Are you just now considering the wonderful world of outdoor rock climbing? If so, you’re in luck—this activity is a great way to get fit, push yourself, and meet new people. Here are three tips for your first outdoor rock climbing experience.
If you’re just starting your rock climbing endeavors, it’s important to understand the fundamentals and techniques that’ll lead to success and safety. First, consider the importance of your feet—you should always climb with your feet instead of your hands. Your lower half is more powerful than your upper half, giving you superior lift and strength.
You also want to maintain “quiet feet,” which basically means keeping your feet calm and steady when scaling a rock face. As for your hands, use them to stabilize without hugging the wall. Rather, direct all of your weight to your center by keeping your arms straight. Steady, consistent breathing ensures your legs won’t shake aggressively, while engaging your core often keeps your body more stable overall. By implementing these techniques, you’ll become an expert climber in no time!
Choosing a Difficulty Level
It is far easier to control the difficulty of your environment when climbing inside, but outdoor rock scaling is completely different. If you’re a beginner, find locations more suitable to your skill level. Before you venture out, research the chosen area and determine the best spots for you; any rock climbing or bouldering location rated Class 4 and under should be within your abilities. If you’re unsure, reach out to the rock climbing community for further guidance—most climbers are eager to help a newcomer!
Unless you’re soloing your climb, you’ll need a good amount of gear to be successful and safe. Here’s a basic breakdown of the essential items required for any rock climbing excursion:
- A Belay Device
- Accessory Cords
- Crash Pad
- Assisted Braking Device
- Climbing Boots
- Hiking Boots (Yes, you’ll need both climbing and hiking shoes!)
Aside from these items, you’ll require adequate outdoor clothing to ensure protection from the elements. We highly recommend seeking out high-quality brands, such as Arc’teryx climbing garments, as these items won’t limit your range of motion.
By following these three outdoor rock climbing tips, you’ll ensure greater success and safety on your first excursion. Remember that climbing can be a wonderful social event, so consider inviting a friend or two along for fun!
IMAGE CREDIT: FILE #: 295239989 By Jakub Cejpek
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