We all climbed trees as kids, swinging form branch to branch, seeing how high we could go. So why do we give it up as adults? Here are 10 reasons to start climbing trees again.
1) The forest canopy is largely unexplored
Big walls and big mountains have (almost) all been climbed, so many of the big trees still haven’t even been discovered, let alone climbed. The forest canopy has so many possibilities for discovery.
2) Learn a new skill set
If you can reach to lowest branch, climb away, but if your goal is to climb big trees, which require technical rope skills, serious research is in order. Find out the skills you need and practice the arborist techniques used to get into the canopy. The process involves a variety of creative methods and rope work.
3) Problem solving and teamwork
Get permission to climb the tree if it is on private land, and don’t climb in national parks in the US, which are “no climb” zones. Once you find an area you are allowed to climb in, you need to pinpoint a tree that is safe to climb. The lowest branch should be alive and large enough to support your weight.
4) Climb something other than rocks
Rock climbing is awesome, but occasionally it’s nice to experience a different environment. The forest canopy is as different as it gets. It’s teeming with life and totally unlike what you would find on a rock wall. Plus you get to practice some big wall skills, like jugging a fixed line and hauling systems.
5) View from the canopy
Nothing beats the view from the canopy. Typically only animals get to see the forest from above.
6) Climb a living thing
Climbing big trees allows you to be up close and personal with some of the largest living organisms on the planet. Keep in mind, because it is living it is extremely important to be mindful of your impact. Make sure to protect the tree branch when pulling large lengths of rope and never throw a rope over a small branch that might not hold your weight.
7) Each type of tree is unique
You can climb sequoias, redwoods, douglas firs, pines, eucalyptus trees and many others! Each type of tree offers a distinctive environment and present their own challenges.
8) A greater challenge
If going up isn’t enough, there are also techniques used to travel laterally through the forest canopy. Once you master some rope skills you can travel from tree to tree through the canopy instead of hiking on foot.
9) Camp in a tree
Tree camping offers an extreme camping experience, not unlike portledge camping, but without the feeling of massive exposure.
10) Epic pictures
It’s not hard to get some sweet shots when you’re 150 feet up in a tree.