You Cannot Afford to Miss These Rock Climbing Safety Tips

Rock climber

Rock climbing is not child’s play. One has to be very cautious when indulging in this activity. Even a slight mistake can cause serious injury, which may prove to be fatal. Several enthusiastic individuals have taken up this sport as it is highly challenging and allows a person to test his own limits. However, its increasing popularity has resulted in higher incidences of injuries pertaining to this sport. It is, therefore, imperative that one follows preset safety measures to ensure safe climbing.

Rock climbing can be performed either indoors or outdoors. Outdoor climbing is far more dangerous than indoor climbing because of the lack of additional protection for the climber. If you are interested in this adventurous activity, you can ensure protection by following the measures given below. For better understanding, we have segregated them as general and specific safety tips. General tips must be followed by indoor as well as outdoor climbers, whereas specific tips must be followed depending on whether the activity is performed on a rock wall or in a simulated climbing gym.
Rock Climbing: Play by the Rules
☞ Before the Activity

The first requirement for safe climbing is that you have to be mentally prepared and physically fit before beginning this exhaustive task. With a sound mind and body, it will be easier for you to handle difficult situations, thereby aiding you in escaping mishaps.

Purchase new equipment on your own and do not borrow it from others. Make sure you have purchased good quality equipment and backup materials to ensure protection. Cheap and low quality equipment can land you in trouble.

Select your climbing shoes with utmost care because uncomfortable shoes make climbing difficult. Look for shoes that provide proper grip when going up on a rock wall. It is wise to keep an extra pair of shoes so that you can change into them if the shoes you have put on gradually wear out.
List all the necessary items you will require during the climbing session, and pack them appropriately so that you do not miss out anything. Even the smallest missed equipment can put your life in danger.Ensure that you have all the required knowledge about the climbing equipment. Having good equipment will not serve any purpose if you do not know how to use them at the right time.It is important to acquire the necessary skills and learn different climbing techniques to prepare yourself for handling difficult and dangerous situations. Learning the skills from a professional is something you must definitely do prior to taking up this activity. You can also practice climbing on different rock surfaces to sharpen your skills.Choose a climbing partner with similar experience. Someone who can lend a helping hand in tough situations and not be a burden due to lack of experience.Maintaining balance is extremely essential during climbing. Practice exercises like the one-legged stand to improve your balance. Perform stretching exercises so as to prepare your body for the exhaustive task before you begin. This way you will condition the body and prevent the occurrence of sprains.
☞ During the Activity
Wear a helmet to protect yourself from loose rocks that may fall off and hit your head causing injury.Plan each move before making it on the rock wall. Having a clear picture in mind will land you at the right place safely.Check the harness, rope, belay device, knots, and other equipment before climbing and also intermittently en route. Replace equipment whenever you feel they are not working properly or are worn out.Be careful when climbing or belaying. Be responsible enough to be attentive, specially when belaying because of the risk involved. Any carelessness on your part may result in disastrous consequences.Maintain the position of the rope over your leg. Having it behind or on the sides can flip the climber upside down, causing serious head injury.Always use two or three anchors to keep you safe and alive. Remember, to sail through such an activity safely, it is better to have multiples of everything, starting right from anchors to knots in the rope.Ascertain the appropriateness of each hand and foothold before moving forward because loose rocks may make you fall.Water is essential to keep you hydrated. So, do not neglect to drink water before and while performing this activity. Carry a bottle of water to prevent problems like blurry vision, dizziness, instability, etc. Facing any of these in the middle of nowhere is definitely not good.
Make it a habit to use complete and appropriate verbal commands like ‘off-belay’ and ‘climbing’ to maintain uniformity for easy understanding. Random commands can most likely land you in trouble due to misunderstanding between you and your partner.Be aware of your comfort level and limits. If, at any point, you feel that it is not possible to climb further, take a break and relax.
Pointers for Climbers
☞ Outdoor Rock Climbing

Do not forget to inquire about the weather of the location where you have decided to go rock climbing.Study the rock wall so that you know how it is, and decide the route you are going to take. A steep wall calls for a climbing technique that is quite different from what you would use with a dirt-filled rock wall. So, figure the technique you are going to use beforehand.
Always give the details of your trip to family and friends so that they are aware of where you are headed to, and are able to look for you if circumstances go wrong.When climbing outdoors, you are likely to reach far heights on the rock wall. Avoid looking at the base because you may feel dizzy, and your balance might go for a toss.Look for creatures like snakes, lizards, insects, etc., that usually reside in rock crevices. If you encounter any of these, stay calm and alert, and do not provoke them to harm you.Call for help from your companions if you face any problem when climbing.
Few Places for Outdoor Rock Climbing
☞ For Beginners

The Alps, France

Railay/ Krabi Area, Thailand

Ozark National Park, Missouri, USA

Great Langdale, United Kingdom

Yosemite National Park, California, USA
☞ For Experts

Meteora, Greece

Las Torres, Patagonia

Rocklands, South Africa

The Ironclads Range, Colorado

The Stolen Chimney, Utah, USA

☞ Indoor Rock Climbing
When bouldering indoors, stay in your designated area and do not cross the set height limit. You cannot ignore the chances of injury, even if there is mat below to protect you.Ensure the protective mat is right below you till you are done with the activity. Absent-minded fellow climbers may take it away before you are actually done, subjecting you to unexpected injury.Indoor climbing gives you the opportunity to get down of the rock wall and take breaks. So, make use of it when you feel like. This is specially helpful in regaining strength for new climbers.Several experts and beginners participate together in indoor climbing gyms. Grab this opportunity to observe and learn how experts safeguard themselves during this task.

 

Kayaking Tips

310329-587-4Kayaking is considered a great sport, as well as a great medium of recreation that involves a great deal of physical activity. It is also an environmental friendly sport, as it does not involve the usage or wastage of any kind of natural resources. What’s even better, is that people of all ages can learn and enjoy it. It can be enjoyed by those who want to experience some thrill, or even those who want to enjoy the serenity and beauty of nature. But before you venture into this adventure sport, you need to be trained adequately to make it easier, safer, and more enjoyable.

Tips for Beginners
Before you get started, you must acquaint yourself with the types of kayaking, and the types of kayaks as well. Begin with finding a guide for yourself, who can teach you how to go about the sport initially. The guide will also help you monitor the tides, weather, and the currents. If you plan to kayak without a guide, make sure you have at least one experienced person with you. Familiarize yourself with the gear, before you start. If you are a beginner, the best option would be to get yourself enrolled at a kayaking school, that will train you with the basics.

Following are some essential tips that should be always followed. These tips are all-inclusive of sea, river, whitewater, and ocean kayaking.

Stretching
It is very important that you stretch yourself well each time before you start kayaking. This is essential to maintain your stamina and vitality, and it also helps make your muscles ready for the strain they are going to be subjected to. You can also follow this when you are indulging in any other water sports, like surfing, river rafting, sailing, sport fishing, etc.

Choosing the Kayak
This is the most important aspect, as everything depends on the kayak that you choose from the various types that are available. Make sure that you buy a kayak that best suits your requirement. Also, consider the type of waters that you will kayaking in, as the kayak should be able to withstand the currents and waves. A sea kayak is different from a whitewater kayak, and the former cannot be used for whitewater kayaking.

Choosing the Paddle
This is yet another important aspect. While choosing a paddle, consider the paddle length, shape, and design of the paddle blade, material of the paddle, etc. You can also carry a spare paddle with you.

Gear
Another important gear that you will need is the ‘Personal Flotation Device’, that will keep you above the water in case your boat capsizes. You can buy either a type II or a type V personal flotation device, as these are lightweight, efficient, and comfortable. Other gear will include the appropriate navigation tools, clothing, helmet, and equipment related to the boat.

The next important thing that you need to do is to learn how to get in and out of the kayak properly. This needs a lot of persistence and practice, but you will need to master the correct technique first, in order to be perfect at it.

Safety Tips
Do not attempt to learn kayaking all by yourself. Always make sure you have an experienced person with you, or at least around you, to guide you through the sport.
Make sure you purchase good quality boats, paddles, and gear. Do not compromise on the quality of equipment for saving a few bucks.
Make sure you have the appropriate safety gear, like a helmet and a life jacket on, before you get into the water.
Check the water and weather conditions of your current location, as well as your destination, before you leave.
Wear bright-colored clothing, a helmet and life jacket, so that you can be spotted easily in case of any danger.
Always carry a whistle with you, to call for help in case you are alone, and get stuck on the way to your destination. Also, carry a spare paddle, a repair kit, and a first aid kit with you.
Hope you find the above tips useful while venturing into this adventurous sport, and that it turns out be an experience of a lifetime for you. Enjoy and be safe!

Skimboarding Tips

For those who are not really familiar with this sport, skimboarding is performed on a baseboard which looks a lot like a regular surfboard. The only difference is that a skimboard is slightly smaller than the surfboard; this is to let the board glide easily on water. This sport is often known as skimming, where a person (namely, skimmer) stands on the board and slides the board on shallow water. You can find shallow water to skim when the waves are low, and closer to the beach. If you happen to look at someone skimboarding, you will see that the technique is similar to surfing. However, instead of battling the big waves, you are safe on shallow waters. All you need to do is throw your board onto the water, run in its direction, and get on it to skim.

Tips and Tricks to Follow

Once you learn to balance yourself on the board, you can easily glide on the waves and do some amazing tricks.

Selecting the Board
For beginners, the first thing to concentrate on what type of board you wish to choose. Go with either a fiberglass or wooden skimboard. Also, your height and weight will play a big part in deciding which board is right for you. Now although the skimboarding boards are smaller in size, there are a few variations in them. If you pick a board which is too small for you, it could mean that while skimming over the waves, your board may sink rather than glide. The best way to find the right board is by visiting your nearest sporting goods store and ask for assistance from the sales staff.

Finding the Location
Hands down, California is one state that offers one of the best beaches, not only in the U.S., but also around the world. But not everyone is lucky enough to be living here. In order to choose an ideal spot, choose either a beach that’s close to you, or opt to practice near a lake. Yes, a lake is an ideal spot for this sport. But there are certain rules, if I may, that you need to keep in mind. The water in the lake should be still and it needs to meet the sand. Make sure there aren’t big rocks as the board may topple over due to friction.

Checking your Momentum
Next in our line is understanding the wind pattern and your speed. Now no matter how fast or slow the winds may be, always keep in mind not to jump on the board. You have to run onto it as it will make sure that you don’t fall off the board or the board doesn’t sink in. When you run to climb on the board, your speed won’t decrease and you can actually move it closer to the waves in less time. The speed is the key to skimming.

Waxing your Board
Many skimmers believe that regular waxing of the board can make it go faster. The point here is that while skimboarding, sand can be a sticky situation, literally. It will stick to your board from the bottom and make it heavier to glide smoothly. So using the right kind of wax, depending on the temperature and frequency of use, you can actually make the board glide faster.

Standing in the Right Place
Last, but certainly not the least, inspect how you stand on the board. Where do you normally keep your feet on the board? Is your back foot at the back of the board, or do you stand a little towards the front? Your stance on the board will make a huge difference between an amateur skimmer and an expert. The right way to mount the board is to keep the back foot at the back of the board and the front one up close. This will help you stay balanced and reduce the chances of falling off, or sinking the board in.

Now the next time you and your friends are at the beach and getting bored, grab your skimboards and hit the waves. Practice as much as you can, and showoff your knowledge of the sport to everyone!