When you take up rock climbing, you will see a lot of videos and photos that show climbers without helmets. You might think that this is just a fad but in reality, this practice is quite dangerous.
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published data showing that in 2015 alone there were more than 20,000 emergency department visits related to climbing activities.
Many of these injuries could have been avoided if the participants had worn their helmets while climbing.
Why Is It So Important to Wear a Helmet While Rock Climbing?
You might think that since rock climbing doesn’t involve any swinging or falling (like in gymnastics or BASE jumping), you don’t need a helmet. However, this could not be further from the truth. While a helmet might not be crucial for certain sports, it’s incredibly important for rock climbing. Here’s why:
- Head injuries are the most common injuries in rock climbing: Many rock climbers don’t wear helmets because they want to feel connected to the environment. But the reality is that rock climbing is a very dangerous sport that can result in life-changing head injuries.
- A head injury can cause brain damage: When you fall and hit your head, the impact can dislodge pieces of your skull and cause bleeding inside your head. This can result in a concussion, which can cause permanent damage to your brain. A head injury can also lead to a skull fracture, which is a crack or break in your skull that can cause further bleeding.
- You do not have to fall far to get a head injury: One of the misperceptions about head injuries is that you have to fall from a great height to suffer one. In reality, you only need to fall from around three feet above the ground to suffer a head injury. Since most rock climbing routes are higher than three feet, it’s easy to see why a fall can result in a serious head injury!
3 Important Factors to Consider When Buying a Climbing Helmet
A climbing helmet is an important piece of gear to buy if you plan to rock climb outdoors. But with so many different types and designs available, it can be difficult to choose the right one for you. Feel free to visit protectivegearz.com for more info on protective gear. Whether you’re buying a helmet for rock climbing or another outdoor activity, consider the following factors before making a purchase.
- Shell Type: The shell on a helmet is where most of the protection comes from. Look for helmets made with polycarbonate, which is very durable and protects against most impacts.
- Ventilation: You don’t want your head to overheat during a climb. Look for a helmet that has good ventilation so that you can keep your head cool. This will also help prevent you from sweating too much which can lead to dehydration!
- Retention System: A retention system is a piece of webbing that runs around the perimeter of the helmet. It keeps the helmet securely on your head and helps prevent it from being dislodged in case of a fall. Look for a helmet with a good retention system.
How to Ensure You’re Wearing Your Climbing Helmet Correctly
Wearing a helmet correctly can make a big difference in how well it protects you in case of a fall. If you want to be sure your helmet is doing its job correctly, follow these tips on how to wear it correctly.
- Position the helmet at the top of your head: Make sure your helmet sits above your ears and that there is no space between your head and the helmet.
- Make sure the chin strap is snug: The chin strap should be tightened enough so that the helmet won’t slip off in case of a fall. You should be able to fit one or two fingers between your chin and the chin strap. Adjust the size: If you’re buying climbing helmets online from companies such as Oz Backcountry, make sure you can return them if it doesn’t fit properly. Many manufacturers will have size charts that you can reference.
What happens when you don’t wear a climbing helmet?
If you’re lucky, you might only end up with a few stitches when you fall while rock climbing without a helmet. However, you could also end up with a serious head injury that requires hospitalization. Worst of all, you could die from your injury. If you’re climbing indoors, it’s always a good idea to wear a helmet.
But it’s especially important to wear one if you’re climbing outside. If you don’t wear a helmet, you could suffer a traumatic brain injury or even die from your fall. You could fall off the side of the cliff and get injured in the fall. Although you might be able to walk away from a fall with a few stitches, you could also be paralyzed or even die from your fall.
Other safety gear you must not forget
While climbing helmets are vital to keeping you safe, they aren’t the only option when it comes to protecting yourself while climbing. You should also consider the following tools when looking for ways to stay safe while climbing:
- Gloves – These are essential for protecting your hands if you fall. Also, they will help you grip the rock better so you can make it to the top more easily.
- Chalk – Rock climbers often use chalk to improve their grip. This is especially important when climbing on very smooth surfaces.
- Shoes – Climbing shoes are designed to help you better grip the rock. This can make climbing a lot easier and more enjoyable.
You don’t have to be a daredevil to enjoy rock climbing. In fact, you can enjoy the sport without the risk of injury as long as you take a few precautions. Rock climbers who wear helmets have a reduced risk of injury compared to those who don’t wear helmets. If you want to enjoy the sport of rock climbing without injury, make sure you always wear a helmet while climbing.