Milo Activity Guide: Climbing

This guide outlines our recommendations for mounting and configuration to give you the best Milo experience during indoor or outdoor climbing.

Milos are great for just about every type of climbing and every level of expertise: indoor and outdoor climbing, free climbing, top rope climbing, lead climbing, ice climbing, and even just steep hikes. Because of the shorter distances typically involved, you'll probably use Milos less during bouldering.

Connection Optimizations

Like most communication devices, Milos work best when in line of sight and are unable to maintain a connection through obstacles like granite. Line of sight means not only seeing the person you're talking to, but also having minimal obstacles between your 2 Milos.

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If your outdoor climbs involve going over cliffs, you may need to use a third Milo. Place that Milo as near to the ledge as possible - and secure that Milo - so that you can now utilize MiloNet's mesh network to keep the signal strong enough for continued conversation. In a group of Milos, if Milo-1 and Milo-2 are not in line of sight, but Milo-3 is in line of sight of both, then MiloNet enables communication for the whole group.

If you belay and can safely move away somewhat from the rock wall, you also increase the communication reach between you and the climber/belayer. As a belayer, mount your Milo facing forward and angled upwards toward the climber.

Another factor that will improve your connections is the type of climbing you are doing. Transmitted audio signals bounce off walls in somewhat unpredictable ways. If you're climbing up a pipe, your signal may bounce and reach other Milos well, or it may disappear more easily. 

Starting in version 11.0, you can send short voice messages to your group, even when someone is out of reach for normal real time conversation. This can be very useful to keep others informed if you decide to look for routes further away.

Milo Clips and Mounting

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For optimal audio and connection quality, it's crucial to mount Milo near each user's head and in a location that is as unobstructed as possible.

  • If you're wearing a harness that goes across your chest, use the action clips to attach Milo to one of the straps, positioning it near your upper chest or shoulder area. A backpack strap can fill the same purpose.
  • For helmet wearers, find a stable location for the action clip on the chin straps, ensuring it's close to ear and mouth. 
  • In the absence of such gear, the Milo collar clip is advisable. 
  • Adjust placement based on your style and type of climbing. If you smear the wall, think about where Milo will not be in your way or get caught.
  • Regardless of the chosen clip, always also use the lanyard for added security. If needed, you can replace the lanyard installed by default with the longer one (included with each Milo) and wear it around your neck.
  • Read more about mounting Milos herehere, and here

Milo Use in Climbing

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  • Instruction
    • Imagine having Milos while teaching or learning climbing. Without Milos, you don't need to get very far from the person you're with before you need to yell and ask for repetitions. 
    • Remember that Proximity Mute is on by default. Depending on distances and environment, find the setting that works best for you. That may mean changing the size if the 'Quiet Zone' or even disabling Proximity Mute.
  • Assisting
    • Whether indoor and outdoor climbing, being able to converse about route ideas, ask about the distance to the next hold, or recommend a foot hold, Milos are invaluable tools for climbers.
    • Because Milos are not short-range Bluetooth communication devices, there is some minor latency (delay) in audio communication. Your voice reaches another directly connected Milo in less than 1s. In a small Milo group where everyone is in clear line of sight, latency can be considerably shorter, thanks to the dynamic implementation. In larger groups where members are further away and rely on MiloNet to reach the furthest Milo, latency can be longer.
  • Updates & staying in contact 
    • Keep in contact when some in your group rest while you continue to climb, keep in contact between lead and sweep on a steep climb, or inform your climbing partner about an equipment issue or need for a break.
    • While Milos can provide safety and security by simplifying communication, remember that Milo is not certified for emergency use.

General success guidelines

  • Always run the most recent software on all your Milos. Check for updates, and update if not on latest version.
  • Always use a lanyard for secondary backup security with all mounts and clips, in case your Milo comes loose. Look at videos here for ideas on how to secure the lanyard with different clips.
  • Always clean and dry your Milos after water use. That includes use in snow. This is especially important when used around salt water. Read more here about how to care for your Milos when using around water, and about general water use here.