I’ve only ventured out onto real rock a handful of times, and it has always been awesome. However, there are a few things I have discovered on these trips which I wish I had known before hand. Here’s a short list of things to keep in mind as you head out on your first outdoor bouldering adventure.
Only take to the boulders what you really need because if you’ve got a long approach up hills and over fields, you’ll be cursing that extra pair of shoes and spare bottle of water in your bag.
Pack Sensible Food
Take the right type of food to keep your energy levels up. Snacks that are individually wrapped or don’t require handling to eat are generally better, as you’re less likely to eat the dirt and chalk covering your hands.
Look After Nature
You should leave the area you’re climbing exactly as you found it, if not in better condition. Don’t litter, be careful with the chalk and try your best to keep the ecosystem happy.
Try to keep your climbing boots as clean as possible by standing on towels/blankets. A friend uses a spare square of carpet which is ideal to clean off the mud/moss/bugs to help avoid foot slips.
What to Wear
Dressing in light layers is key, especially in the UK where the weather can turn ever so quickly. It’s also good to keep some spare clothes in the car too, just incase.
You still need to warm up when you’re climbing outside. Jogging and using resistance bands is a great way to start, as is climbing very easy problems or traversing to get your fingers acclimated.
If you’re not climbing you should be spotting whoever is, stay alert and aware of what’s going on around you.
It’s Hella Scary
I found climbing out on real rock can be very scary at first, especially if you’re use to an indoor gym. Build up your confidence, work on whatever appeals to you and don’t get bogged down by grades and lines.
So there it is! From my very limited outdoor experience I feel like I have learnt so much. A few more real rock adventures and I’ll have it all down hopefully.
Tips and advice are always welcome in the comments 🙂