SoCal Climbing Message Board Info for Beginners › Which Gear Should I Purchase?

Which Gear Should I Purchase?

David P.
user 9017612
Group Organizer
Venice, CA
Post #: 5
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Other Pages to Visit:
- Climbing Gear (Lowest Internet Prices) (1)
- Climbing Gear (Lowest Internet Prices) (2)
- Climbing Gear (Lowest Internet Prices) (3)
- Which Gear Should I Purchase? (1)
- Which Gear Should I Purchase? (2)
- Climbing Dictionary

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RENTING
Climbing shoes can be rented at most Sports Chalets for $8/day. They can also be rented at Adventure 16 for $12/day and at some REI locations, like REI Santa Ana, for $12 for members. You can rent shoes for outdoor climbing, but the other gear needs to be purchased or borrowed.

PURCHASING (in order of priority)
1) Buy shoes. You need to try climbing shoes on in person before purchasing. Once you know the model/size, it is possible to find them online for less money. I buy mine at REI for their amazing return policy or directly from the factory seconds bin ($35-$45) at the Evolv factory in Buena Park - see Climbing Gear (Lowest Internet Prices) (3). The tighter your toes curl, the smaller the edge you'll be able to stand on. I buy shoes I can wear for 20 minutes. Beginners often choose shoes that are more comfortable.

Generally, we wear sandals/flip flops between climbs. Also, we almost never wear socks with our climbing shoes (supposedly so your feet slip less and feel more, but really it's nothing more than a fashion trend). See ACMEClimbing.com's info on climbing shoe fit and climbing shoe categories. REI has a bunch to say as well. Whether it's a 42.5 or a 9, there is enough variation in sizing from shoe to shoe that the only way to know the right size for a shoe is to try it on. Once you've worn them for a bit, spray Lysol in them to keep them from smelling bad.

2) Buy a harness. Shoes are very specific, but I can climb in almost any harness. You just have to make sure your waist and leg sizes are within the sizes the harness will fit. Bonus if the harness has adjustable leg loops (I wouldn't buy a fixed leg loop harness myself). The other features are a matter of convenience: # of gear loops, perma-lock or doubled back buckle, full-strength rear haul loop, ect. The least expensive harnesses, like the Black Diamond Alpine Bod, come without a belay loop, and work just fine, but are less convenient. Some new belay loops will show red fabric when they become too worn, which is nice. Wider leg loops and waist bands, along with extra padding, are the most comfortable. Harnesses optimized for women have a greater distance for the pelvis area.

SuperTopo.com Editor's Pick: Harnesses

3) Buy a belay device. Everyone should learn to belay on a tube-style device (eg Black Diamond ATC) first before learning to use an auto-locking belay device. The Black Diamond ATC is the most popular tube-style device, though other tube-style devices like the Madrock Paradox are less expensive and work just as well.

Once you're ready to spend the money, consider an auto-locking belay device. The popular ones are the Petzl Grigri1 $60, Petzl Grigri2 $95, Trango Cinch $65, and Mammut Smart $30. Avoid the BD ATC-Sport. See Belay Devices (Auto-locking vs ATC) for more on belay devices.

SuperTopo.com Editor's Pick: Belay Devices

4) Buy a locking carabiner. Buy a large locking "HMS" style carabiner to belay with. HMS means it's large enough that it can be used with the Munter Hitch (a knot you can belay/rappel with when a belay device is not available). You can buy a "screw-gate" HMS locking carabiner for $10. You manually spin the sleeve up the gate to lock the carabiner. These are inexpensive but sometimes get stuck if you spin them up too tightly (or lock them under load). For $20 you can buy an auto-locking carabiner. These carabiners lock automatically once you stop holding the gate open and are the most convenient to use. My primary belay carabiner is a $20 auto-locker. My two back-ups (which I use with my personal anchoring slings to clip into anchors) are $10 screwgates.

5) Buy a chalk bag and chalk. I would buy the cheapest chalk bag I can find. Some people like the chalk ball, some people like their chalk loose. Loose chalk is easier to refill but spills easier.

Once you have these basic items and know how to use them, you'll be able to easily jump into any climbing group and be a productive member. If you want to be extra productive, see Beginners: Ways to be Helpful at the Crag.

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Other Pages to Visit:
- Climbing Gear (Lowest Internet Prices) (1)
- Climbing Gear (Lowest Internet Prices) (2)
- Climbing Gear (Lowest Internet Prices) (3)
- Which Gear Should I Purchase? (1)
- Which Gear Should I Purchase? (2)
- Climbing Dictionary

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Stephen
love2roam2
Long Beach, CA
Post #: 40
don't forget that we are very lucky to be here in SoCal where THREE very reputable companies manufacturing and selling their goods. you can alway buy cheaper than retail and the staff is very knowledgable.

www.evolvesports.com/contact.htm
www.fiveten.com
www.madrockclimbing.com/contact-us.asp­x

you'll have to come into the shops for discounts - online orders are retail

and the one other thing i would add is that if you're going to get the ATC, then spend a few extra bucks and get yourself the ATC xp. this model gives you the advantage of braking grooves which will provide more friction. remember, the name of the game in belaying is about feeding out rope and holding power. the grooves will help out with holding power and will grab a slippery or smaller cord better. i climb on a 9.6mm cord and will always insist that the belayer has me on the grooved/high friction side.

oh, and i would recommend against the ATC sport which has one slot. this is useless when you get better and start to clean anchors and rappel on a double line. saving now will end up costing you later!
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