Climbing Hacks

Does anyone use any climbing life hacks to help them? whether it’s outdoors, at the gym, on the home board… Small things that you feel make a difference.

For example, my nearest sports crag is 170 mile journey, and wearing my stiff approach shoes for the 3.5 hour drive can cause my calf muscles to cramp. This is an issue as I can only manage day-raids.

So I wear very comfortable slippers while driving to minimise it’s impact and give me a better chance of sending.

Its a small thing, but these 1 percenters add up to make positive differences.

Please feel free to share any that you think would help the community.


Awesome topic! I’m a big fan of trying stuff that doesn’t require any effort first :stuck_out_tongue:

I have 2 hacks that I think are worth sharing (have a short video on both). One is about activating the right muscles before starting the climb. I used to be plagued by small shoulder injuries; stretching and strengthening definitely helped… But I feel like learning to activate the right muscles was the biggest factor. I activate my foot arch (by doing a small hop and landing on the front of my feet), activate the glutes, activate the deep core (imagine holding your wee), then drop the shoulders and activate them as I do a chin tuck.
Normally, I wil also bring my arms up above my head and back, because sometimes my scapula doesn’t properly rotate… So I test this and make sure it’s working OK before I hop on the climb :slight_smile:

The other might be a bit more specific, but I have a bunion on my right foot. I noticed not all climbing shoes are a good fit as a result… So I made a custom toe spreader (orthotics) that fits perfectly while wearing my climbing shoes. The result is less pain in the bunion and more performance out of the shoe. I also have a toe spreader for after climbing (when the toes aren’t curled), which helps the big toe joint rest and recover.
If you have a bunion, I highly recommend giving this a try!

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For me, our Crag Kit and Boulder Bags sort of fit into this. I never have to pack and unpack because of them. Setup to go whenever I can.

@powercoinfo and I both regularly employ talk through style beta videos at the end of a session. One person videoing while the other goes through all of the micro beta so we don’t have to re-decipher anything if we don’t get back for a while.


Manuka Honey. If you’re going on a trip and can’t afford to spend a copious amount of time resting/healing this stuff is a game changer. Had a horrible split on my finger that wouldn’t stop opening and bleeding on boulders, but one night with that honey and it healed overnight. Turns out it has a higher concentration of methylglyoxal than regular honey making it great for injuries, a little goes a long way. Plus, y’know, makes for a good snack.


Hi Kris, I don’t suppose there’s any thing in pipeline to get a UK/EU supplier for your merch?

Would love to get that kit, aswell as other bits from your shop.

Mixing flavored BCAA’s with water and drinking them for the duration of all of my sessions has been a game changer for actually staying hydrated. After years of chronic pulley tweaks I’ve come to believe that one of the major contributors was dehydration.


We’ve talked a little with Dark Ventures, but it hasn’t been a priority for us. I’ll have @powercoinfo reach out again and resume talks. I’ll let you know!

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I do the same thing but use either EAAs or Peptopro (vs BCAAa) to get a full amino acid profile. I will also add some carbohydrates (dextrose or highly branched cyclic dextrin). This has helped me to recover more quickly as well!

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  1. putting quality first in absolutely every effort. Incredibly difficult and time/energy/attention consuming but I think this is a “hack” for everything.
  2. resting enough between attempts and between sessions. How much will vary from person to person but doing this makes achieving the first point much easier
  3. palm cooling. Probably as close to a “hack” as I’ve seen. Noticeably improves my hand coordination between goes. Your mileage on this might vary but man I feel silly for not playing with this earlier.
  4. having the crag kit as @Kris mentioned. I used to fuck around with what I needed and how to pack it and I honestly just take this with me for all my indoor and outdoor sessions and everything I need in terms of little stuff is right there. Some Dan John “shark habit” type organization.

I’ve been keeping my stick clip in the truck all season. I’ve forgotten it in the past and it certainly can be a (minor) annoyance. Now I don’t forget it anymore.


Johnson and Johnson Zonas tape. Surprised this tape hasn’t become popular with Climber’s yet. Been using this tape for fingers for a long time. l just think its so much better than any other tape, even the ones made specifically for climbing. It stays put and has a decent feel on the rock, only other tape that’s even close for me is Lueko but I don’t love the rock feel and it so easy to ruin it, if it gets hot it’s done.

I almost never use any adhesive tape anymore. Rare occasions.

Ah damn, wish I would’ve heard this one before! I did an experiment to test different tape to find the one that offered the most grip. In my test, metolius finger tape was the best by far. I’ll see if I can test Zonas tape at some point as well. I like testing things :slight_smile:

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Where I live, in Sweden, there’s a discount website that sells out expired foods for really cheap. I often buy big bunches of energy/protein bars for like 10$ for 20 bars. It really helps me to always have something with me for every session.

Buying a fan has been pretty awesome. Even though I’m only bouldering v5, fanning holds helps me by giving me something to do while im resting (thus prolonging my rest time).

Super glue for taping is awesome. Get a flapper? Just glue it right back on and keep climbing. Tape keeps coming off? Pour some glue over it.

One thing I’ve employed lately is: If I don’t send a route/boulder in the first session, I videotape the route and talk through all the beta, using my hands in front of the camera to point at holds. I try and talk about the holds, cues of things to think about, sections I need to figure out/find better beta for. Then, before the next time I go to the route, I try and look at the video on the way there. It helps me remember the beta better (talking through it helps imprint the memory in my brain) and with recall (when I look at the video). Especially helpful for climbs where there will be a long time between each session.

Also having a swig of water between every route and every belay really helps me in the warmer months.

Rereading this comment, a lot of these tips are inspired by the bouldering tactics episodes on the podcast. THEY ARE GREAT! I like to re-listen to them on drives to bouldering trips to remind me of good tactics.


What a goofy video, but im gonna try it tonight at project! Thanks

Palm cooling, how?

Next upgrade is a high powered laser pointer!

waves in Swedish

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