Many fans of the outdoors love a good hike, but a smaller part of that population think it just isn’t engaging and exciting enough to be their entire reasoning for leaving the house. For those people, climbing is a fantastic option. Rock climbing is a full body workout and comes with the added benefits of being able to see beautiful views and get a huge shot of adrenaline.
It isn’t recommended that you just put on a pair of hiking boots and look for the biggest hill in your area and just have at it, though. Being a proper climber requires a bit of forethought and preparation if you want to get the most out of the hobby and also stay safe. Nobody wants to be stranded at the bottom of a hill with a busted back because they didn’t take all of the necessary steps to stay on track, that’s for sure.
Here’s how to get yourself set up in the world of climbing:
Get Yourself A Guide
A guide in this case can be anyone from a paid professional to a friend of yours who already knows the area and is willing to show you the ropes. You should always climb with a partner, but your first few climbs should be led by someone else who’s able to adequately prepare you for the hazards you’ll have to overcome. They’ll also be able to spot any flaws you might have with your equipment/how you put on your equipment as well as technique. Take advantage of their experience and learn as much as you can before you start leading climbs of your own.
Figure Out What Kind of Climbing You’re Into
There’s the old saying that there are many ways to skin a cat, and that concept applies to climbing as well. It’s a multi discipline hobby and each different type of climbing has its own type of equipment and skillset. For instance, there’s mountaineering which involves climbing extremely tall mountains and knowing how to deal with snow, ice, and rocky conditions.
Camping skills are essential of good mountaineers. Then there’s traditional climbing which is your typical style of climbing in which some gear is placed to help mitigate falls and you go bit by bit.
Then there’s sport climbing which involves going through a route already mapped out as well as bouldering which is most easily described as a kind of natural parkour. There’s a lot of different ways to climb, is what I’m saying here.
Gear Up Properly
Your next step once you’ve figured out what kind of climbing you’re going to partake in is to gear up adequately. Footwear is what varies the most per climbing discipline, so enlisting the help of certain sites like Adventure Genesis to look at all the differences is a must. Some equipment may be provided by your guide or gym initially, but you really should invest in your own personalized gear that fits you perfectly.
Your clothing should both suit the temperature you’re climbing in and not restrict movement whatsoever. These clothes should also wick away sweat and be extremely breathable, all while also having the ability to dry out fast so you’re not bogged down by a sweaty top.
Ultimately the most essential pieces of gear are your shoes and your helmet. The shoes should be snug but not tight and also be designed for the kind of climbing you’re going to partake in. Climbing shoes aren’t meant for walking long distances, so walk to your climb in more comfortable running shoes and then swap out when you’re ready to go.
Once you’ve taken all of these tips to heart you’ll be able to set off on your first excursion to the mountain range or gym to show nature who’s boss. From a fitness standpoint, climbing is a great way to stay in shape plus it’s always nice to reap the benefits of some fresh air. Just do your homework about wherever you’re going before you head out, being prepared is half the battle when it comes to climbing.