Rock Climbing Gear
Rock Climbing Shoes
Shoes are probably the most important piece of equipment you'll need for rock climbing. When you're starting out, you'll want a rock climbing shoe that's fairly stiff. It should be a half size smaller than the shoe you normally wear. When you try on a rock climbing shoe, it should feel tight, but comfortable. (Kinda like ballet slippers or ice skates.) It shouldn't feel loose, but it shouldn't be cutting off your circulation either. Don't wear socks and lace your rock climbing shoes up tight.
Harnesses for Rock Climbing
It can be a long way down to the ground when you're rock climbing, which is why climbers always wear a harness. The harness is attached to a rope to protect you from falling. You should make sure it fits comfortably around your waist and thighs.
Rock Climbing Carbiners and Belay Devices
These gadgets are used to hook things onto your harness, like a belaying device (Used to control a climber while they're rappelling,) or a chalk bag. For safety, you should get a locking carbiner.
Chalk for Climbers
Rock climbers put chalk on their hands to give themselves a better grip on the rock. (Sindy tells me gymnasts do this too, when they use the bars.) You can buy either raw chalk, which is a powder, or a ball of chalk. The chalk is held in a bag which clips on to your rock climbing harness.
You should always wear a helmet when rock climbing to protect your head from falls or in case you hit the sides of a wall or rock face.
For more info on rock climbing gear or getting started in climbing, head to www.climbing.com.