Climbing can feel as a difficult hobby. There are knots, anchors, more knots, and almost as much opaque jargon as Cockney rhyming slang. And then there’s the constant reminder that your life literally depends on getting things right. Save yourself one worry by taking a look at our favorite beginner climbing gear that has everything you absolutely need, not a gimmick. Most climbers become familiar with safety rules, jargon, and equipment when indoor rock climbing. But it normal start outdoors if you get caught with the right climbers or sign up for American Mountain Guide Association Accredited Course.
Whether you’re indoors or outdoors, you’ll need the right gear. In this guide, I’m trying to keep it simple and accessible, as it’s easy to get confused by all the tech gear jargon. You also won’t become a climbing leader until you’re more experienced, which is why I left out items like rope and quickdraws that your climbing leader will have. You can get by with any flexible clothing (no jeans!), but I suggest you go with technical synthetic layers for climbing on the outside.
Updated January 2023: We’ve added recommendations for trousers and a climbing shirt, and adjusted prices and availability.