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Beginner climber gear recommendations

hey just wondering what kind of gear should i be looking into for a beginner climber who knows little to nothing about it. any suggestions?

4 Replies

Instruction should precede gear purchase..."Climbing" is a pretty broad term - rock, alpine, hiking to high places are all "climbing" and need different kinds of equipment.

A good general guide is "Mountaineering; Freedom of the Hills", 50th Anniversary Edition..  It is a good guide, but learn the basics from a good class or a knowledgeable mentor.

It is safe to say you will need appropriate foot gear and clothing, and at least a minimal first .aid kit,along with a water container and some sort of pack.  For technical stuff, you will acquire a harness and helmet, along with all sorts of goodies (rope, carabiners, protection pieces, etc.) but those can wait.  Get instructed first. 

There is a lot of good information on this website, as well.



@hikermorhas an absolutely fantastic recommendation! Mountaineering; Freedom of the Hills should be in every outdoor person's library.

The question itself begs all kinds of red flags.  Kind of like asking "I want to skydive, what kind of parachute do I get?"

Climbing is exhilarating but is/can be extremely dangerous if you don't think it through.  Go to a climbing gym, or a local crag, watch, learn, slowly participate with a mentor.


now of course, some more photos 😎

Stone Mountain, NCStone Mountain, NCSeneca Rocks, WVSeneca Rocks, WVMonta Rosa (dufourspitz) across the gorner glacier, on trail from gornergratMonta Rosa (dufourspitz) across the gorner glacier, on trail from gornergratcampground zermatcampground zermathornli hutte at 4am, breakfast before climbhornli hutte at 4am, breakfast before climbon way up Matterhornon way up Matterhornfixed rope section Matterhornfixed rope section MatterhornMatterhorn summitMatterhorn summitknife ridge between hornli hutte and climb start, massive pucker factor!knife ridge between hornli hutte and climb start, massive pucker factor!

REI Member Since 1979

I am definitely a fan of M::FOTH from way back.  I purchased the first edition in 1962 (just released from military service) and I had just enough outdoor experience to realize that this book was the real deal with good guidance from people who know their stuff.

The 1960 edition has 97 pages devoted to technical climbing (not counting snow and ice) while the 2010 version has 183 pages devoted to the same topic with far more detail.  There is an entire chapter devoted to rappelling.

The introductory chapters on fundamentals is good stuff even for those who do not ever intend to tie in  - good solid advice for the everyday hiker and camper.


@20samjimenez thanks for reaching out! What kind of climbing will you be doing - indoor or outdoor? Rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering? With a little more information, we can definitely provide some helpful information! To get started, we'd recommend reading some of the articles in our Expert Advice articles on climbing.

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.