Written and photographed by Paulina Dao
When it comes to rock climbing, bouldering is one of the most interesting ways to get out and climb. You hike to some small rocks with an enormous mattress on your back. You try extremely hard for several minutes, or for one move. Then you spend time recovering so you can try again. Elevate your climbing by stepping up your resting time with a hammock.
Inspired by climbing routes, the geometric Boulder DoubleNest Hammock Print from ENO is the perfect companion for any climbing trip. Read on for tips to keep your hammocking and climbing game safe and strong.
1) As with any outdoor trip, know before you go. Research the types of trees or vegetation available in the area that you’ll be climbing in. There may be restrictions on if you can even set up a hang there. For example, premiere climbing destination Joshua Tree National Park has tons of Joshua trees standing tall. They seem like perfect candidates for hammocking, right? Wrong. Joshua trees aren’t actually trees, but delicate succulents native to the Mojave desert. Their shallow root system means this slow-growing plant is fragile and cannot support the weight of your hammock and you. Joshua Tree National Park even prohibits fixed lines in the park, regardless of if it’s placed on a natural feature like a rock, or a manmade structure.
2) Leave No Trace applies to hammocking as well. ENO’s hammock straps have a wider width, which means more protection for the tree that you are hanging from. As always, don’t forget to brush your ticks; pick up bits of tape and other garbage; and leave the crag better than you found it.
3) Climbing and bouldering tend to take place in remote or off-trail areas. Limit your hangouts to areas that climbers have already impacted. In the desert, watch out for cryptobiotic soil and pokey things. In the forest or mountains, be careful not to trample vegetation.
4) In busy, more established climbing areas, make sure you’re not in the way of any other boulders or trails. If you’ve set up somewhere that blocks another recreational user, be courteous and move your setup out of the way.
5) Set up your hammock on healthy, live trees. These are trees that are 10 to 14 feet apart, with a diameter of at least 6 inches. This protects you and the tree. To learn more about proper setup, visit ENO's safety and instructions page.
6) In addition to ensuring that hammocking will not damage the trees, make sure you hang your hammock out of the fall zone of your climber and their spotters. Nothing kills a climbing day faster than an injury.
7) It’s very absolutely, 100%, scientifically proven that hammocking improves your climbing game by reducing stress levels. It also provides great fun, and as everyone knows, the best climber is the climber having the most fun.
You may argue that you’ve brought adequate seating in the form of crash pads, but if you’re a safety-first kind of person, all your pads may be in use. There’s no better way to rest than to kick your feet up and lay amongst the trees until it’s time for your next go. And even better? It’s a great way to entertain kids or the folks you’ve brought along to hang out with you.
Author BioBased in sunny California, Paulina Dao is an adventure photographer and blogger who loves cats, climbing, snacks, and Taylor Swift, in that order. You can find her at the boulders falling off the most heinous crimp lines, or laying and complaining on her Taylor Swift crash pad. She prefers bouldering (on granite) above all things, but any climbing is climbing, and climbing rocks is better than not rocks. She believes that the outdoors is for everyone, and hopes to inspire others who look like her through silly content and educational content. Follow along on her adventures on Instagram and her blog.