don''t buy a rope if you climb with others that have one....that''s all right if they are willing to share :)

Wednesday 5th May 2010 at 7:39:28 PM  

Well it depends on how many camming devices and stoppers and what brand you decide on. Its going to be somewhere in the range of a couple hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars. Camming devices are not the cheapest, but I dont mind paying a bit for something that is going to save my life when i take a fall.

Wednesday 3rd August 2011 at 12:49:52 PM  

I just started to climb and I am thinking about a certification course and buying the gear.
I would like to know what would be the necessary gear to start to climbing in places where there are bolts in the rocks.
And how much would this "minimum" gear package would cost me?

Lifting Belt
Friday 23rd September 2011 at 12:16:04 AM  

so nice blog sites.

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