by Brad

March 30, 2021

What Do I Need to Start Rappelling

Are you thinking about rappelling, but you have no idea of what exactly you will need to start rappelling? This comprehensive rappelling guide answers the questions "What do I need to start rappelling?" and assures your safety throughout the adventure.

Before diving into the requirements to start rappelling, it's essential to understand what rappelling is. Simply, rappelling may be defined as an act of lowering from a rock as performed in rock climbing.

There is more to rappelling than just grabbing a solid rope and descending a cliff into a cave or your preferred location. You'll need the right equipment, training, and techniques.

Rappelling vs Abseiling

The Right and Functional Gear You Will Need to Start Rappelling

Rappelling requires a range of gear, some to serve in the actual performance and others for safety purposes. Not all of the rappelling gear is mandatory.

The minimum essential requirements for safe and confident rappelling include the following. They can aid in skill development for advanced activities such as climbing up to where you started:

Helmet for Rappelling

The helmet is ideally not for the action but a very critical aspect of safety. Most injuries are due to the rocks and debris that fall from above, striking you in the head in rappelling. You could also fall on or hit against a stone. A helmet offers protection from such injuries.

Harness for Rappelling

Comprising of a waist belt and two leg loops, a harness provides both security and support. The harness also has extra loops for the chalk bag, carabiners, and other additional gear.

Climbing Helmet Attached to Backpack

Rope for Rappelling

A static rope serves best in rappelling. Professionals suggest the use of dynamic ropes in climbing rather than rappelling. It's vital to note the unique suitability for each function.

Carabiners for Rappelling 

Carabiners are essential and serve multiple functions. They serve as attachment aids for links, slings, cams, and other climbing devices. Be sure to check certification with UIAA for guaranteed safety standards.

Prusik Cord for Rappelling

In sporting, everyone hopes for a successful ending, but this is not always the case. A prusik loop in rappelling acts as an automatic block in case of an emergency. It holds you in place when the use of hands becomes necessary.

Rappelling Device

When looking for a general use of rappelling device, be sure to consider these aspects: ease of controlling the rappel, comfort of operation, and durability.

Based on your rappelling location, you may be required to get additional equipment to aid in the anchor's state-of-the-art building.

Tree Rappelling

If you can't get to the rocks, you might want to try rappelling on a tree. Rappelling on trees is a little less demanding than rappelling on mountains and rocks. In addition to the essential rappelling gear, you'll need two slings, equally long or longer than the height of the tree.

Climbing Carabiner Reviews

Ice Rappelling

There's no limit to how you can enjoy the outdoors during the cold seasons. Ice may provide a rappelling experience similar to that offered by a tree.

Additional equipment, in this case, includes a long ice screw (preferably one above 20cm), some gloves, and some webbing. Be sure to have a dry treated climbing rope and some warm rock climbing pants and jackets.

Rappelling in Snow

It's similar to ice rappelling in terms of requirements. An additional tool would be an ice ax to help you dig a bollard.

Other helpful equipment that are not mandatory and which are not suited to specific rappelling locations:

  • Sunglasses;
  • Shorts;
  • Shoes;
  • Rope bag;
  • Chalk bag;
  • Knife.

Having the right equipment is one thing but having them functional and in the proper condition is another. For all the listed equipment, you must observe functionality.

Best Rappelling Rope

Training Requirements for Rappelling

How would you rappel without the knowledge of setting up the ropes? Would you even consider yourself ready for the sport if you have no idea how to set up the rappel? Even with the right equipment, you ultimately need the proper training to rappel.

The whole thing of tying and untying knots, feeding the rope to the rappel, clipping various rappelling devices to their respective loops, and much more consist of essential information that you must have before rappelling.

More so, it would help if you learned how to sit safely in the harness while maintaining your legs straight and your hips bent at ninety degrees. Get a professional supervisor to take you through the basic techniques for rappelling.

Online training programs are available for the same with which you can watch videos to enhance your theoretical knowledge.

Conclusion

With these tactical requirements in your hands, you can be sure to tap into the ultimate excitement of your outdoor adventure.

What's more, you don't have to worry about rappelling in adverse conditions as long as you have all mandatory equipment to start rappelling.

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About the author 

Brad

Brad is a professional climber in the discipline of traditional climbing. He often jokes that he can get a book to read during the long climbs. Of course, it always goes well with a good cup of coffee. Drinking coffee is his safer hobby.

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