Between multiple trips to the Gunks, days clipping bolts at Rumney, and many outings to crag at various cliffs in New Hampshire (Whitehorse, Longstack Precipice, Square Ledge, Echo Crag, and Artists Bluff), Greater Boston (Quincy Quarries, Rattlesnake Rocks, Hammond Pond, and Crow Hill), and Connecticut (Chatfield Hollow), I’ve been climbing a lot this season. Here’s some of the gear that keeps finding its way into my kit no matter the outing.
- Petzl Gri-Gri 2. In my opinion, this is the best and most versatile belay device on the market. It excels at top-managed belays and lowers, offers a great lead belay, and is a must for single-pitch guiding. Just about everybody that I’ve climbed with this year is carrying some version of the Gri-Gri.
- It’s been sunny and hot in the northeast this summer, and I’ve been living in my Patagonia Tropic Comfort II sun shirt. Keeping me cool and un-burned on even the hottest days, it’s one of the best ways I’ve found for beating the heat. I already own two and have been wearing them so often that I’ll probably add a third before the summer is over. If you haven’t made the switch from performance t-shirts yet, you should.
- I made a commitment to wearing a helmet every time I climb outside on a rope this year and the Black Diamond Vapor has made it easy to hold up my end of the bargain. This is a great helmet that comfortably fits my head.
- Staying hydrated is critical to performing your best during those all-day climbing sessions. I’ve been adding GU Hydration Tabs to my water for the past couple of years and have been pleased with the results. I like the taste and have found them especially calming on days that my stomach isn’t 100%.
- I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: first aid matters. And although I hope to never have to use it for anything serious, a first aid kit is something that’s always in my climbing pack.