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5 Climbing Gear Essentials You Should Never Miss

Climbing can be a fun, exciting way to experience nature. To make sure your climb goes as planned, you’ll need to pack some essential gear.

Here are the climbing gear essentials you’ll want to include before heading out on your next outdoor climbing trip:


Comfortable Clothing

There’s no dress code for climbing. But certain clothing can help make your climb a more comfortable experience.

You’ll need a full range of motion, so wear loose, comfortable clothing.

Make sure it’s clothing you’re okay with getting ripped or torn. Climbing can involve sharp, jagged rocks, so leave your best clothes at home and instead opt for something comfy.

Climbing Shoes

You will need to invest in a pair of high-quality climbing shoes which are designed for optimal grip and comfort.

Unlike other athletic shoes, climbing shoes fit snugly and are meant to stick to the rock or indoor climbing holds. Their shape may seem strange if you are just starting out, but this design allows for more precise placements on holds with sticky rubber made to prevent slipping so that you can trust your feet placements.

A quick word of warning though, bring a change of shoes. If you are heading to the climbing gym, sneakers are fine. However, if you are hiking to the crag, you may need to scramble over boulders or through talus fields at the base of the crag. For this, dedicated approach shoes are more appropriate.

Climbing Chalk

Hands get sweaty. To get the best grip, you’ll need to use climbing chalk. This will keep your hands dry so you don’t easily lose your grip on slippery holds.

When shopping for chalk, look for ones made from high-end, premium materials with no fillers. Nice powder climbing chalk is usually best for starters.

This isn’t a requirement but some climbers also use belay gloves to avoid rope burns on their hands while belaying. Injured raw hands aren’t the most fun when you are the one climbing.


Never start a climb without first putting on your helmet. You should even wear your helmet while hanging out at the base of the crag because rockfall does happen, and can be deadly.

Prioritize comfort and security. Since you’ll likely be climbing for hours, find something that is easy to put on and take off and doesn’t hurt to wear. But at the same time, the helmet needs to protect your head from sudden impacts and falling debris.


Pick a climbing rope that’s sturdy, durable, and dynamic is a staple in climbing. Make sure you buy the right kind, check the label to ensure that it is the proper length and diameter based on where and how you climb.

If you are borrowing it from someone or using an indoor gym’s line, make sure the rope is not damaged or frayed. Learn how to inspect and clean your rope as this is critical to your safety.


A Charged Cell Phone

In case of an emergency, you need to be able to contact help. Therefore, you should always bring a fully-charged cell phone with you.

You may also want to download climbing apps like Mountain Project to give you beta in advance so you can be prepared, inform your emergency contacts about your locations, and keep up on any changes to your planned routes (such as broken holds from people climbing in Red Rock after rain – don’t do it!).  

First-Aid Supplies

If you plan to climb on a regular basis, expect some bumps and bruises along the way. Bring supplies like bandages, medical wrap, and antiseptic wash in case of minor cuts and scrapes or any injuries that need immediate attention.

Climbing Essentials—Gear and Other Things

A great climb starts with the right gear but does not end there. Pack the right climbing gear essentials but don’t forget the obvious must-haves like a bottle of water or a change of clothes.

And if you are all packed with the right equipment and other essential but aren’t certain that you really know the unwritten rules and proper interactions between climbers at the gym or crag, read up on outdoor climbing etiquette so the experience will be an enjoyable one for you and those around you.