Trad gear – basic

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    so ive done a bit of trad(outside climbing) and it was really fun but…. I definitely didnt have all the gear.  Ive got the basics down (i should google but im lazy) and if anyone could help that would be great 🙂

    sling – 1m okay?

    prusik – ive an 8mm by 1m cord. Google says i should have A 5/6mm by 1.5m or longer (abseiling)

    carabineers – 3 of these with at least 2 screwgates

    Belay – needed for abseiling

    harness and shoes(duh)

    • This topic was modified 6 years, 10 months ago by tprebs.

    Yep, that’s about all you need to second.

    sling: 120 or 240 are fine. 120 can be less faff at times but I use 240 as they give more flexibility.


    Belay plate to belay your leader and abseil back off if needed. Prusik is not essential but I personally don’t ab without one unless I have to.


    You shouldn’t need any more than one small extra screw gate and an HMS to belay unless you are leading or multipitching (it’s only used for clipping you to an anchor)


    • This reply was modified 6 years, 10 months ago by Jonathan.
    • This reply was modified 6 years, 10 months ago by Jonathan.

    Gear is aid, as are ropes shoes, only chalk is allowed…..but in all seriousness grab some quickdraws and some slings and screwgates, after that just borrow club like i did for a year then start buying fancy shiney when you think your deffs hooked for trad.

    The Club Cat

    120 or 240 sling is grand, preferably both, if you can spare the cash. I would tend to recommend a 120 to start with. 240’s are mostly only useful in build anchors and gear nests.

    The thinner the cord, the more the prussik will ‘bite’, so it depends on how what you prefer when abseiling. I went for 6mm, cos that’s pretty much the standard. 8mm might work, but it might not bite enough, depending on the slickness of the cord. I’d say 1.5m is a bit long; 1.2m or 1.3m is an easier length to deal with. I just ordered 4m of cord and got them to cut it into 1.2m, 1.3m and 1.5m lengths. I’ve yet to use the 1.5m. (If you do order a length like this, get them to cut it, cos they’ll seal the ends, so it doesn’t unravel halfway down a cliff.)

    As many carabiners as you can. One for each sling, and one spare, as a minimum, I’d’ve said. I’d also recommend a snapgate or something to haul your walking boots up on your harness, so you don’t have to walk off in you climbing shoes.


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    The Club Cat

    I was under the impression we were mostly looking at gear needed for seconding/general being outside on crags. Otherwise; let the gear debate commence!

    In terms of first protection, stick to nuts and hexes, unless you have more money than sense.

    Oh, and get a nut-key.

    (I was looking to move this as well, but couldn’t see how, so I gave up…)


    Buy a belay plate, a few screwgates, a couple of 120 slings (for cows tail purposes if you do a multi pitch) and some prussik cord (if you need help tying them, ask an older club member to show you how!). Maybe a nut key…

    Don’t buy nuts/hexes/cams until you actually have a feel for trad and want to do it. Lots of people join the club and stay as indoor climbers or just sport climbers, so why waste upwards of a £200 on gear that may never get used?

    Likelihood is that you will begin climbing with older ones in the club who will have a full rack. Borrow from the club after gaining enough experience/desire to want to trad climb. Eventually you will get to a stage were you want to use your own gear, and by then you will probably have a bit more money to splash out on it… or not!


    Ok so trad gear. You have many phases of a trad rack.

    Phase 1 – Seconder

    You dont lead trad but you are out learning how to place gear by seconding someone who is experienced. When you second someone you climb up after them and take the gear out. When taking it out,  look how its placed (especially with nuts, hexes). It will help you pick up placing gear and you get to climb at the same time.

    Gear required:

    1. Harness
    2. Shoes
    3. belay plate & screwgate
    4. Nut key (
    5. screw gate – for abseiling if required
    6. prussik (~6mm thick cord tied in a prussik knot. ~1m long) – for abseiling if required

    to save on money initially you can loop the prussik around the nutkey and use the same screwgate you would for abseiling to connect the nutkey to yourself. in the long run you will get more screw gates

    phase 2 – Starting off trad climbing.

    You have been seconding experienced people for a while and you want to get a piece of the action. Find an experienced climber who is happy to teach you and would most likely use their gear for your first few climbs. After you first few leads you are super psyched and realize trad is for you. as you are still inexperience you will be climbing with other experienced people so will either borrow a lot of their rack or borrow gear from the club.

    Gear Required

    1. 5 x Quick draws – standard draws you use at the wall
    2. 5 x Quick draws – either 5 more standard draws but preferably ones of variable lengths (you will learn why). maybe a couple of extendable draws made from 2 snapgates and a 60cm sling
    3. 1 hms screwgate – when building anchors you will want a hms screw gate.. trust me! ( hms Link)
    4. 2 x screw gate – standard sides screwgates – smaller and lighter than big HMS screw gates. You will use them in anchors
    5. 120cm sling – can be used as gear on a route or in the anchor.Sling link
    6. 240cm sling – mainly used in anchors can be really useful for throwing around a huge block making a bomb proof belay.Sling link

    Phase 3 – First Trad rack (prepare to start eating rice and gravy as you will have no money)

    You have been fully bitten by the trad climbing bug. You climb with other experienced people but you have enough experience that you can climb with people with the same or less experience than you. you will now start getting your own gear and borrowing less from the club. (Except cams)

    1. 1 set of nuts – e.g. DMM wallnuts, Wild country rocks, Black diamond stoppers. Link
    2. 1 set of hexes – e.g. DMM torque nuts, Wild country Rockentrics, Black diamond Hexcetrics link

    … start thinking about cams

    Phase 4 – Friends with someone who robbed the Bank of Ireland in 2012 and can afford cams now. climbing more and climbing some harder stuff. nuts and hexes don’t cut the mustard any more and you want some friends.

    • cams are generally cheaper bought in sets. e. g. Wild country Helium friends com in sets 0.5, 1.5, 2.5 and 1, 2, 3 . This will give you a good range of cams. to start with
    • Keep your eye out! – There are always deals to be found, rock run, v12 outdoor, bananafingers, joe brown etc. lots of good places to hunt out a Dragon cam for 35 quid in stead of 50!

    maybe look at Camp Tri cams (a.k.a poor mans cams)

    • handy things that will go where cams go and some places cams wont!
    • ~£60 for 4 tricams which is just over the RRP for 1 cam. Good value!
    • fiddly but awesome once you are used to them

    Future phases involve, I need more cams, my nuts are too big and I want to go to fairhead



    thanks guys, ive got the idea of it now


    probably ranted on a bit too much but I was procrastinating at work






    don’t forget… more cams

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