Start Building Your Trad Rack

I recently just started Trad climbing. For those of you who are not familiar with what trad climbing is, it is the traditional style of climbing where the climber places their own protection into cracks and then it is removed after they are done climbing the route.


If you are like me and have become super obsessed with it, then you are probably looking to drop some $$$$ on your own gear. For most of us building a rack takes time cause it is pretty expensive. Buying pieces here and there as you can is typical practice. Having a full rack is good, next you will want to double, triple, or quadruple your rack. Depending on what style rock and where you are climbing. Different cracks, different size protection.

I’ve made a list of a few of the necessities to get you started. As with a lot of climbing it’s always nice to go out with a few friends who have gear as well so you can combine and share the load. That way you can all share and don’t have to own all the gear you need yourself.

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My favorite Cams are the Black Diamond Camalot C4 Package #0.5 – 3 

I like the Black Diamond Cams the most cause they are lightweight and easy to handle.

Another thing you should get to go with your cams are carabiners. I love these Black Diamond Neutrino Rackpack 6 pack they match the color of the Cams.

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Another good thing to have is a set of nuts. I like these from Wild Country Rock Set 1-5 

Or you can get a full rack of nuts like these Black Diamond Stopper Set Pro #1-13  which is a great starting set.

If you have nuts you will also want to get a nut tool for when they get stuck or jammed too tight in the cracks. I like this one, Wild Country Pro-Key Nut Tool with Leash

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You’ll also want to have some alpine draws, or slings and carabiners for extending your pieces. I like this pack of 4 alpine draws cause it’s a great deal for 8 carabiners and 4 slings! Trango Phase Alpine Draw – 4-Pack

Quickdraws are also a necessity. I like these Mad Rock Concorde Express Quickdraw Set – 6-Pack cause they are slim, lightweight, and versatile.

You need some locking carabiners like these Black Diamond Positron Screwgate Carabiner – 3-Pack

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Every climber needs a good rope. Not just for Trad climbing but sport as well. My personal favorite is this one by Blue Water.

Blue Water Lightning Pro 9.7mm Climbing Rope

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I also recommend a puffy jacket. Sometimes it starts out cold and gets really warm, and vice versa. The weather can be unpredictable in some areas so it’s always nice to have something lightweight and compactable. Puffy jackets are usually great cause they pack down to almost nothing and are super lightweight. I love this one Backcountry Silver Fork 750 Down Jacket – Women’s

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And that’s a pretty good start to your trad rack! You can just add to it little by little from there until you have all that you need! Also visit for all your other climbing and outdoor gear needs!

Happy Climbing!

Photos by Eric Fallecker


2 thoughts on “Start Building Your Trad Rack

  1. Great article. I have found friends that have full racks and are willing to take me up, but I want to start building my own rack too. Thanks for insight!

    1. Thanks Chris!
      Having friends with racks is so awesome! There’s a great feeling about starting to buy your own gear thouJgh. It takes time to get all the stuff you need but it’s extra fun to get new toys and take them out to play! Happy Climbing!

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