If you’ve been pulling plastic in a climbing gym for a while now and you’re ready to take the next step to real rock, congrats. Outdoor climbing is exhilarating, but not without its own unique set of challenges.
The most important things to consider are safety, comfort, and durability. You should only buy protective gear that’s UIAA certified and made by a trusted brand, ideally one that specializes in climbing-specific equipment. And, yeah, you’re gonna want a comfortable getup because the last thing you want to worry about when you’re splayed out on an exposed rock face is that your pants are restricting your movement or they’re going to split.
Make sure you’re prepared for whatever the crag throws at you with these essential pieces of outdoor climbing gear.
Note: We’re not mentioning any protection or anchoring gear such as quickdraws, slings, rope, PASs, cams, or nuts because building anchors and leading traditional routes require specialized knowledge and are not things a beginner outdoor climber should be handling. Be sure you’re going with someone who’s knowledgeable and prepared.