5 Ways to Climb on the Cheap


Yep, that’s several hundreds of dollars just hanging around.

Okay, okay, maybe this post should really be titled “5 Ways to Climb on the Cheaper“, because let’s face it, this little sport we love is expensive no matter how you slice it. Shoes, gym memberships, ropes, boulder pads… and that’s just the beginning. Don’t even get me started on trad gear. Chaaa-ching. Unfortunately we don’t have any amazing secrets for how you can climb completely for free, but we do have a few suggestions to make it a little less painful.

Find a Deal. Confession: I haven’t paid full price for a 10-visit punchcard to a climbing gym in years. Gyms are popping up everywhere and as a result deals for them are also popping up on Groupon, Amazon Local, and Living Social. Keep an eye out and snatch them up when you can, even if you still have a few passes left on your current punchcard.

Bouldering: sport climbing's cheaper alternative.

Bouldering: sport climbing’s cheaper alternative.

Boulder. All you really need is a pad, shoes, and chalk. You can really save some dough by leaving out the harness, draws, rope, belay device, belay gloves… you get the point. If you’re really strapped for cash and don’t love being on a rope anyway, stick to bouldering. It’s a lot friendlier on the wallet.

Resole. Instead of dropping another $100+ on a new pair of shoes visit your local resoler to revive the old, beat up pair you’ve been rocking. If you don’t have a local resole company you can ship them off for resoling or ask if your local gym has a partnership with a resoler. Resoling usually runs from $25 to $40 and takes just a couple of weeks. Want to know more about resoling? You’re in luck cause we’ve got a whole post about it.

Don’t Overlook Used Gear. That’s right, check GearTrade, Ebay, Craigslist, and your local gym for used gear. A lot of times people get into climbing for a week, buy all the best gear, and for whatever reason the sport just doesn’t stick with them (we don’t get it either!). But thanks to these fickle types you can get that like-new gear for cheap. One of our local gyms even does a gear swap and garage sale.

Thank you nature, for being free to enjoy.

Thank you nature, for being free to enjoy.

Get Outside! Ahhh, thank you great outdoors for  being completely FREE… well, with the exception of the occasional parking lot fee. Avoid over-priced day passes and enjoy climbing the old fashioned way by taking it all outside.

What are your secrets to climbing on the cheap?! Come on, share that frugal love.

Climb on!

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3 thoughts on “5 Ways to Climb on the Cheap

  1. The most cost effective thing I did for climbing was find a dedicated climbing group. We go on gear together all the time. I can’t/won’t climb alone anyway, so we might as well share the cost of the sport.

  2. Jess says:

    My gym (Earth Treks) has a harness replacement program that give you a discount on a new harness when you turn in an old, worn out one. We also get a discount on gear purchased at the gym as members. Also I’m always on the look out for REI member deals and coupons.

  3. sammy says:

    I second Maria. Climbing has been far less expensive than skiing or flying or other semi-“extreme” things. Not that they are that extreme, but ole mom seems to think so. lol. Like Maria is saying, you basically have to get a group together to climb anyway, so it’s perfect to share gear with a few other trustworthy and dedicated individuals. Also, it seems kind of lame, but people never know what to get for christmas. So now my little brother always knows to get me another carabiner and it’s actually very sweet and truly useful.

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