Summer Adventure Series: Climbing

Our very own Melissa Dawson tackling some terrain near McCall, Idaho.

Hi Everyone! We’re excited to bring you Week 5 of our Summer Adventure series. This series is meant to inform and equip you with useful resources for making the most of this summer.

As a reminder, our goals for each article are to:

1. Equip & Inspire – Each article will be specifically crafted to outfit you and your vehicle for the given topic.

2. Dive Deeper – Though some of the recommendations will be straightforward, we’ll also include products you’ve never thought of or know much about, but can have an impact on your adventure.

3. Support Local – We’re a local small business and want to support other local small businesses. That said, we also want to give you options, so we’ll include both a local business and an online outlet for you to choose from.

This Week’s Focus: Climbing

For climbers, Idaho is the place to be. Over thousands of years, volcanic eruptions occurred in the state’s southern high desert creating plenty of basalt terrain for bouldering and rope climbing. City of Rocks National Reserve near Burley is a bucket list locale for outdoor junkies across the world, as it features excellent routes on 2.5 billion-year-old granite. 

Head up to central Idaho and you’ll find great climbing in the Sawtooth Range and Jughandle Mountain. Further north in the Idaho panhandle, experienced climbers can try their hand at routes on Chimney Rock near Priest Lake. Regardless if you’re a born and bred Idahoan, new to the state, or just passing through, the gear below will help you take your climbing to the next level.

Equipping Your Vehicle

1. Hangboard

Price Range: $50-100 // Besides the palm sweat and anxiety brought on by the climbing movie, Free Solo, legendary athlete Alex Honnold showed that climbers can strengthen their finger grips on the road. Honnold had a hangboard installed in his live-in sprinter van inspiring us to include this item on our gear list. Bonus: The ideas in this hangboard install video can be easily applied to a cargo basket for easy use and stowage.

2. Cargo Box/Basket

Price Range: $150-$600 // If your vehicle doubles as an adventure mobile and sleeping space, and you don’t want to nestle your head in a pile of climbing rope, an overhead storage box/basket may be your best solution. Disclaimer: This box cannot be used for your smelly climbing companions lodging. 😂

3. Gear Organizer

Price Range: $50-100 // It’s always best to begin climbing in a great mood, and nothing turns a great mood into an adult tantrum like having to dig through piles of tangled climbing gear. Organizers keep everything in the right place, meaning you can soothe your soul and start scaling those sheer rock faces with a feeling of serenity.

Equipping You

1. Belay Glasses

Price Range: $200-300 // Imagine the scenario: After several hours of belaying your partner, your upper vertebrae becomes fused leaving you staring up at the sky. You’re then forced to consume all of your meals through a Krazy Straw and mount your TVs to the ceiling. All of this can be avoided with belay glasses.

2. Climbing Salve

Price Range: $200-300 // Climbing chalk makes for dry hands. Dry hands crack and bleed. Climbing salves moisturize your hands so they look and feel smooth and beautiful. For those looking to become a professional rock climber and earn some side money as a hand model for online catalogues, this stuff is a must.

3. Brushes

Price Range: $200-300 // Whether you’re sharpening your skills at the climbing gym or taking on an elite route in the great outdoors, you may be faced with dirty holds that don’t offer much grip. Having a climbing brush handy allows you to perform at the highest level, smashing national and international records and earning a place in climbing legend.

4. Gear Backpack

Price Range: $200-300 // Sure, you could just use your arms as a crude bucket, piling ropes, carabineers, chalk and other gear onto yourself before the hike to the desired climbing destination, or you could use the advanced technology offered by backpacks and store your gear in a big enclosed pocket on your back. Life is full of tough decisions.

Honorable Mentions

1. Lederhosen

Price Range: $50-$100 // Everyone knows you can’t really be an authentic climber without authentic German lederhosen. Disclaimer: When wearing this historic deerskin garb, you’ll be prone to yodeling and playing the accordion. 

We hope you’ve found this list to be helpful as you plan some epic climbing adventures. If there are items you love to use and we didn’t include, feel free to shoot us an email or message us on social with your thoughts. We love hearing from you and sharing tips and information with each other.

Next Week: Adventure Apps