Outdoor season is coming back and we can’t wait to take advantage of it! Whether you are heading out to Rak Vegas or Oman’s Sharaf for climbing adventures, make sure you pack well. Here is a guide that will help you packing just the right kit you need.
A 35L gearbagis the right size for you essential kit. All your equipment will fit neatly inside. Gearbags differ from a regular backpack in fabric, cut and simplicity, as they are designed for this purpose. Fabric is waterproof and sturdy – designed to survive rocky floors and the rough climbing handling. Climbing equipment is not delicate; you carry carabineers, slings and ropes. A good gearbag will protect your essentials well. Of course you also need rope, around 60m in length, and preferably in its own bag. Rope protection is needed if you want your rope to last beyond two seasons.
Slings are essential for outdoor climbing. They are simply tied or a sewn loop of webbing. Pack 30-60cm lengths of at least two pieces. You will use these as anchors, to extend an anchor to reduce rope drag, in anchor equalisation, or to climb a rope. Carabineers are your connectors; we recommend two screwgate and two twist lock options. Both differ slightly in application but all carabineers are designed to connect and protect. You will also want to pack at least ten quick draws. Also called extenders, their function is to optimise rope management once on the wall; one carabineer clips into the wall’s bolt or anchor and the other carabineer provides loop for your rope and therefore guides it smoothly to continue the pitch.
A Harness keeps you safe and alive, whilst a Belay device (Buddy, Cinch, Shuttle) assists you in belaying and taking off the weight of your climbing partner. You will also want a lightweight helmet for protection. Chalk is essential to keep your hands dry and performing; keep it in suitably sized chalk bag around your waist. Grip savers will help you warm up your fingers and finger tape will support your ligaments and help you keep climbing.
NEVER FORGET – a hydration system, sun protection, food solution, comfortable clothing. As always, carry a small bag with you and take your trash away when you leave.
The kit above is available at all major sports and outdoor stores throughout the UAE.
Words by: Vanda Turcerova
Photos by: Nyi Nyi Aung