Many beginners make the mistake of trying to climb a tree without actually studying how to do it. They think it’s just one foot over the other; that’s not even the basics of tree climbing. Knowing the basics is actually the first step because it lays the foundation for climbing safely.
The basics of tree climbing has similarities with other kinds of climbing—that is, mountaineering and hiking. If you really are interested in climbing your first tree, you should prepare your gear. More importantly, you should prepare yourself.
The Proper Footwear
Tree climbing is a completely different hobby than mountain climbing or hiking. Just as the actions are different, the terrain is also vastly diverse. You should invest in footwear that will grip well on the grooves and cracks of a tree. You can invest in rubber shoes that have grooved soles, or any footwear that fits firmly on your feet and has good grip.
Learn to Tie a Rope
Ropes are used in tree climbing. As it is a mostly vertical surface, you’ll have to learn to tie ropes along the way to keep yourself upright and secure. You can either:
- Tie a double rope where you drape one on a branch. The main thing that holds you secure and in place is called a ‘Blake’s hitch.’ This also allows you to pause while climbing.
- Use a single rope. This is for climbers who are focused on making their climbing skills better. This puts more pressure on your legs, so remember to always do a leg day in the gym if you plan to climb using a single rope.
Know Your Trees
When climbing a tree, you should also know your plant basics. There are branches that you can step on, but there are also branches that won’t support your weight. Then again, there are trees with rotten branches. Knowing the difference between a dark-colored branch and a branch that’s dark-colored because it’s rotten will save you a trip to the hospital.
You Can’t Stay Up Forever
Some climbers begin to develop cat-like symptoms where they fall in love with the height they enjoy while climbing up a tree. This is not advisable; when you climb, you should plan how to go down even as you plot out your route up the tree. By doing this, you’ll save yourself the hassle of trying to navigate going down after all the effort you’ve spent just going up the tree.
Start as a Beginner
Most beginners also fall under the spell of trying to look like advanced climbers. True climbers will always respect their levels; if you’re a beginner, then act like one. You don’t have to impress others by trying to look like you’re advanced when you’re not. Doing that will also make you more prone to accidents than when you accept and acknowledge that you’re a beginner.