There are several important items that you should take when you climb outside. While on your adventures you will want to be safe and comfortable, and prepared for an emergency. These items can ensure a great day of climbing:
1) Water—this is the most important. You should always bring extra water, in case of emergency. No matter what the weather is you need to hydrate your body. Other benefits of bringing extra water include: washing your hands off, washing dirt off your feet, or spritzing it all over your body to cool down.
2) Food—whether I’m out for two hours or all day, I love to have snacks! You should bring food that will give you lasting energy and nutrition for climbing. Some of the best snacks for climbing are beef jerky, nuts, and fruit. My favorite fruit to bring is grapes because they have plenty of water to hydrate you. It is also important to bring food in case of emergency. You never know if you might get stuck out in the wilderness and have to spend the night.
3) First-aid kit—more often than not, I find cuts and scrapes on my body from trees and rocks I encounter outside. When you are using your hands and feet in your outdoor activities it is very important to protect them. Band-Aids, alcohol wipes, and Neosporin are the first thing I put in my first-aid kit. Next, I put in medical tape for many reasons. One, medical tape is used often in climbing for bandaging blisters on your hands. Two, you can use it for buddy taping (taping two fingers together) if you sprain or break a finger. Three, medical tape can be used for securing dressing and bandages on major cuts. I would also include acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve pain.
The best idea is to buy a fully stocked first-aid kit, you can find the recommended Red Cross First-Aid kit here.
4) Towel—I find a towel to be very useful for when I’m changing from my street shoes to climbing shoes. My feet often get sandy or dirty and I like to wipe them off before I put my climbing shoes on. The towel can also be useful for drying your hands if you have used your extra water to wash them off.
5) Toilet paper—this is vital! Use it after the restroom or for medical needs.
6) Hand sanitizer—to clean your hands after going to the bathroom. You may also use hand sanitizer to cleanse wounds if you run out of alcohol wipes.
*Pro tip: a cheap and easy way to make liquid chalk is to mix hand sanitizer and powder chalk together. When ready to use apply a nickel-size amount evenly on your hands and allow to dry.
7) Jacket—even on hot days it is important to bring a jacket. Once again, you don’t know if you will get stuck out in the wild.
8) Sunscreen—use at least SPF 30 to protect from the sun’s harmful rays. Even on cloudy days the sun’s rays penetrate through the clouds.
9) Flashlight—if you get stuck out in the wild, you will be grateful for a flashlight. I also recommend a headlamp so you can keep your hands free.
In 2015, I got stuck with my friend on “Cosmic Space Dust Lazers” 5.7+ in Rock Canyon as the sun was going down. On our way down from the top, our rope got stuck as we were pulling it down. We spent quite a while trying different techniques to pull the rope. Finally, we tugged the rope free and descended in the dark without any illumination. I sure wish we had headlamps that evening.
10) Music—I love climbing to music! It helps get me amped up to send it! I use a solar power, blue-tooth speaker to play my tunes.
11) All of your equipment—this is obvious, but it is so easy to forget these items, so here is a quick check-list:
o Belay device (Gri-Gri is best!)
o Slings/daisy chain
o Chalk bag
o Belay spectacles
o Gloves (for belay/repel/scramble)
Do you have any thing to add to the list? Comment below!