by Roger

July 3, 2020

Rock Climbing Rappelling Gear

Are you planning to take up the sport of rock climbing and rappelling? Have you ever planned what rock climbing rappelling gear you should take with you?

It is a pretty intense activity and for those of you who have a thing for an adrenaline rush, this is a good option to consider. 

Of course, you should realize that being as adventurous as it is, rock climbing is pretty risky as well.

That is part of the reason why you get all that rush. In order to take up such a sport, you need to have all the right preparations.

Before you can consider all the techniques and other intricacies, you need to be aware of the basics.

We are going to go over all the essential rock climbing rappelling gear so you know what you need to take with you when you head out.

This is all the equipment you need for rock climbing and then safely rappel down.

Ropes

Ropes

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

First and foremost, you need a good and reliable rope. The climbing rope is the most important piece of equipment. The reason why it is an essential rock climbing rappelling gear is that you cannot rappel down without a good rope.

Most climbers use dynamic ropes for both climbing and rappelling down. The thing is that dynamic ropes work well for shock absorption to reduce the impact of a fall by stretching but that can be slightly problematic for a beginner on the way down. Consider using static ropes.

They do not stretch and that helps you get a good measure of your speed of descent while you are rappelling down. That works well while you are climbing up and fixing the ropes as well. A rope of around 200 feet for a double back rope will do just fine, especially if you’re a beginner.

Anchoring Materials

Anchros

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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

Another essential rock climbing rappelling gear is a bunch of anchor materials.

These consists of bolts, nuts, pitons and cams, which you can use to set into the climbing surface as you progress and fix the rope in so that they can catch you whenever you fall.

Rappelling Device

Rappelling Device

Product

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

Perhaps, one of the most crucial pieces of equipment while rock climbing and then rappelling is the rappelling device itself. It is better to get a rappelling device that works as a belayer as well so that you do not have to bother carrying extra gear for climbing up and then descending back down.

Rappelling devices allow you to come back down smoothly as your rope runs through it while making sure to catch you in case you fall. It helps you control the speed of your descent.

Harness

Harnesses

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

Whenever you head out for rock climbing and rappelling, you absolutely have to take a good harness with you. This is the gear through which you pass both your legs and wrap around your waist to make a comfortable seat for yourself when you are rappelling down from the climb.

You need to get a harness that is in a very good condition, offers you comfort and has a belay loop in the front. While you might know of old-school techniques of makeshift harnesses fashioned from climbing ropes themselves, it is not a smart idea if you are starting out.

A proper harness made with good quality materials will also feature the location where you attach your rappelling device, a belay loop and extra loops for you to carry more equipment with you (like a chalk bag and anchor materials among some of them).

Locking Carabiner and Sling

Carabiner & Sling

Product

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Black Diamond Hotforge Screwgate Carabiner
Gold Lion Gear Aluminum Carabiner
GM CLIMBING 16mm Nylon Sling Runner

Safety is a primary concern when you are out there. This is why a couple of essential pieces of rock climbing rappelling gear are climbing slings and locking carabiners. In order to make sure that you are completely safe from accidental falls, you need to make an autoblock knot as back up to your rappelling device.

An autoblock knot essentially locks up in case you start to descend too fast or if you need to stop midway. You can tie it using a sling (an extra bit of rope), which should be around 24 inches long. When you are descending, you should hold it in one of your hands and bring it down along with you.

As long as you are holding it and manually taking it with you, the autoblock knot will come along with you. If you try to descend without bringing it down with your hand, it doesn’t budge. You need to make the knot and attach it to your harness leg loop using a locking carabiner.

Gloves

Carabiner & Sling

Product

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

Plenty of rock climbers scoff at the very mention of rappelling gloves. For the experienced climber, this is not an essential rock climbing rappelling gear but having at least one glove can make your life a whole lot easier, especially when you are rappelling down.

The thing is that gloves don’t just help you keep your hands clean despite all that contact with climbing rope. They do much more. A good pair of leather gloves designed for rock climbing and rappelling can protect your hands from the possibility of getting rope burns if you rappel down too fast.

Rock Climbing Rappelling Gear

There might even be instances where you can slightly lose control of the rope and you descend faster than you want to. The autoblock knot will help you stop if you let go of it but if you forget about it and try to grip the rope with a bare hand, which can cause quite a lot of damage. A glove will make sure nothing like that happens.

Rock Climbing Rappelling Gear: Final Thoughts

To make the decision to go rock climbing is a big one. While you know about the essential rock climbing rappelling gear, you cannot head out after getting all of these items.

You need to make sure that you learn all the right techniques needed to use the gear for the sport and even learning everything, you should take experienced rock climbers with you. No amount of safety measures and precautionary measures can beat the help you can get from someone experienced.

The rankings on rappellingequipment.com are curated to save you time by aggregating the best reviewed products from the most reputable companies. We may receive a commission if you buy something using a link on this page.

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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