Tips for Outdoor Trips: Preparing for Your First Outdoor Bouldering Adventure

Heading outdoors for your first bouldering trip is an exciting step in your climbing journey. The fresh air, natural rock formations, and the thrill of climbing in a new environment can be incredibly rewarding. However, transitioning from gym climbing to outdoor bouldering requires some preparation and knowledge. Here are some essential tips to help you make the most of your first outdoor bouldering adventure.

1. Do Your Research

Before you head out, it's crucial to do some research on the climbing area you'll be visiting. Resources like 'CliffCare' provide valuable information about outdoor climbing rules, etiquette, and conservation efforts. Understanding the specific regulations and guidelines for your chosen area helps protect the environment and ensures a positive experience for all climbers.

2. Check the Weather

Weather conditions can significantly impact your outdoor bouldering experience. Some popular climbing areas here in Victoria, Australia, are best visited during the warmer months while others are climbable year round. Check the weather forecast before your trip and be prepared for changing conditions. Wet rock can be slippery and dangerous, so it's best to avoid climbing immediately after rain.

3. Manage Your Expectations

Climbing outdoors can feel very different from gym climbing. Natural rock formations and varying conditions make outdoor climbing more challenging. It's normal if you find that you aren't climbing the same grades outdoors as you do indoors. Embrace the learning experience, and remember that every climb, no matter how easy or difficult, helps you improve.

4. Hire a Boulder Pad

Safety is paramount when bouldering outdoors. Most outdoor climbs require 2-3 boulder pads to create a safe landing zone. If you don't own multiple pads, consider hiring them. At The Crux, we offer boulder pads for hire to ensure you have the necessary equipment for a safe trip.

5. Stay Informed About Area Closures

Some areas listed in The Grampians and Arapiles guidebooks are currently closed for climbing while Cultural Heritage surveys are completed. To avoid any disappointments or unintentional trespassing, check the latest information on climbing area closures. Websites like The Crag provide up-to-date details on which areas are open or closed, helping you plan your trip accordingly.

6. Practice Leave No Trace Principles

When climbing outdoors, it's essential to respect nature and minimize your impact. Follow Leave No Trace principles: pack out all trash, stay on established trails, and avoid damaging vegetation. Being a responsible climber helps preserve the environment for future generations and maintains access to climbing areas.


Preparing for your first outdoor bouldering trip involves more than just packing your gear. By researching climbing regulations, checking the weather, managing your expectations, hiring the necessary equipment, and staying informed about area closures, you'll set yourself up for a successful and enjoyable adventure. Remember, outdoor climbing is a unique experience that offers new challenges and rewards. Embrace the journey, respect the environment, and happy climbing!