10 Outdoor Rock Climbing Tips

Before you going rock climbing outdoors, check out these 10 outdoor rock climbing tips. Rock climbing outdoors presents different challenges than indoor rock climbing. Outdoor rock climbing exposes you to the weather and other conditions that cannot be controlled as well as an indoor rock climbing gym. Here are ten outdoor rock climbing tips:

  1. Practice bouldering. If you are new to outdoor rock climbing, one way you can practice is by bouldering outdoors. Outdoor bouldering is essentially the same idea as indoor bouldering. You won't need a harness or any other climbing gear (just shoes and a crash pad). This will get you used to finding your own routes, rather than just following the marked routes at the gym. You will also increase your skill and fitness.
  2. Bring a friend. Even if you are just bouldering, you should bring a friend when you are outdoor rock climbing. Even if they don't know how to climb, they can spot you. If possibly, bring a friend who can help you with your technique.
  3. Know the risks of outdoor climbing. The risks of outdoor climbing vary widely depending on the route, your location, and your ability. Make sure you are physically prepared to meet the challenges of outdoor climbing. Make sure you are familiar with the route and the techniques required.
  4. Communicate with other climbers. When you are climbing outdoors with rope (belaying), it is important that you understand how to communicate. There are specific climbing terms that allow you to communicate when you are ready to start or stop climbing (for example). Decide on a method of communication before climbing.
  5. Borrow rock climbing gear before your buy. If you are new to outdoor rock climbing, you probably don't understand the purpose of different rope diameters or belaying devices. Experts suggest trying out other people's gear before deciding to buy your own. This way you can figure out your preferences.
  6. Take two way radios. Communication is vital for a successful outdoor climbing experience. Depending on what kind our route you are climbing, you might not be within talking distance of your climbing partner. In this case, a two-way radio can help you communicate efficiently.
  7. Make sure you have the right climbing gear. If you are outdoor rock climbing in snowy or ice conditions, you will need crampons. You might also need a different type of harness if you are going on a long climb. You will also need appropriate climbing shoes and chalk.
  8. Inspect your gear before each climb. Harnesses can can up to seven years, but if your harness is frayed, this could indicate that it needs to be replaced sooner. If your ropes are starting to fray or if you can see the core, don't use them. When in doubt, ask someone who is more knowledgeable in outdoor rock climbing than you are.
  9. Bring a First Aid kit. Even if you are not climbing a particularly difficult route, bring a first aid kit. Some of the worst climbing accidents have occurred on "beginner routes." Your kit should include items like a headlamp, whistle, a cravat bandage and additional items depending on where you are climbing and how long.
  10. Bring food and water. When outdoor rock climbing, you expend a significant amount of energy. Even if you don't intend to climb for a long time, you might need to replace your energy stores. Bring water bottles and energy bars.
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