It can be daunting knowing what to buy for your first climbing rack, especially as there is so much choice when you walk into most kit shops, let alone look online.This is an idea of what I might chose to rack on my harness, I may not always carry everything, for example the hexes work well on big traditional VD terrain, but perhaps not so suitable for steeper routes. I often have more extenders, sometimes I add a few shorter ones, but my core rack of belay kit, nuts, cams, a couple of slings and extenders never changes.
If I am honest I buy most of my climbing gear from DMM, it’s made right in the village I live, by the folk who live around me, you really can’t get more local than that! They offer factory tours to groups which are well worth going on to understand how their products are made, what’s involved and the rigorous testing they do. They also make karabiners for NASA, specifically for spacemen to clip themselves on to the spaceship when they go on moonwalks... if DMM kit is good enough for a spaceman......well hey I want one!
So, a rack.....
I carry a double set of DMM Walnuts They are colour coded (honest!) which is really handy when you need to find the right one. They colours are transferable across other brands in case you wanted to mix and match too. I separate mine into small, medium and large on three snap gates to make them easy to choose
I prefer to use 60cm Dyneema slings with snap-gates, this gives me the versatility of being able to use them long or short. You can take out as many as you think you might need. I usually take a few more than what'’s in the photo
Have a look at DMM's full Carabiner and Quickdraw range here
I only need 3 for the belay and if more are required I will use the extenders snap gates back to back
BELAY PLATE AND OVAL KARABINER
I’ve used a Guide Plate for a long time as it offers me a range of options and since DMM made the Pivot, it has made belaying even more efficient. I use an oval karabiner on my plate for a number of reasons, perhaps the main one being to reduce the chances of cross loading
These can be used in a whole variety of ways, but probably most commonly for protecting an abseil.