by Roger

July 3, 2020

Basic Rappelling Equipment Kit and List

Using the right rappelling equipment kit can make a huge difference to your climbing experience. It can make or break your experience. To ensure you have the best possible experience, you should have an understanding of the basic rappelling equipment that you need to make the climb.

From ropes to shoes, we are going to take you through a comprehensive list of things that most basic rappelling equipment kits should contain. All kinds of adventure sports come with a host of specialist equipment.

What Gear Do I Need for Rappelling?

Our research shows that the basic rappelling gear kit consists of about 11 items, each rappelling equipment serving its purpose. This is the list of the basic rappelling gear to start with - climbing helmet, rappelling harness, rappelling rope, rappelling device, rappelling gloves, hiking pants, climbing shoes, rappelling rings, prusik cord, carabiners, and anchors.

Rappelling, being one of the most adrenaline pumping of all sports, is no exception. Without further ado, let's review in details the rappelling equipment list you need to check out all the ticks on before you head out for an outdoor adventure.

1) Climbing Helmet Suitable for Rappelling

Climbing Helmet

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PETZL Sirocco Ultra-Light Weight Climbing Helmet
PETZL Meteor Climbing Helmet
Black Diamond Half Dome Climbing Helmet

2) Rappelling Harness

Of course, there can be no climbing without a harness. This is the key safety equipment of basic rappelling equipment kits.

The harness goes around the waist and the legs of climbers to secure the rappelling device. Several different brands and manufacturers make harnesses of all shapes and sizes. Each of them offers a range of functionality and comfort level, based on the specific application.

While harnesses can differ from each other in specification, the primary use of this basic rappelling gear is to provide a seat for the climber.

Harnesses

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PETZL - CORAX, Versatile and Adjustable Harness
X XBEN Rock Climbing Harness
Black Diamond Momentum Harness

3) Climbing Ropes Suitable for Rappelling

Climbing ropes are one of the most important pieces of equipment when it comes to rappelling. They serve a diverse range of uses for climbers. Now, you need to understand that there are different kinds of ropes that you can choose from. Depending on your specific application, you should choose the right rope for your own safety.

Many climbers use a dynamic rope for rappelling, which they can also use for climbing. They work well enough for climbers, but you need to know that these ropes stretch. They can also get damaged over time because of rock edges.

If you are planning on going on a long climbing route or a huge wall which can take several days, it is better to go for static ropes for both climbing up and descending. These ropes do not stretch as much as the typical ropes do. They also offer better durability against rocks and sharp edges.

Rappelling Ropes

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Black Diamond 9.9 Mm Climbing Rope
Static Rock Climbing Rope
Static Reflective Outdoor Rock Climbing Rope

4) Rappelling Device

Part of your basic rappelling equipment kits are the rappelling devices themselves. Also known as a descender, the rappel device is a friction hitch. You can also learn how to use rappel racks.

It allows you to feed a rope through the rope in a controlled manner while having a load on it – without you having to make too much effort to control the flow of the rope.

This is a climber’s best friend and is the most essential component of the rappelling equipment list. It helps the climber control the speed of descent. The device works by altering the angle at which the rope leaves the device or by managing the force applied to the rope below the device.

Whether you are someone who wants to descend at a decent pace or if you’re an adrenaline junkie who wants to feel the thrill, you are in control because of this device.

Rappelling Device

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Black Diamond ATC Belay Device
PETZL Grigri Belay Device
Figure 8 Belaying and Rappelling Gear Belay Device

5) Rappelling Gloves

A vital part of the basic rappelling equipment list is a decent pair of climbing gloves. Gloves can protect your hands from the rope while you descend and make the process more comfortable for you. Almost all climbers use ropes, but the more adventurous ones choose to go gloveless.

You see, experienced mountaineers and climbers tend to go gloveless in high-risk situations because the direct contact with the rope gives them a greater feel. However, amateur climbers should consider this a necessary part of their basic rappelling equipment kit.

Rappelling Gloves

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Black Diamond Crag Half-Finger Climbing Gloves
Seibertron Half Finger Padded Palm
Intra-FIT Climbing Gloves Rope Gloves

6) Climbing Pants Comfortable for Rappelling

Climbing Pants

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Arc'teryx Gamma LT
prAna Men's Stretch Zion Pant
Mountain Hardwear Yumalino

7) Climbing/Rappelling Shoes

Last but not least, you will need rappelling shoes. It goes without saying but using good quality shoes are important.

You want to use rappelling shoes that have sturdy soles that provide a firm grip and at the same time they allow you to maintain good traction with the wall while you descend.

Climbing Shoes

Product Name

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Black Diamond Momentum Climbing Shoes
Scarpa Origin Climbing Shoes
Five Ten Rogue VCS Climbing Shoes 
La Sportiva
Finale Climbing Shoes
Black Diamond Momentum Vegan Climbing Shoes

8) Rappelling Rings

Rappelling Rings

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GM CLIMBING Rappel Ring
PROND Aluminum Rappel Ring
XINDA Rappel Ring

9) Prusik Cord (Backup Knot)

We discussed the backup knot earlier. Used by some of the more experienced climbers, this is an essential part of the whole safety apparatus while rappelling.

Also known as a Klemheist knot, prusik or an autoblock knot, a backup knot is used by climbers in case they lose control at any point while ascending or descending.

Tied below the rappelling device on the rope, these knots are tied around the rope using a short climbing sling. The loop is attached to the belay loop of the harness using a carabiner.

Prusik Cord

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GM CLIMBING 8mm (5/16") Prusik Loop
ROPE Logic Ocean 8mm X 30" Prusik Cord Rope
OmniProGear 8mm x 11 feet Prusik Cord

10) Carabiners

A basic rappelling equipment kit would be incomplete without a carabiner. Carabiners are large clips that climbers use to connect different parts of the rappelling system together.

Experienced climbers use a wide variety of carabiners. The best locking carabiners, in particular, are the most crucial ones. The clip locks shut and can be secured so that there is no chance it opens up during the descent.

Carabiners can also be used to create backup knots. But in the most basic setting, the carabiner is used to attach the harness and the rappelling device.

Carabiners

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Black Diamond Hotforge Screwgate Carabiner
Gold Lion Gear Aluminum Carabiner
Petzl Lightweight Screw-Lock Carabiner

11) Anchors

Next up in the list of gear you should have in your basic rappelling equipment is the material for anchoring. Anchors are used to secure the rope right at the top of the descent. There are different kinds of anchors you can use. Depending on the situation, these anchors may vary.

When you are out in nature, pitons and boulders tend to work the best. They are essentially metal spikes, which you can wedge into the cracks of the rock face you are climbing. Rappelling anchors are constructed from different climbing gear.

Other than pitons, these may include cams, nuts and bolts. The anchors that consist of natural features like trees or boulders work best when you carry two foot long best climbing slings to use with them.

Anchros

Product

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Black Diamond Camalot C4 Cam Sets
Ring Anchor & SS - 304 - Powers 5 Piece Bolt Combo
Mad Rock Sentinal Bolt Hangers 6 Pack
Rappelling Equipment Kit and List of Gear You Will Need

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About the author 

Roger

Roger was born into a family of climbers. As the youngest of his siblings, he was also the most ardent climber of them. Small and agile, he practiced climbing all day. Today, Roger teaches children how to climb the large rock walls safely.

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