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DIY: 9 Ways To Build Or Fix It Yourself

Turn your scrappy home gym into a mega gym, build a hand-jam trainer, repair your gear, and loads of other tips for better climbing and a stronger you.

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You’re a climber, you’re industrious. You take care of your gear, of yourself and your partners. You’re independent and are always on the hunt for information on climbing better, getting better gear and part of that is doing what you can by yourself. Here, we present a boxed set of nine articles chocked with useful tips for fixing gear, making it and tips for using it.

DIY: 8 Ways To Make Your Home Gym Into A Mega Gym

I’ve had a home wall now for nine years that’s evolved from a three-walled “igloo” to a two-walled igloo plus Grasshopper Wall/MoonBoard. I love my wall and use it at least once a week, and friends are constantly in and out, too. Over the past year, especially during the early COVID days when gyms were shuttered, we started slowly upgrading the space to make it as welcoming, varied, and user-friendly as possible. Here are eight of those hacks, all of which we’ve been psyched on and that in turn have kept us fired up to train.

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DIY: How To Make Hangboarding Easier Or Harder

Hangboards are an excellent tool for training finger strength, yet the available edges are rarely the exact-right difficulty. If you’re new to hangboarding, all of the edges might seem impossible. Or maybe you can hang from the largest edge, but the next size down is way too hard. Looking at the board, you might assume that the edge depths are the only variable when it comes to difficulty. You might also get the idea that training on the large edge will make you strong enough to train on smaller edges. Actually, there’s more you can, and should, do to adjust the difficulty of your finger training.

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DIY How to Build A Crack Machine

Unlike a home bouldering wall, a crack machine takes up little space, is easy to build, and cost a fraction of the price. These instructions are for a simple crack machine that can be built in a weekend with minimal construction skills. Anyone with basic framing experience will have no problem.

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DIY: How To Get The Most From Your Crack Machine

I didn’t have a great reason for building a crack machine. I don’t climb a lot of cracks. Really, I wanted something to mount hangboards on, and I realized that if I built a crack machine, I could put a lot of hangboards on the side of it, and I’d have a crack machine. That sounded fun. The result is a 10-foot long, 2-inch horizontal crack hanging from the joists in my garage. What I did not expect, is that the smooth pine roof crack is really hard. Upon completing the crack machine, I could not hang from the jams—not even close. I wasn’t strong enough. Now, knowing that I can’t climb the crack has made me want to climb the crack. It’s motivating to have a hard project 30 feet from your bed.

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DIY: How To Build Cheap And Portable Crack Trainers

So you’re stuck at home. It doesn’t matter whether it’s due to crummy weather, family obligations, or a global pandemic. All you know is your trad project is calling, but so is that tub of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream in the freezer. Sure, a little break from the gym might not hold you back too much, but it’s been weeks and the only exercise you’ve gotten is walking from the couch to the kitchen and back. That’s OK because you’ve had plenty of great excuses.

You can’t build a sweet 20-foot long adjusting crack machine in a tiny one bedroom apartment. Even if you could, you failed shop class a decade ago and that cool DIY forum seems to be written in another language. Plus, who has money to build a woody right now?

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DIY: 10 Ways To Repair Your Own Gear

If you’re in the backcountry long enough, you’ll inevitably need to repair gear. DIY fixes are great because they can save you from having to shell out for costly maintenance or pricey new equipment. Backpacker gear editor Kristin Hostetter demonstrates repairs for 10 common snafus that can be performed at home or, in many cases, in the field. Don’t let that busted piece of equipment ruin your trip!

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DIY: How To Get Rubber Bands To Prevent Accidents

Rubber bands can do far more than secure a rolled-up newspaper or tightly wrapped bag of quinoa. On a pre-slung cam, a snug rubber band can hold the carabiner and sling in place, much like the factory-made rubber end of a quickdraw dogbone. These rubber ends can be kicked, slapped, and called mean names, and they still won’t let the carabiner cross-load on you. Plus, they make the carabiner easier to clip with gloved hands when mixed climbing, and they won’t let the carabiner flip upside down when you fumble, terminally pumped, for a high clip.

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DIY: How To Boulder Better (And Harder) With This Cheap, DIY Stick-Brush

Are the holds you need to brush out of reach? No problem. Enter the DIY adjustable stick brush. It allows you to attach and unattach various shapes and sizes of brush in just seconds. It allows you to articulate the angle of the brush based on the angle of the hold you’re trying to clean. And it only costs about $35, pole included.

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Bonus Article: How To Do A Move You Can’t Do

If you can do all the moves on a project, it’s usually just a matter of time before it goes down. Stopper moves, though, are another thing entirely. A move you cannot pull is a barrier, and the main reason climbers throw in the towel on hard routes.

It takes time and dedication to build the strength to make impossible moves feel possible, but with specific training, you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve.

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