Rock Climbing Equipment
If you've seen those little black dots, perched on the sides of sheer cliff faces in quarries or honed athletes hanging from tiny bumps and crags in the Peak or Lake Districts, you may have thought rock climbing is not for you.
Perhaps the costs seemed too high, or the required level of fitness too great. Neither should be true - even living in a town isn't an excuse, with so many indoor climbing walls around.
Rock climbing is a sport which continues to grow in popularity, providing the chance to pit your abilities against nature's toughest challenges, blowing away day-to-day dramas at a stroke.
It's important to get tuition first before tackling the great outdoors, either by joining a club or going to a training weekend. Whichever you choose, instructors will tell you one thing straight away: investing in good rock climbing equipment is not only advisable, it can be life-saving.
Although the range of climbing gear on offer can seem bewildering, that doesn't make it a sport which becomes cost-prohibitive. It is a case of picking the climbing equipment you actually need, rather than the gear you want.
Start-up costs aren't terrible; remember it's more a choice of what you want versus what you need. Essentials are: shoes, helmet, harness, locking carabiner, figure eight, belay device and chalk bag. This is assuming you'll find a partner (and finding a partner is one of the most difficult aspects of climbing) who has more cash than you and has already sprung for the rest of the gear.