Build your first climbing rack

Ideas by Chris, words by Anne

I remember going to buy my first pieces of climbing kit. I saved up my money and went to the shop. I felt excitement about the prospect of owning my own gear, but also bewilderment, because I wasn't sure how to get the best kit on my limited budget.

If you're at that stage in your climbing career, maybe what you need is a bit of advice so you don't have to stand in the shop, or browse the website, overwhelmed by all the different karabiners, and wondering what each one is best for.

Many of my recommendations are for DMM kit - because it is great kit, I use it all the time, and it is a UK company. Some of the pages linked to have useful short videos.

Belay device

Pivot with Ultra O screwgate

DMM Boa krab


8x 18cm Quickdraws with Spectre 2 krabs 

2x 60cm Dyneema 8mm slings made into long draws with Spectre 2 krabs

Wires etc

Full rack of Wallnuts 1-11

Half rack of Wild Country Rocks 1,3,5,7,9

The WC rocks are a slightly different shape to the Wallnuts, so they sit differently in a crack.

DMM Torque Nuts 1,2,3,4


Dragon cams sizes 0, 1, 2, 3, each with a Spectre 2 krab


2x 240cm Dyneema 8mm sling & Sentinel HMS screwgates

1x 480cm Dyneema 8mm sling & Sentinel HMS screwgate

And last but not least, and very useful...

A nut key

Where to buy?

I recommend The Climber's Shop. They have an online store, and also a retail outlet in Ambleside (scroll down the page for shop details).

What next?

So now you've got all the kit - you need to get out there and get some scratches on it! Check out my Top Ten Favourite Lakeland Crags blog series for some fantastic routes to tick off:

Raven Crag, Langdale

Dow Crag, Conison

Gimmer Crag, Langdale

Wallowbarrow Crag, Duddon Valley

Shepherd's Crag, Borrowdale

Watch out for the next five in the series.