Summer DaresBy Jennifer K. Bauer
Kids instinctively seek the uplifting freedom of tree climbing. It still feels great for grown-ups, who at some point relegated trees to boring landscape features and annoying things that plague them with yearly leaf fall.
Start by scouting for good climbing trees as you go about your daily business. Be choosy. Look for a healthy tree with thick limbs sprouting out from the trunk. Look at the tree like a ladder. You want sturdy footholds that are within stepping distance to one another. Avoid dead trees or branches. Some pine trees are great for climbing as their limbs spiral up like a staircase.
The hardest part of climbing a tree is usually getting up into it in the first place, so look for a tree with a limb low enough to begin your ascent either by pulling yourself up, using a prop or getting a boost from a friend. Once up, begin to climb staying close to the tree’s trunk on limbs sturdy enough to support your weight (at least 8 inches around is a good starting point). Go slowly. Test each foot and hand hold before putting your trust in it. You don’t have to go to the top of the tree, or climb very high, to win this dare. Sit on a limb and enjoy your new perspective on trees.
Double Dare: Three in a tree
Get two friends to join you on your tree-climbing adventure.
Video: In this You Tube video a young man free climbs a pine tree wearing a Gopro Hero 3 to record the experience.