Have you always wanted to climb a mountain? Then get out there and do it!
There are more than 1 million mountains scattered throughout the world at this time, including both some very, very big ones and those that are on the smaller side. There are sure to be at least a few that you would be interested in climbing.
Prior to taking on mountain climbing for the first time, though, you need to know what you’re getting yourself into. You’re going to have to spend at least a few weeks, if not a few months, preparing to climb a mountain.
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when it comes to mountaineering for beginners is not getting ready for it in advance. You’re going to set yourself up to fail if you haven’t put the proper preparations into place.
We’ve created a mountain climbing guide that should help those preparing to climb their first mountain. Here are 12 tips that will get your mountain climbing career off to a great start.
1. Start by Choosing the Right Mountain to Climb
As we mentioned a moment ago, there is definitely no shortage of mountains in the world today. You can find mountains to climb in pretty much every pocket of the planet without putting in too much effort on your part.
This is going to give you tons of great options as far as mountain climbing is concerned. But it’s also going to overwhelm you a bit and make it challenging to choose which mountain you want to climb.
Since this is going to be your first climb, you’re probably going to want to stay away from any of the mountains that you find on this list. They’re going to be way outside your comfort zone.
You should instead stick to one of the smaller mountains in your general area. It’ll allow you to get your feet wet (figuratively and not literally!) as you climb a mountain for the first time and let you grow from there.
2. Learn as Much as You Can About the Mountain You Want to Climb
Regardless of which mountain you decide to climb first, it’s going to be very important for you to learn all about it. You should spend hours on end surfing the internet and looking around for information on the mountain that you’re planning to climb.
Before you climb a mountain, you’ll want to know:
- How tall the mountain is
- How difficult it is to climb the mountain
- Which obstacles you may encounter while climbing the mountain
- What the weather is like on the mountain
- And more
The more info you’re able to find on a mountain, the better off you’re going to be as you climb it. You’re going to feel so much more confident in your ability to work your way up it.
3. Pick the Right Time of the Year to Climb a Mountain
There are almost always going to be certain times of the year that are better than others for climbing a mountain. While you’re doing your homework on a mountain, you should check to see when these times are.
You don’t want to get stuck climbing a mountain when it’s extremely hot or cold if you can avoid it. It’s why you should take a look at which times of the year are the best times to climb a mountain safely.
4. Get Yourself Into Great Shape Prior to Climbing a Mountain
If you’re not someone who works out on a regular basis and you attempt to climb a mountain, you’re pretty much going to be asking for trouble. Even though you’re going to be hiking slowly up for the mountain for the most part, you still need to be in excellent shape and able to do a whole lot of cardio.
With this in mind, you should prepare to climb a mountain by doing your fair share of running, biking, and other cardio-based activities. You shouldn’t have any issues moving around when your heart rate is elevated.
You should also incorporate exercises like mountain climbers into your workout routine. They’re going to provide you with the total-body workout that you’ll need to make it up a mountain without encountering any physical problems.
5. Invest in the Right Gear for Mountain Climbing
Unless you’re climbing a very small mountain that isn’t going to push you to your limits at all, you’re not going to want to wear a simple T-shirt and jeans when you climb a mountain. You’ll want to invest in the best mountain climbing gear so that you’re prepared for whatever you might face.
This gear should include:
- Moisture-wicking shirts
- Mountaineering pants
- A lightweight jacket (and a heavy jacket, if necessary)
- A raincoat
- Comfortable hiking boots
- Wool socks
Ideally, you want to be able to take clothes off and put clothes back on as needed when you climb a mountain. It’ll ensure that you don’t get too hot or too cold at any point.
6. Pack the Right Items for Your First Mountain Climbing Experience
If you’re going to scale a very small mountain to start things off, you may not need to pack a whole lot to do it. But if you’re going to climb up even a medium-sized mountain, you’ll want to obtain a heavy-duty backpack and fill it with the items you might need to make a successful climb.
What kinds of items would be best? Here are some of the things you’ll want to have somewhere in your backpack:
- At least one change of clothes
- Bottled water and snacks
- Compass and map
- Flashlight and headlamp
You obviously don’t want to have to lug around a 100-pound bag of stuff that you might not even use. But you should have all the essentials close by just in case you need any of them.
7. Make Sure You Have a First-Aid Kit Handy for Mountain Climbing
There is a chance that you or one of your fellow mountain climbers might get hurt when you climb a mountain. And you’re not going to be able to repel back down the side of the mountain so that you can get medical attention.
Instead, you’re going to have to be ready to patch yourself up until you can get back to civilization. This is going to require you to have a first-aid kit handy in your mountain climbing backpack. You should be able to pull it out at a moment’s notice to grab a band-aid, gauze, or whatever else you might need.
8. Weatherproof Everything You Plan to Bring With You While Mountain Climbing
If you think the weather is unpredictable down on the ground, just wait until you see how unpredictable it can be when you’re climbing up a mountain. You might face everything from hot and sunny weather to cold and damp weather in the span of just a couple of hours.
For this reason, you’re going to need to weatherproof everything that you bring on your trip. You need to be fully prepared for just about anything that Mother Nature might throw in your direction. Otherwise, you could end up putting yourself in harm’s way while making a climb.
9. Eat Well and Drink a Lot of Water in the Days Leading Up to a Mountain Climb
Preparing to climb a mountain should be just like preparing to take part in any other strenuous athletic activity. You’ll need to spend at least a few days prepping your body so that it’s all fueled up and ready to roll on the day of your first climb.
You can do this by watching what you put into your body. You’ll want to steer clear of eating too many sugary or salty foods and eat more fruits and vegetables. You’ll also want to drink as much water as your body can handle so that you’re hydrated when you climb a mountain.
You won’t have enough energy to climb a mountain if you don’t eat and drink right prior to going mountain climbing for the first time. You’ll want to do whatever it takes to keep your energy levels on the higher side.
10. Get in a Good Stretch Right Before You Begin to Climb a Mountain
You wouldn’t jump out of the car and check yourself right into a pickup basketball game without doing at least a few stretches first. So why would you jump out of the car and try to climb a mountain without stretching?
Rather than taking this approach to climbing a mountain, you should do a lot of stretching before your climb begins. Dynamic stretches will work to stretch your muscles out and get your body as a whole all ready to go.
A few of the dynamic stretches that you should do are:
- Alternating knee lifts
- Squat to hip flexors
- Alternating high kicks
- Torso twists
- And more
You’ll get your first mountain climbing experience off to an amazing start by stretching. You’ll be warmed up right from the beginning.
11. Consider Hiring a Mountain Climbing Guide to Lead the Way
When you’re climbing the mountain at your local park, you can probably get away with not hiring a guide to help you do it. You can figure things out on your own and work your way out of any potential problems.
But when you’re going to climb Kilimanjaro or another very tall mountain, it’ll be a different story. You aren’t going to want to go at things alone when there is so much at stake.
You can always hire a guide to help you climb a mountain that you don’t feel comfortable climbing on your own. Your guide will be able to show you the ropes when it comes to getting up the mountain and ensure that you don’t get hurt or sick along the way.
Guides can also share all kinds of fun facts about mountains so that you’re able to learn about them from top to bottom. It’ll be well worth the price that you’ll have to pay to bring a guide on board to help you climb a mountain.
12. Charge Your Camera for Your First Mountain Climbing Adventure
You’re going to see some truly incredible sights when you climb a mountain. Even if the mountain doesn’t look all that tall from the ground, it’ll provide you with a brand-new perspective on things.
You aren’t going to want to spend your whole mountain climbing adventure fiddling around with technology. But you should be sure to take at least a few pictures as you make your way up the mountain.
You’re going to want to remember some of what you saw while you were up on a mountain. And taking photos from different vantage points will provide you with memories that will last for a lifetime.
Ready to Climb a Mountain? Go Start Preparing to Do It Now
If you want to climb a mountain, it’s not something that you should do on a whim. You’re not going to have as much fun as you could and should have climbing a mountain if you don’t prepare to do it properly.
Utilize the tips found here to get ready for your first mountain climbing experience. You’ll have the time of your life when you make the right preparations and get your body and mind primed to go.
Want to get some more great tips on climbing mountains and doing other exciting things in life? Find them by reading through all the other articles posted on our blog.
click here for more interesting articles