If you want your climbing route drawn on a map, or a track to follow on your GPS, it usually starts with a GPX file. Here’s how to take a dive into Peakbagger.com to get the file you need to stay found.
If you drop your rappel device or just forget to bring it, knowing this variation of the old-school carabiner brake can come in handy. (And please don't rappel with a Munter hitch unless you really have no other options, it will seriously twist your rope . . . )
A locking quickdraw has a lot of uses beyond beefing up a bolted sport anchor. Learn a few of them here.
The DMM Pivot is an assisted braking belay device like the ATC Guide, but it has one clever difference - you can easily lower your second without advanced shenanigans.
It's not the most reliable, and may require some clicking around, but the publicly posted tracks at GaiaGPS.com can often give you a track for your hike or climb when no other source works out. Here's how to go spelunking and (maybe) find a GPX track for a hike or climb.
Here's an unconventional approach to anchor building - tie a girth hitch at the master point. This has two main advantages over the standard overhand knot. What are they?
Using a sling to make an anchor from two pieces of gear? Try a clove hitch at the master point; it has several advantages over the standard overhand loop.
It’s helpful to have documents (pdf maps, GPX track, guidebook scans, trip roster, etc) related to a hike or climb available offline on your phone. It's easy to do in Google Drive if you follow these steps.
Here's a quick and simple way to manage the rope at the belay - tie overhand knots as the rope comes in, and clip them to a largemouth carabiner. (Works even better on a big wall.)
The Metolius rope hook probably won't be on your harness for every climb, but there are some times when it's really helpful. Especially on a big wall.
The Professional Association of Climbing instructors (PACI) in Australia has compiled a rather amazing library of technical articles related to knots and rigging. If you want to take a deep dive into climbing knots, this is a gold mine.
Most of us would probably like to learn the names of more backcountry flowers and trees, but who really wants to carry a botany book and take the time to key out a flower? With this app, you don't have to. Point your camera at a plant, and this app tells you what it is in seconds.
Knowing the time of the first usable light in the morning can be useful for all kinds of outdoor adventures. Here’s a clean and simple phone app that tells you exactly this info.
The rabbit runner is a handy and under-appreciated bit of kit. If you climb a lot, you might want to spring for a couple of new ones, but that can get expensive. To try out the concept, or if you're a hard-core cheapskate, it's easy to tie your own.
It's a good idea to protect a fixed rope that's loaded over an edge. Here's a inexpensive and quick way to do it with a short piece of 1 inch webbing.
An “elevation profile” is a sort of sideways look at your route, showing distance and elevation gain on a graph. It's a very handy tool to study your route, and making one with the great mapping software Caltopo takes just a couple of clicks.