All of us do not have too many friends out there for bouldering. So it becomes a great deal of a problem. But what about going bouldering alone? The question is, how do you go bouldering alone? If you want to know more about bouldering alone, check out this article.
Firstly, will you be going outdoor bouldering or indoor bouldering? In outdoor bouldering, a partner is generally required to spot, so having one would be better. You don’t have to do this if you consider your safety appropriately. Don’t try any ridiculous dyno moves, and make sure you have a good set of climbing crash mats with you and you should only climb problems that have good landing spots so that if you fall, you will land on your mat. If you can find an outdoor bouldering area where many people are also climbing, maybe you can ask them for a spot. You should ask Google Maps for the coordinates of your climb so that an ambulance can be dispatched. Find a place where cell phone reception is good and bring a first aid kit, just in case! In order to climb boulders, it’s a good idea to keep your weight as low as possible, since you’ll run out of energy before you start! A climbing gym with a few people around isn’t the same as a climbing wall outside with no one around. The mats are all over the place, and people are around if you need assistance. Solo climbing will probably feel a lot different from climbing with a partner, since you won’t be talking as much, so you’ll have more time to climb, but you may feel less motivated, because either you’re not competing or your partner won’t push you to climb harder. The assumption is, of course, that you usually climb with a partner or they push you to climb better.
Safety tips for solo bouldering outside
There is a lot of danger involved in bouldering. Bouldering is responsible for more than 70% of climbing injuries than other types such as lead climbing. It is for this reason that you need to really focus on your safety before and during your solo climbing expedition. Let’s discuss how we can ensure that solo bouldering outdoors is as safe as possible.
Climbing Crash pads
You can’t climb without these when it comes to your safety when climbing alone in nature. When you fall when bouldering, which is extremely likely to happen, you will probably want to fall on something that will cushion your head and body. Doesn’t that seem simple enough? Many people begin climbing outdoors after climbing a few months and have no mats (or the right gear in general) when they are with their friends in the countryside. Do not be silly, make sure you use crash pads. Our opinion is that Mad Rock Mad Pads (click for link) make for great climbing crash pads, with five inches of open and closed cell foam for a firm, yet comfortable drop and the ability to convert into a comfortable lounge chair when needed!
Find an outdoor climbing spot that has people around
Imagine that you fall and hurt yourself, but you don’t have anyone to help you. What would you do then? Find a location where you won’t be all alone. Before your solo climbing trip turns into 127 hours, you want someone or a group of people around you who can help you. One of them might even help you solve your problems and help you spot a couple of things for future reference.
Climb in a spot where you can use your phone
Finding a spot with cell reception and keeping your phone close is imperative if you haven’t found anyone nearby. As soon as you fall, it’s critical that you know where you are EXACTLY so that you can call an ambulance and give them all the information they need. For this reason, you should locate your coordinates using Google Maps. You should still find a place with cell service if possible even if you are around people, because if you do have an accident, someone will be able to call 911.
First Aid Kits are a must
Is it really necessary to explain this one? Having it and not needing it is better than needing it and not having it. It’s a good idea to bring plasters, antiseptic wipes, bandages, and safety pins. There’s a good chance that someone else will help you if something goes wrong while you’re around.
Be careful when climbing
If you don’t have a spotter, you’re basically on your own. Unless you’re certain that you’ll land without issue, why would you perform ridiculous dynos and reckless moves? It is only advisable to perform these types of climbs when you have spotters or when you have really spongy mats. Solitude can already be risky, so why make it worse?
Gear for solo bouldering outdoors
Your gear should be as light as possible, especially if you’ll need to walk to your bouldering spot. You will definitely need a few things (some are already mentioned in this article). If you’re going to carry a lot of extras (like guidebooks), you might want to leave a few behind. A cell phone with reception is also helpful since you can find most of the information you need about certain areas online. Additionally, if you get lost, you can always use Google Maps! Below are my recommendations for what you should bring along for your solo bouldering adventure outdoors:
- Crash pads for climbing
- Climbing shoes
- Chalk and chalk bag for climbing
- It is best to have a cell phone in an area where there is cell reception, as mentioned previously.
- Prepare first aid kits.
- Pack water.
- Snacks for a quick energy boost if needed
Tips & Gear for Solo Bouldering Indoors
Bouldering outdoors is completely different from solo bouldering at your local climbing gym. There’s so much less equipment to take and you’re safer! You won’t have to bring any of them since the floor is a massive crash mat. If you get hurt, there are usually people around to help you if the climbing gym has a first aid kit. For solo bouldering indoors, you’ll need the following (the links below will take you to my recommendations):
- Shoes for climbing
- chalk and a chalk bag
- Whatever else you want to bring
Tip for People Who Don’t Want to Chat While Climbing
There are times when you need to relax and de-stress on your own by bouldering. Perhaps you don’t want to talk to anybody since this is “me time”. For those who are going solo bouldering and don’t really want to interact with other people, here is a tip. Put on headphones and don’t look anyone in the eye. This is actually so simple, yet so effective.
Climbing solo can affect motivation
Getting motivated to boulder solo has been a challenge for most of us. When we are climbing with a friend, we’re always competing against each other to see who can finish what climb first. As climbers, it drives us forward and helps us become better. It’s great to compete with friends in a healthy way. Due to the fact that we are not competing with anyone, we don’t feel as motivated when we are bouldering alone. By setting our goals throughout the session, we can try our best to be in competition with ourselves. Although this works well, having a partner to compete with does not work as well.
The pros and cons of solo climbing compared to climbing with a partner
Climbing solo has some pros and cons compared to climbing with a partner and the following are a few to consider.
- Climbing offers a chance for quiet meditation
- That’s peaceful
- Improves problem-solving skills
- You can climb whenever you want
- Possibly less motivated
- Lack of social interaction
- Riskier to climb outdoors
- You will have to carry all of the equipment by yourself
Thanks for reading about solo bouldering. We hope it helps you in your climbing endeavors.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Can you go outdoor bouldering alone?
The schedules of you and your climbing partners may not coincide. No matter your reason, if you’re considering going bouldering alone for the first time, you might feel intimidated. This is especially true outdoors.
Is outdoor bouldering harder than indoor bouldering?
Bouldering outdoors is harder and more challenging than bouldering indoors. It can be intimidating for beginners to boulder outdoors. Bouldering outdoors is more dangerous than bouldering indoors.
Is bouldering a good way to make friends?
The benefits of bouldering outweigh the disadvantages, as it allows you to meet new friends, socialize with a group, and climb with a group without a belay partner. There will often be groups of climbers working on a project at the same time, especially when a new route is set up.
How do you prepare for outdoor bouldering?
To learn bouldering outdoor, check out this video.