An appropriate rappelling equipment kit can make all the difference in your climbing experience. If you have the right kit, you will climb safely and effectively. You should be familiar with the basic rappelling equipment you will need in order to ensure you have a great experience.
In this article, we’re going to show you what should be in most basic rappelling equipment kits, from ropes to shoes. All adventure sports require special equipment.
- What Gear Do We Need for Rappelling?
- 1) Climbing Helmet Suitable for Rappelling
- 2) Rappelling Harness
- 3) Ropes suitable for rappelling
- 4) Rappelling Device
- 5) Rappelling Gloves
- 6) Climbing Pants Comfortable for Rappelling
- 7) Climbing/Rappelling Shoes
- 8) Rappelling Rings
- 9) Prusik Cord (Backup Knot)
- 10) Carabiners
- 11) Anchors
What Gear Do We Need for Rappelling?
According to our research, a basic rappelling equipment kit consists of about 11 items, each rappelling equipment serving its own purpose. To start in rappelling you will need the following gear – climbing helmet, rappelling harness, rope, device, gloves, hiking pants, climbing shoes, rings, carabiners, and anchors.
There is no denying the fact that rappelling is an adrenaline-pumping sport. Now, let’s review in detail the rappelling gear list that needs to be checked before you go on your outdoor adventure.
1) Climbing Helmet Suitable for Rappelling
Buying a climbing helmet usually involves a trip to a climbing gear store for one simple reason: each person’s head is different, which is why testing the helmet beforehand is definitely a good idea. How do you choose a rappelling helmet? The most important thing is to ensure your helmet fits tightly on your head, so it doesn’t wobble.
Try it out by putting the helmet on your head and tightening the straps as much as possible without causing discomfort. You can also shake your head left to right in order to observe whether or not the helmet is moving. When rappelling, you should always fit your helmet perfectly as you do not want to mess with it once you are hanging off the side of a cliff.
Breathability is another important aspect of the helmet. A better design will provide you with more ventilation during a rappel, and your head will remain cooler. Rappelling can sometimes take quite a bit of time, and you don’t want to heat up too much or start sweating excessively. This can be quite distracting, and distractions can ruin your day.
The climbing helmets are available in many different materials. There are some that are lighter than others, some that are heavier, and some that look better.
2) Rappelling Harness
Climbing is impossible without a harness. The main component of any rappelling kit is the harness.
Climbers wear a harness around their waist and legs to secure the rappelling device. The shapes and sizes of harnesses are produced by several different brands and manufacturers. The functionality and comfort levels of each of them depends on the particular application.
While harnesses can differ in specification, this basic rappelling gear primarily serves as a seat for climbers.
3) Ropes suitable for rappelling
Rappelling ropes are among the most important pieces of equipment. They provide climbers with a wide range of benefits. As you know, you can choose from different types of ropes. For your own safety, you should choose the right rope for your application.
For rappelling, climbers typically use a dynamic rope, which they can also use for climbing. While they are adequate for climbers, these ropes stretch. They can also be damaged by rock edges over time.
A long climbing route or a huge wall that can take several days is better done with static ropes for both climbing up and descending. The static ropes don’t stretch as much as the typical ropes. They are also more durable against rocks and sharp edges.
4) Rappelling Device
The rappelling devices themselves are included in the basic kit of rappelling equipment. The rappel device, also known as a descender, is a friction hitch. It is also possible to learn how to use rappel racks.
This method allows you to feed a rope through the rope in a controlled manner while having a load on it – without having to exert too much effort to control the flow.
The rope is a climber’s best friend and an essential component of rappelling equipment. Climbers use it to control the speed of their descent. Depending on the device, the rope leaves the device at a different angle or is subjected to a different force below the device.
If you prefer to descend at a decent speed or if you are an adrenaline junkie who enjoys a thrill, this device is for you.
5) Rappelling Gloves
A good pair of climbing gloves is an essential component of rappelling equipment. Your hands will be protected from the rope while you descend and will be more comfortable with gloves on. The most adventurous climbers avoid gloves, but most use ropes.
In high-risk situations, experienced mountaineers and climbers typically go gloveless due to the direct contact between the rope and their hands. A basic rappelling kit should include this equipment, however, for amateur climbers. To know more about rappelling gloves, check out this article.
6) Climbing Pants Comfortable for Rappelling
We would not recommend using a conventional pair of pants for rappelling or climbing. In addition to offering protection in key areas such as the knees and crotch, hiking pants are also quite practical.
Most of these pants are made from stretchy yet durable fabrics, and they have multiple pockets for storing essentials. You may find that getting the right pair of climbing pants is not an easy task, but we’ve compiled a handy guide for you that will set you on your way.
It’s never a good idea to buy hiking pants unless you know your own measurements, because there’s nothing worse than pants that are tight or loose in all the wrong places. Be aware that some pairs are meant for cold weather, while others are best for summer trekking. You should also take into account moisture-wicking technology and breathability.
7) Climbing/Rappelling Shoes
In addition to rappelling shoes, you will need a helmet. It goes without saying that good quality shoes are essential.
Rappelling shoes should have a sturdy sole that gives you a firm grip while allowing you to maintain good traction with the wall as you descend.
8) Rappelling Rings
Although it isn’t advisable to rappel using a rappelling ring, this piece of climbing equipment does play an important role, as it’s often used to create anchors. Steel, aluminum alloy, or steel alloy are used to make the rings in order to cause the least amount of rope wear possible.
There is already a comprehensive guide about rap rings here that you can find on our website. There are also some suggestions on what kind of rappel ring you should buy and how long you should use it before replacing it.
9) Prusik Cord (Backup Knot)
We talked about the backup knot earlier. This is an essential part of the entire safety apparatus when rappelling that is used by more experienced climbers.
A backup knot, also known as a Klemheist knot, prusik knot, or autoblock knot, is used by climbers if they lose control of their ropes while ascending or descending.
Carabiners are an integral part of any rappelling equipment kit. A carabiner is a large clip used by climbers to connect different elements of a rappelling system.
Climbers with experience use a wide variety of carabiners. In particular, the best locking carabiners are essential. During descent, the clip can be locked shut and secured so there is no chance it will open up.
Backup knots can also be created with carabiners. The carabiner is used to attach the harness and the rappelling device in the most basic setting.
The material for anchoring is the next item you should have in your basic rappelling equipment. At the top of the descent, anchors are used to securing the rope. There are several types of anchors. These anchors can vary depending on the situation.
Nature tends to give the best results when pitons and boulders are used. These are metal spikes that can be wedged into the cracks of the rock face you are climbing. Climbing anchors are constructed from different materials. To know more about anchors check out this article.
These may also include cams, nuts, and bolts, in addition to pitons. When searching for the best climbing slings to use with natural anchors, such as trees or boulders, keep a two-foot-long rope handy.
Climbers often resort to rappelling as a last resort, or when there is no other way to reach the ground safely after ascending. It doesn’t have to be a scary or uncomfortable experience. Those are some of the best rappelling gear starter kits you can get if you’re a beginner or are just wondering where you can find a rappelling gear starter kit.
Rappelling can be a challenging undertaking if you choose the wrong gear.