Inspired to climb the crag this season? Get the gear to help you make the move onto the rock...

Fresh air, beautiful places and a dose of adventure – nothing quite compares to the buzz of climbing on rock. Outdoor climbing is a chance to explore new areas, build confidence and join a great social scene with a past rich in legends. After experiencing the touch and feel of natural rock, whether famous Peak gritstone or the sea cliffs of the southwest, you’ll never look back. 


But getting onto the rock for the first time can be a daunting experience. What skills should you have? And more importantly, what do you need to get started? We’ve got this – let us get you geared up for your first outdoor climbing adventure. 

Climbing Shoes

When climbing out on the rock, it’s all about comfort. When tackling multi-pitch routes, you may wear shoes for longer, and on single-pitch routes, you might need them for walking off-rock. You’ll also climb a grade easier than at the wall – at least to start – so you don't need the most aggressive pair on the market. Ensure you grab the right shoes for you and your climb with our fantastic climbing shoe selection. For more help, check out our Climbing Shoe Buying Guide for advice on choosing the right shoes.

Climbing Harness

Things have come a long way since the days of tying a rope around your waist with a bowline. Now, you’ll find harnesses for sport, trad, and alpine climbing, each with subtle variations.


Knowing what type of climbing you’re doing is key to buying your harness. For example, an alpine harness is fully adjustable for getting over big boots, but it has no padding – not ideal for pushing yourself hard on a sports climb and peeling off. Fortunately, at Snow+Rock, there are plenty of all-rounders out there for you to choose from. For more help, check out our Harness Buying Guide to find out which one is right for you.

Climbing Helmet

Durable and versatile, our climbing helmet selection features headwear so light, that you’ll barely notice you have one on. From kids climbing helmets to female-specific helmets designed to fit around a ponytail, there’s no excuse for not wearing a helmet with our incredible climbing helmet collection. Want to try your hand at everything? Many of our climbing helmets are also safety-rated for via ferrata, canyoning, and caving.

Climbing Belay Plates, Karabiners, Quickdraws, and Slings

Every climber can recall their first trusty karabiner and belay plate. It’s where your rack begins. From there, the next step is securing a set of quickdraws and a sling or two. Quickdraws and climbing slings all have design variations depending on their intended use. If you’re just starting out climbing, we recommend looking for versatility with your climbing hardware selection.

Climbing Ropes

There’s nothing quite like carrying a coil of rope to the crag to make you look and feel the part. But with so many different types to choose from, buying a rope can prove confusing. ‘Single’ ropes are designed for use alone and for sports climbs where only one rope is needed. Both ‘half’ and ‘twin’ ropes are used in pairs for trad climbing and on routes where you need a lot of extra rope for abseiling. 

Climbing Nuts

Most wall climbers heading outside for the first time will instinctively gravitate towards bolted routes on sports climbs. Trad climbing, on the other hand, involves placing your gear. Mentally, that’s a step up, but it adds adventure, teaches self-reliance and opens up more possibilities on where you can climb. Any rack begins with a selection of nuts, and Wallnuts are among the best on the market due to their design and construction. Placed well, they provide bomber protection. Don’t forget your DMM Nutbuster to help remove wedged nuts. With a wide rubber handle to make it easier to hold, it ensures you don’t skin your knuckles when your hand slips off.

Climbing Hoodies & Beanie Hats

Those used to climbing at the wall bare-chested or wearing little more than a sports bra are in for a surprise. That may be okay in southern Spain, but here in the UK, you’ll be grateful for a hoodie and beanie you can throw on between climbs to beat the morning and evening chill.  

Need more help or advice? Head to your nearest Snow+Rock store to speak to one of our climbing experts – they’ll get you geared up and offer plenty of tips to help you get out on the rock.

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