Like life hacks but specifically for climbing to make things a little easier and cheaper. I posted a short video on Instagram and Twitter of me using hair ties for finger exercises and it got a lovely response, so I thought I’d share some more…

  1. You can buy a pack of soft bristle toothbrushes to brush climbing holds in the gym if the owners are okay with it, this is way cheaper than paying for a single boar hair one.
  1. To stretch your synthetic climbing shoes you can stuff them with some fabric like an old T-shirt or fluffy socks. Make sure the shoes are filled right up and bulging, then heat them up with a hair dryer until the whole shoe feels warm. Quickly take the fabric out, put them on, and let the shoes cool down on your feet. This will help the shoes stretch and mould to your foot shape.
  1. If you can’t get your new climbing shoes on, you can put a plastic bag on your foot to help slide it into the shoe without degloving (or would it be desocking?) your poor heel/foot. Also, if you down-size like crazy in your climbing shoes you can combine tips 2 & 3, and maybe add some moisturiser/Vaseline to the inside of shoe by the pull tabs. Or just buy a size that fits…just saying.
  1. To look after your hands post climb, use any kind of hand cream and add a little blob of an antiseptic cream to it, like Germaline or Savlon. This will moisturise and heal your hands so they’re ready to go next time.
  1. Lastly as I mentioned before, hair ties or elastic bands can be used like little resistance bands to warm up/strengthen your fingers. You can also use a big lump of Blu-Tack or hard putty, and squeeze it in your palm to work your fingers the opposite way.

That’s all I’ve learnt for now but I’m sure I’ll find some more hacks along the way. Feel free to add yours in the comments too!

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