What's In My Bag: Rock Climbing in the South East

What's In My Bag: Rock Climbing in the South East

This month's What is In My Bag is coming to you from Cnoc Outdoors' ambassador: Macy Howell. Macy's real passion is rock climbing so here is what is in her backpack when she hits the rock:

I'm an avid climber and hiker in the South East, and I'm so happy to live in a place with such beautiful crags. The colors in Tennessee are gorgeous! My favorite aspect to the sport is lead climbing, which comprises much more gear than bouldering, however, so this is my list of everything I take. First, I'll go over the basics, then touch on some things that are specific to my trips at the crag.

Full bag for rock climbing

Sport Climbing Gear

  • Quickdraws (10x)
  • Rope (Petzl 9.8mm 60m Dynamic Rope)
  • ATC Belay Device*
  • Harness
  • Multi-Anchor Chain
  • Clipping Stick 

*Fun Fact: ATC stands for Air Traffic Controller. Does that sound more nerve-wrecking than ATC? You bet it does!

Climbing Shoes and Chalk Bag

  • Five Ten Anasazi LV
  • Friction Labs Chalk

Belay Glasses

I love sport climbing, but I don't like sore necks. The picture above is my friend wearing those crazy mirror belay glasses which are angled so that you can see what's above you without craning your neck back. Just be careful not to try and walk around with these lest you run into a tree or someone else!

Grab a pair if you've got the extra funds and prefer sport climbing over bouldering! (Or just has a friend who hangs on the wall all the time)

Belay glasses

Hand Maintenance Kit

  • Athletic Tape wrapped around Climb On Salve stuffed in the pocket of my chalk bag
  • BLDG Active Skin Repair for after the climb
  • Nail Clippers

You can't climb without fresh hands, and you want to be careful to keep your skin from tearing so you can climb on! I have a routine for hand maintenance whenever I finish climbing, and it's applying BLDG Active Skin Repair Gel and hydrating with some sunscreen lotion. I may be a climber, but I don't always like my hands to look like they've been put through a meat grinder.

Hand care kit

Hand Lens (Jewelers Loop)

As a climber, I'm always on the rock, but as a Geologist, I take advantage of this by studying it! There isn't a geologist I know that is ever without their hand lens. I’ve identified ages of rock, and gemstones like tourmaline and beryl (emeralds) with this handy tool. It also helps me decipher the different minerals and their size that make up a rock, and is what most people use to discern real minerals from fake minerals (ie. diamonds). My natural curiosity tells me to bring it wherever I go!

    Snickers and Beef Jerky

    Last, but certainly not least, food. Not a classic combo, but this is what really keeps me going at the crag! Beef jerky, goldfish crackers, hummus and pita, subs, mangos, chocolates, you name it, it's been packed in my bag. Don't underestimate the power of s'mores either.

    On the way to the crag

    Other Items that I take occasionally

    • Hammock
    • Outdoor Research rain jacket
    • Dixie Craggers Guide Book
    • Vertex Carbon Trekking poles 
    • Beanie, Sunglasses
    • Book and Journal
    • Headlamp
    • Puffy Jacket

    As you can see I try to stay as minimalist as possible, climbing gear is heavy and it feels especially so after a hard day of rock climbing! Just remember that because you have extra space in your pack doesn't mean you have to fill it. I hope this help anyone looking to sport climb and please follow my blog at TheCuriousClimber.com to read my other tips and stories on my escapades out in the South East.

    Happy climbing!

    Enjoyed Macy's list? You can enjoy the post even more with 15% off your purchase from Macy on the Cnoc Outdoors site using the code CURIOUS.

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