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How much Gear to Take on a Long Climbing Route

No one knows for sure how much and what would he/she need before he starts a climbing route. The best way is to do your homework first about the rock. What it requires, for how long is it climbed, what do other people take when going to that rock and everything related to it in order to know what is expecting you and how to start to prepare yourself.

There are experienced climbers that attend to make a climb with as less gear as possible and succeed in that. But, they probably made this climb hundred times before, and have learned the trick of how to climb fast and safe. That’s where another question should be answered by you about how experienced are you?

08-The Matterhorn via flickr by Matthew Boyle licensed CC BY-NC 2.0

Besides, before choosing a climb, check the weather in the days ahead and what is expected to be, in order to know what clothes to take with you for the day, or whether to take the raining coat? The best option according to me is to take, the more you can in order not to fear if a sudden weather change happens.

The best way to know what you should need and how much gear would you need is to answer to the following questions and do a small research for some previous climbing experience on the same rock.
The first question should be: Do you need to wear hiking shoes? It’s recommendable of course, only if you don’t have them and your budget is low it’s not necessary. This depends on your choice and the climb as well. If it’s a more dangerous climb than you should not safe on this.

Another question would be about the clothes and how much would you need? It depends on the climate there, if it varies a great deal, then it’s more beneficial to fit yourself with more clothes in order to sustain a bigger selection and don’t fear if it would become colder or hotter. But also don’t forget to get the raincoat. The weather can surprise you and you must be prepared for changes like these.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA via flickr by Jake Gordon licensed CC BY-SA 2.0

Then, how much food would you require? Well, this might depend on the time the climb will last and also your eating habit. If your body is habituated to less food, then you should bring less, or vice versa, if you eat a lot, then bring food that can fill your hunger up there. After all, you don’t want to starve yourself. You must maintain the energy for the climb and descent as well. Energy bars and gel packets are the best choice when climbing. They are easy to fit and very light and hold the necessary energy every climber would need. Bring more of them just in case. Likewise, you can add a bagel for added nutrition. Some climbers prefer taking hunks of cheese and salami when heading to day-long climbs. In other words, it depends on everyone’s taste and choice for food.

The most essential thing to bring on your climb is water. You must be well hydrated before you begin with the climbing, which means you should drink water the night and the morning before the climb (to camel up). Most climbers wear quart sized bottles of water with them. On a hot day, it’s recommendable to take at least two of these bottles with you. Water is the most important essential during the climb. Never leave yourself dehydrated. If you have the strength take as much water as possible, and powdered energy drinks as well, such as: Propel, Gatorade, or an electrolyte replacement.

05- Annapurna via flickr by Dietmar Temps licensed CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

And the final question is connected to the gear. How much and what should you bring on your long trip? If you are a new and inexperienced climber, it’s better to bring as much as possible (almost everything) in order to experience yourself, and see by yourself what will you need and in what situations will you use it. But the rock is the one that dictates this the best. That’s why these previously mentioned researches are needed. In order to check what did other people bring. You know it better what you use the most, and what you don’t use during the similar climbs.

Lay the whole gear out and decide what to use and how much of it should you take. The ropes are the most important in every case. Always take two of them. Also the harness is one of the hinges. These things are inevitable. Think well, of what other stuff would you need. Decide what is more important and what less. The biggest hesitation will be around the slings, Carabiners, cams, or Camalot. How much of them should you bring? If you have the space in the backpack, bring one of each or two pieces. But, set the whole gear on the carpet first, and get a look of very piece once again, and then go over and start separating the things into essential parts (the things that you’ll carry) and inessential parts (the ones you won’t carry).

10-Mountain Washington via flickr by Steve Johnson licensed CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Each piece of gear you take with you, must work hard for you and be essential in order to bring it. If all of the things you’ve selected have these features, then it’s fine and you’ve made the best choice. You can hit the climb, with all of them even if they are overweight. But if there are some things that you might hesitate about then you must think well before you close the backpack, if you will take them or not. Your choice is very important at the end.

If you have the place and can carry it, then take as much gear as possible. If not, try to make the best selection, according to the climb you are going to take, and the previous experiences (the ones you’ve made some research for). You can look into someone else’s experience and observe the same steps (for what gear should you need or what climb and descent to take the best). But never forget the weather. It is an important factor before you head for a climb. Don’t forget to always be geared up for a sudden weather change too.

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