Canyoning involves the descent of narrow rock passageways. For a full description, have a read of this post which goes into more detail:
Canyoning gear is very specific to the environment. Wet canyons will differ to dry canyons. As wet canyons are more frequent than dry ones around the world, the list will be catered for them.
A large part of the list involves safety gear. You should always buy new gear when possible and save the second hand stuff for non-critical items like wetsuits, clothing & shoes.
Canyoning gear- the essentials
There is always huge debates on whether canyoning shoes need to be specific to the sport. In short. No. You can get any old pair of sand shoes or trainers and you will be fine. After I had 2 pairs of expensive canyoning shoes, I have since just gone back to $30 pair’s from regular shoes shops.
FIRST AID KIT
Always carry a first aid kit! I usually take a very basic one on day trips. Just as important as the kit is knowing how to use it! Take a first aid course at your first opportunity. Some important items I like to keep in my kit are: ◘ Gas Lighter & Flint ◘ Pain relief (paracetamol & Ibuprofen) ◘ Water purification tablets ◘ Tweezers (In Australia this is for tick removal or splinters/spines, get a good quality one) ◘ Small scissors ◘ 2 band aids
Your rope is your lifeline to adventure. Always treat your rope like your life depends on it (which it does). Use static rope such as the Tendon 9-10mm Speleo or you can get special canyoning rope with added features like floatation and water resistance. These are often more pricey but can be worth it for those who do the sport a lot.
For any wet canyons, you will need a wetsuit! This traps a thin layer of water next to the skin which is rapidly heated by your body. What thickness should you get? A 3mm is usually fine for most places, like the Blue Mountains in Australia, but for areas like Europe, New Zealand, Taiwan, Japan and Canada a thicker one may be needed. A 3mm wetsuit can be boosted with extra layers, but sometimes a thicker one is unavoidable. Buy one suited for your area and always try them on before buying. What should you look for? ◘ Make sure you can move around in it and aren't getting choked on the neck! Do squats and swing your arms. Though it'll offer resistance, note any extreme rubbing points or places that hurt. ◘ Try on all wet suits available. Pick one based on fit, not the price.
Your backpack for canyoning should be your first addition. Without it, you cannot carry anything after all. Do you need a specific pack? That all depends on whether there is a lot of water or not and how fast it flows. If there is a lot and it flows fast, or you can spare the cash, get a fast draining canyoning specific backpack. What should you look for? ◘ Water draining ability is a must. For starting in low water volume canyons, use a day pack and install grommets in them (brass ringed holes). These can be found at most hardware stores, complete kits are less than $15. ◘ Minimal straps (which get caught on rocks) are a must. Comfort takes second place in canyoning. For extra padding, drape your wetsuit over your shoulders.
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