Chalk Bucket: Metolius Bouldering Bucket with M16 Brush & Super Chalk
Years ago I'd go down to the climbing wall and tut under my breath at guys climbing with their tops off! I'm now normally one of the first to remove my shirt whilst bouldering now. I also used to scoff at anybody carrying their chalk around in a giant chalk bag. What's wrong with carrying a little one around on your waist? It's always to hand and other boulderers don't fall onto it. Then I ended up with one of my own. I crept down to the climbing wall when it was nice and quiet and surreptitiously placed it on the mat in the middle of the room. When nobody was looking I'd pop over, dip my hands in, and climb a problem. Granted, on a few of the longer problems I found I could have done with a re-chalk towards the top, but by and large I got by just fine. In fact, on the odd occasion when I fell off a problem (tongue firmly in cheek there) I soon noticed a lack of chalk cloud in my vicinity as I landed on my unencumbered behind! Soon enough I grew accustomed to using the bucket and would regularly find myself standing and chatting in a circle of other climbers around a collection of similar buckets, disturbingly reminiscent of some ladies I once saw paying homage to their handbags at a night club in Rotherham. Who knows, next I may be wearing a beanie! ;-)
I guess you get the picture. I've been fully converted. So what of this bucket in particular? It retails at £30, which on the face of it seems a little steep. However, bundled with the bucket is an M-16 bouldering brush and a 2.5oz bag of Metolius Super Chalk. These two items alone will set you back around £5. The bag is thoroughly well made of brown corduroy (also comes in yellow, flames and dots), tapered so that it doesn’t fall over. The toggle draw string provides ample closure to stop chalk dust escaping. The bag is large enough, even with three bags of chalk in it, to fold over the top edge, thus almost guaranteeing no spillage. It is pile lined, so no unpleasant surprises for battered fingers. There are a couple of brush holders, one small one which fits the M-16, and a slightly larger one which unfortunately is not big enough to fit a nail brush. It also has two Velcro fastening externals pocket big enough to keep a mobile, wallet and keys in. The opening is big enough to get a couple of hands in simultaneously which I like. Basically a well designed bucket with no design flaws that I have found yet.
Of note, the M-16 brush is by far and away the best bouldering brush I have yet used. It is twin tipped, and was originally used to clean, yes you guessed it, M-16 Machine Guns! Metolius Super Chalk is also among the best brands of chalk out there, and does not have that soapy texture that many do.