What gear do you need to climb indoors?

Posted by Dan Middleton on 17/12/2010
Welcome to the climbing wall - but what gear do you need?

You don't need much climbing equipment to start climbing indoors. When you first go, you can hire it all. However, once you're hooked, you'll soon want to buy your own kit.

indoor climbing gear:

  • Rock shoes
     
  • Chalk bag - one big enough to get your hand in!
     
  • Chalk ball - use chalks balls (not loose chalk) in climbing walls to reduce the amount of dust
     
  • Harness - all harnesses have to meet the same standards, and different people will find different brands most comfortable.  The choice is between adjustable or non adjustable leg loops. Again this will be down to individual preference.
     
  • Belay device - choose a device with 'grooves', as this will provide more friction when belaying - an important consideration in climbing walls. To be able to belay competently is a vital climbing skill, as when done wrong serious injuries can result. When you buy equipment ALWAYS read the manufacturer's instructions before use. It's also a good idea to read the BMC's belaying leaflet to get some essential tips.
     
  • Large screwgate carabiner suitable for belaying
     
  • Loose or lycra clothing - but no so baggy that it gets caught in your belay device!
     
  • For young children, using a full body harness and a helmet is common practice. Non-climbing parents can download the parents' guide to get some idea about what climbing entails.
     
  • Rope - climbing walls generally have ropes for top-roping but when you move on to leading routes you will need to take a rope with you.

JOIN THE BMC: Save 50% on your first year's membership

The BMC works for indoor climbers like you. Benefits include:

  • Retail discounts
  • Access to BMC Travel Insurance
  • Register for Mountain Training award schemes
  • £10m worldwide Combined Liability insurance
  • £10,000 Personal Accident insurance
  • Discounted entry to many competitions

Find out more about BMC membership benefits

WATCH: Molly Thompson-Smith: Portrait of a Champion on BMC TV

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Find all upcoming competitions here.


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1) Anonymous User
29/10/2012
good information this is sure to help me along with my nicas
2) Anonymous User
19/03/2013
Is it essential to have a screwgate karb? Ive been using 3-way locking isc's to belay..
3) Dan Middleton (author comment)
27/03/2013
A 3 -way locking krab is fine as an alternative to a screwgate, just make sure you know how to check that the locking mechanism is working correctly.
4) Anonymous User
13/12/2013
what shops do people go to to buy this stuff please - i am reluctant to buy on-line as i think this stuff should be sized correctly? Any advice really appreciated please
5) Dan Middleton (author comment)
13/12/2013
Just one of the membership benefits with the BMC are the discounts offered by our partners in Outdoor Retail. You can find participating shops here: https://www.thebmc.co.uk/map#shops

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