Tommy Gadius

Rock Climbing Starter Pack

Everything you need to get started in the gym

1. Harness

A comfortable harness will make everything more enjoyable. Black Diamond makes great gear, so spend some extra money and you won't regret it. If not this harness, look for anything else made by Black Diamond or Petzl.

2. Belay Device

The next piece of the puzzle is the belay device. Oftentimes gyms will provide these, so check with your local gym before buying one. If you want the best, look for a Grigri as they are often the safest and easiest to use (but expensive!).

3. Shoes

The last truly essential piece are the shoes. Personally, I think La Sportiva makes the best shoes and definitely warrant their above average price, but you'd definitely benefit from trying on a few pairs. In general, buy a few sizes down from your street shoes as the more snugly they fit, the better you'll be able to edge. Also, as a rule of thumb, La Sportiva shoes seem to fit narrower feet better, while 5.10 shoes fit wider feet.

4. Rope

While not necessary to get started at the gym, if you want to lead climb in the future, you'll need a dynamic climbing rope. The things to look for are width (thicker rope means heavier), stretch (stretchier rope means softer falls), and number of rated falls (before you need to retire the rope). For a gym climbing rope, you probably won't need more the 30 meters of length.
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