What is bouldering? Is it different than rock climbing?
Bouldering is a type of rock climbing where climbers scale boulders (large rocks) without a harness or rope. Some say bouldering is rock climbing in it’s simplest form, but simple doesn’t necessarily mean easy. While the routes are short, they can be very technical and fun! Bouldering is also great to do with a group of people.
Should I go bouldering outside with kids?
Yes! Because bouldering requires very little gear it can be a good way to ease into family rock climbing. The biggest challenge can be finding a boulder that’s appropriate for kids to climb. It’s also a good idea to bring along a couple extra adults to help with spotting (a technique used to keep bouldering climbers safe).
What do I need to go bouldering outside with kids?
Here are the must-have items for bouldering with kids:
- bouldering crash pad (two pads are better than one, sometimes they can be rented or borrowed from a friend/relative/stranger)
- climbing shoes
- bouldering chalk bag
- helmets for kids
- food, water and a first aid kit
- climbing brush (optional)
- a guidebook (optional)
Where should I go bouldering with my kids?
When choosing a place to bring your kids bouldering outside, find a location that is relatively easy and safe to access. Also, find a boulder that has a wide and safe landing (base at the boulder). Choose boulders that aren’t too tall and choose routes that are easy to climb. The trickiest part of bouldering with kids is finding the right place to go. Tip: If aren’t sure where to go, ask around a your local indoor climbing gym.
Interesting in rock climbing with your kids? Hop over and read Why You Should Take Your Kids Rock Climbing by The Adventure Lab.