Rock Climbing Kit List

What you need for a day's rock climbing

You don't need to wear anything special for  rock climbing at easily accessible crags. Get in touch if you are unsure about what to bring. I am always happy to advise, and can often make time to visit a shop at either the beginning or end of the day if required.  
Please don't pay too much attention to the suggested models, they are just recommendations for if you are considering buying your own gear.
A well sorted rack...


It's most important that your clothing doesn't restrict movement. If you are going to a mountain crag or sea cliff  it is a good idea to avoid natural fibres, such as cotton Synthetics and wool dry much quicker. I normally wear the following:

Approach shoes or fell running shoes (the lighter the better if you have to carry them up routes). Something like the Boreal Sendai or Drom work great if they fit.

Hardwearing, unrestrictive trousers - I like Prana Stretch Zion Pants, Alpkit?

Baselayer Tee shirt - Alpkit Vayper is great

Thin Fleece -  the Alpkit Griffon is excellent, and great value too. A lot of the time I wear an Alpkit Katabatic jacket, which doubles as a wind shirt .

Windproof top - These are one of the most versatile bits of kit you can own adding an amazing amount of warmth for very little weight. Ideally it should have a hood and stuff away into a pocket and can be clipped  into the back of your harness.

Extra layer - a spare fleece or thin primaloft jacket is a good idea. Mountain crags can be chilly places even in summer.

Thin hat, and buff. They don't weigh much but can be handy on chilly belays.

Thin leather gloves - Great for rope work, belaying, and keeping your hands warm on chilly stances. I use cheap ones from hardware stores. It is worth adding a clip-loop of thin cord so you can clip them to your harness.

Waterproof top and bottoms. Ideally we won't be climbing in the rain, but sometime we have too. They also keep you much warmer on windy days. Lightweight options are best for summer climbing. Alpkit Gravitas Jacket and Parallax Trousers weigh virtually nothing, and will stave off a shower or two.

Climbing Equipment

Rock shoes - as with all footwear fit is everything. Something like the Boreal Joker or Ballet are good options if you're starting out. A more technical shoe like the Boreal Ace or Lynx are great if you are pushing  into harder grades.

Harness - A simple model with four gear loops, and fixed legs loops works well for the vast majority of climbing. I'm using the Edelrid Ace currently, and really rate it. The Ocun Neon is also great, and a little cheaper.

Helmet - A modern, lightweight model like the Edelrid Salathe or Petzl Meteor is the best option. .

Belay Plate - A DMM Mantis paired with a DMM Rhino karabiners would get my vote.

Two extra screwgate karabiners - for attaching yourself at belays. I like the DMM Phantom HMS.

Two extra snapgate karabiners - for clipping things like your gloves, windproof top, and trainers to your harness. Any will do, but DMM Spectre 2s are my favourite.

Nut Key - For removing gear. I like the Black Diamond Nut Tool. ‘You'll need a krab to rack it on too.

Chalk Bag, chalk, and some 6mm cord to tie tie the bag around your waist.

Beer towel for cleaning your boots before each climb.

Other stuff

Rucksack - 35 to 45 litres should be plenty. A simple climbing sack like the Alpkit Orion 40 is much better, and easier to to pack, than complicated hill walking bags with airflow back systems.

Walking poles (optional) - worth having for those knee busting descents. Alpkit Carbon Marathon Ultras are superb

Headtorch - always worth having, just in case. Alpkit Gamma III is brilliant.

Drink - no more than one litre. In colder months a flask of hot juice is worth bringing.

Food - I normally bring a sandwich (bagels are good as they don't fall apart in your sack), a couple of bars, an apple, and some nuts/dried fruit.

Camera (optional) - kept around your neck on a loop of thin cord.

Stuff you don't need

I will be carrying group safety equipment: first aid kit, bothy bag, and abseil tat. There is no need to double up on these, so please don't bring them.

I am always happy to chat about your climbing aims and aspirations, or just climbing in general.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.