Climbers Gift Guide

Thanksgiving is coming up next week which means it will be Christmas before you know it. Sometimes it can be hard to shop for someone. Even if you know their interests, you might not necessarily know the right thing to buy. Suppose you’re shopping for a climber, but you yourself don’t climb. Save you from buying the first pair of crampons that you see, we’ve put together this climbers gift guide!

  • Shoes – This is one of the most essential pieces of gear in a climber’s arsenal. It’s been decades since climbers tackled bluff lines in shank boots. Since climbing shoes are one of the most expensive pieces of gear, and since they can be worn through in a season, this is an excellent gift idea. The only trick is making sure you get the right fit. Even if you know your climber wears a size 10 street shoe, they don’t necessarily wear a size 10 in a climbing shoe.
  • Approach shoes – While there are some climbing areas that can be reached with an easy walk in flip flops, some approaches are much more technical and treacherous. Approach shoes are often made with the same rubber that climbing shoes are made of. It’s designed to be extra sticky and create more friction which can be perfect for hairy approaches. These are typically going to be easier to fit than a climbing shoes since they are worn more like a street shoe.
  • Chalk – Climbing without chalk is like eating a bowl of cereal without milk. It can be done, but it’s not very enjoyable. Climbing chalk is dirt cheap and it’s something that you always need and always run out of. Chalk helps keep your hands from sweating and increases the friction between you and the rock.
  • Chalk bag/bucket – Unless you want to shove handfuls of chalk in your pockets you need something to carry it around in. Chalk bags are typically small enough to be worn with a “belt” (usually just a piece of webbing with a buckle that comes with a bag). Chalk bags are used in rope climbing, and by the occasional boulderer. Chalk buckets are far too large to carry up on a rope route. These are used exclusively for bouldering. A large opening allows you to easily get both hands in.
  • Crash pad – This is the boulderer’s equivalent to a rope climber’s rope. It’s the lifeline that keeps you from getting injured. These are typically made of multiple layers of think foam that work together to break and cushion your fall. There are many different kinds of crash pad, but they all are designed for the same purpose.
  • Hand salve – In the same way that your body needs food after you burn calories, your hands need hand salve. It helps your skin recover for found two. This is an especially good gift for folks who climb for days on end.
  • Rope – This is absolutely necessary for sport and traditional climbers. This is what ensure that you don’t hit the ground when you take a fall. Different climbers have different preferences for rope manufacturer and diameter, so you might want to make sure you’re getting the right rope before you buy one. If you’re a stickler for surprises, just make sure you buy a dynamic rope and not a static rope. Dynamic ropes elongate to compensate a fall where static ropes do not. Rock climbing with static rope can lead to serious injury.
  • Harness – Another crucial bit of gear for rope climbers. Without a harness, a rope is useless. Unless you know your climber’s exact size, you might want to get a harness that is adjustable. Some higher end, lightweight harnesses forgo adjustable leg loops in order to decrease weight.
  • Crag food – Climbing takes a lot of energy and burns a lot of calories. You want to make sure that you replenish those calories to keep climbing throughout the entire day. High protein options like energy bars or jerky are vital.
  • Hot Hands – Some climbers stick to the gym when winter weather hits, but those who are dedicated remain unfazed by sub-freezing temperatures. Get them some hand warmers so they can feel the rock!

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