My name is Justine Pope and I am a 22 year old female currently living in beautiful Calgary, Alberta (Canada) Fortunately I grew up here so I had the privilege of calling the Rocky Mountains my backyard which allowed me to discover my wanderess spirit at a very young age. I absolutely love anything that has to do with the beautiful outdoors. From canoeing to climbing, you can count me. I was always taught growing up even with very little that sharing is caring and if I have information that can be useful to other rad like minded individuals I’m happy to pass that on!
Mammut El Cap Climbing Helmet - Women's
Round of applause for mammut on a job well done with this one. With a name like el cap, you know it’s gotta be good. In my opinion, this is the perfect helmet for a beginner looking to get out to the crag or anyone looking for a well priced helmet. The price point on this guy is extremely affordable in comparison to most helmets on the mart all well offering a great source of protection and style at the crag. A couple cool features I love about this helmet are the wide range of vent holes and visor for the those hot sunny days, aswell as the 4 clips that make attaching and securing a headlamp a breeze.
Black Diamond Crag Climbing Gloves
One thing I tend to do is hold my rope too tightly, with the crag gloves I can hold on as tight as I please and not worry about burning the skin off my hands and compromising my climber when doing things like lowering them or rapping down the side of a mountain. Given that they weigh next to nothing I simply attach them to a carabiner and clip it to the back of my harness and don’t have to worry about them getting in my way on a climb. Added bonus would be that they keep your hands clean from all rope gunk. I constantly hear from other climbers that this is a piece they wish they had but ended up swept under the rug so I would definitely suggest this to anyone looking to build up there gear pile.
Keen Koven Mid WP Hiking Boots - Women's
Such an amazing company, the brand speaks for itself. I’ve been in love with these boots from the second I got them. I didn’t get a chance to break them in so going out on a long day hike I was convinced my feet would hate me by the end of the day but I ended up having zero problems in regards to this. Which goes to show you just how comfortable these boots really are. It also ended up pouring rain on our adventure so I got a chance to check out how waterproof they just were and let me tell you their true to there description. My feet were drier than the Sahara Deseret when arriving back to the vehicle. And as someone who sweats a lot from there feet I was incredibly surprised to see how great the breathable Membrane works which meant no stinky Feet! Although they offer a great source of support, they do cut a little lower on the ankle so if you have knee or back problems I would suggest something that continues higher up.
La Sportiva Finale Climbing Shoe - Women's
As a beginner climber I was looking for a pair of shoes that weren’t to aggressive but still offered somewhat of a curve. These shoes do just that. I’ve been consistently climbing with them for the past 6 months, getting outdoors 2-3 times a week and indoor any other chance I got and they’ve held up fabulously. From toe and heel hooks to smears on slab, I feel confident with my feet in these shoes as they offer great rubber durability. These are a great pair to purchase in regards to price point, lightweight and reliability. Given that the shoe is mostly leather, I would suggest downsizing as they will eventually stretch but the lace up feature on these help out with that a lot.
Petzl Reverso 4 Belay Device
In my personal opinion the reverso when on belay makes feeding rope to your climber a breeze in comparison to the grigri. Rappelling with the reverso is also relatively simple and unlike the grigri you can use your atc to double rope rappel allowing equal force to be placed on both strands of rope. I defiantly suggest purchasing a prusik to double as a third hand though so that if necessary you can release the breakline and stay where you are. If you opt out on the prusik always ask for a fireman’s belay when on rap. Although I love the protection and comfort the grigri offers with its auto lock, the grigri doubles in weight in comparison to an atc. Weight plays a huge factor in multipitching so being able to cut where you can defiantly matters. If your just starting out I would suggest the grigri over the reverso. As stated above the grigri makes belaying a lot more safer and relaxing as the auto lock does the work for you when catching a fall.
Therm-A-Rest Honcho Poncho
This is one piece of gear that I absolutely love. As someone who constantly finds them self cold the honcho poncho seems to solve a lot of my problems. Just throw it on top of whatever your wearing and your good to go. Not only can it be used as a poncho but it doubles as a blanket aswell. Buttons on the side make converting it as simple as pie. The front kangaroo pocket which is great for carrying things around is also used for a storage bag for the poncho itself, making it relatively compact. Once folded and stored it could triple as a pillow. Features include, both a water resistant and breathable shell protecting you from both rain and wind. Seriously this is next best thing to sliced bread.
Nalgene Wide-Mouth Water Bottle - 32 fl. oz.
Nalgene hands down produces the most durable bottle in the game and I believe that’s what really sets them apart from any other. Seriously Nalgene must have found these water bottles of krypton or something because they are indestructible and BPA free ;). And in case you didn’t guess it, if throwing it down the mountain doesn’t kill it neither will your dishwasher! Making cleaning quick and convenient as possible. Added bonuses are the loop around the mouth piece so you never misplace your lid aswell as measuring lines so if necessary you can monitor water consumption. This water bottle is one piece of gear I believe every adventure seeker should own.
Petzl Grigri 2 Belay Device
As it stands I’m currently using the Petzl reverso but when I first started climbing the grigri was my go-to belay device. The built in assisted breaking function makes belaying a lot easier for me on the ground and safer for my climber on the wall especially when catching falls. This device caters to just about every rope size making it a very versatile tool to have. Over the years Petzl has done a great job working with their design to make the grigri as light weight and compactable as possible so that’s definitely an added bonus. Overall this piece is an awesome addition to add to your rack’