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Have you ever scampered up the massive boulders of Joshua Tree National Park or scaled the walls of stone-embedded 1970s architecture? Bouldering might be right for you. It’s small-scale rock climbing without the use of ropes, harnesses and hardware, and perfect for beginner rock climbers. But before you send yourself up your next problem (a problem is a climbing term for a bouldering route), you’ll need some basic equipment so you can get a good grip on the rock and your vertical, rope-free reality. We’ve asked Matt Gamboa, who climbs at Seattle Bouldering Project, to guide you in the right direction.... more
The fit of these pants is just right for bouldering. Not too loose, not too tight, which allows for free-flowing movement without worrying about getting caught on anything. The legs roll up and have buttons to snap in place, so you can switch to a Capri-style pant for easy climbing. They will make you look pro!
This is my go-to shirt for climbing and just being active in general. It’s super affordable and does a great job at absording sweat. It’s also airy and light, so it keeps my body cool while my heart starts pumping as I get over those more challenging sections.
These are intermediate level shoes, so they are great if you are starting out and will last for quite some time as you progress your way to higher grades. They’re made of vegan-friendly synthetic materials, so you’re doing good for the world. And the velcro straps make them really easy to put on and take off.
Love the prAna brand and lifestyle. These shorts are super light and very durable. They feel like a blend between swim shorts and khakis. They utilize an elastic band for tight comfort and have three pockets to put your travel items in. I use these for climbing, running, or just lounging around comfortably in the house.
When it comes to keeping your hands dry and grippy, I much prefer the chalk ball vs. loose powder. Both are messy, but the chalk ball keeps things somewhat contained so I don’t worry when my chalk bag flips upside down in my bag or car. I also like squeezing the bag to chalk up my hands, it almost feels like a stress ball. Nice and squishy.
You need a chalk bag—it’s essential! And so if you’re going to get one, then why not get one with some character to express yourself. I chose this Krieg bag with a T-Rex and a motivational statement to keep me pumped. It’s got a drawstring to close up the opening and keep the chalk from falling out, and a pocket in the back so you can keep important items with you securely.
You’re either a “no socks” or “yes socks” climber. I am on the "yes" boat. But with that comes the importance of having the thinnest socks you can find since much of climbing has to do with being able to feel the boulders. These Bombas socks keep your feet dry and are some of the most comfortable socks I’ve ever owned.
If you want a more upscale version of the affordable Uniqlo Dry-Ex shirt from a true outdoor brand, then Patagonia is the brand for you. This shirt provides moisture absorbing protection and is extremely lightweight. It’s as if I’m wearing a shirt made of feathers. The intricate weaving and patterns in the shirt make for a cool item to wear. And color selection is great.
This is a great pack to hold all of your gear. As a boulderer, you only need your chalk bag, shoes, and some water and snacks. So you don’t need a huge bag, but also need a one big enough to hold those items. This is a perfect size for keeping your bouldering gear in for slugging around from the gym and back.
These Yeti products are so great at keeping your beverage cold or hot. The vacuum insulation technology is key and the design of the rambler is simple. I don’t go anywhere without a freshly filled Yeti to keep me hydrated.
The only thing better than conquering that route you’ve tried over and over again is being able to watch your triumph later! Whether it’s archiving and studying your progress or posting your next viral hit on TikTok, this well known tripod makes for a great companion to hold your phone and record you. It’s sturdy and flexes to almost any angle. And you can even wrap the legs around poles or other protrusions to get that hot action shot.
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