Basic gear for bouldering newbies

By Stef Zisovska
Publish Date:

One of the great things about bouldering is that it requires minimal gear, because of this it’s become a favorite climbing activity for many people. It is an incredibly fun and social sport which is spreading in popularity through all different age groups.  Here at Outdoor Revival HQ we’ve got a few eager climbers that love boldering.

It’s especially popular because there are options to boulder inside and outside, although of course climbing outside is way more interesting and fun. The diversity that bouldering offers can’t compare to any other activity and it’s more affordable than many other sports adding to its popularity.



The beauty of bouldering is not only its simplicity and availability but also great physical exercise, develops discipline, and of course, you get to enjoying the amazing cliffs all over the country.


If what you always wanted to do is to be a climber but could never afford to buy all the proper gear, this is your sport. You can start with a pair of rock shoes, chalk and a chalk bag on your belt.


Rock shoes are an essential part of any climbing gear.


Climbing shoe Photo Credit

Yes, you can also use a pair of regular athletic shoes, but if you want to experience real bouldering then get a pair of rock shoes, they will grip better, and you will feel safer. The sole of a rock shoe is composed of sticky rubber that helps your feet stay on the rock without sliding.

What kind of rock shoes you choose depends on the type of climbing but make sure to get rock shoes that smear enough (smearing is pushing against the rock, be that a ledge, or a face and getting good grip) to get you safe up on the cliff.

Sweaty hands can be very dangerous while climbing and even more if you climb small holds and crystals. That’s why all boulders use chalk. Chalk is magnesium carbonate that keeps the hands dry and helps you stick to the rock without falling. Gymnastics chalk is relatively cheap and has the same effect as the chalk specialized for climbing.


Be cautious how you use it though, many climbers avoid using chalk because it creates long-lasting stains on the rock and damages the surface. Climbing areas like Garden of Gods in Colorado permit the use of chalk in a color that matches the tone of the rock.



Chalk bags come in different colors and sizes. When buying one you need to try it in the store. You should be able to slip your hand in and out of it very easy. Never use a bag that is too small because the last thing you need when you’re hanging off a cliff is to get your hand stuck inside.


Chalk bag

Lastly, you’ll need a bouldering pad in case you fall. Outdoor boulders always use a pad, especially when climbing in areas with rocky surface. Pads consist of one layer of soft foam, which is the lower one, and the top hard foam layer. The size of the pad depends on where are you climbing, how high are you and how much space you have in the car to transport it.


Bouldering can be hard at the beginning, but don’t give up. Everything worthwhile in life takes a lot of effort and strength. This amazing climbing routine will become your favorite outdoor activity as long as you climb that first rock.

Follow the tips of more experienced climbers, get your gear ready and head to the cliff of your bouldering dreams.


If you have any comments then please drop us a message on our Outdoor Revival Facebook page

If you have a good story to tell or blog let us know about it on our FB page, we’re also happy for article or review submissions, we’d love to hear from you.

We live in a beautiful world, get out there and enjoy it.

Outdoor Revival – Reconnecting us all with the Outdoor