To improve at climbing, some cyclists install bar ends. These handlebar add-ons mount to the ends of the bar (hence their name) outboard of the grips (you must move the shifters, brakes and grips toward the stem, first).
Additional Hand Hold With bar ends, you've got an additional hand position that's forward of the regular grip. When holding the bar ends, you move forward helping to pin the front wheel to the ground. Also, on the bar ends, you've got a stronger wrist position, which adds control when you're standing to climb.
Drop The Pressure To Get A Grip Another equipment tip that helps when you're struggling to scale the steep stuff is reducing tire pressure. Depending on the trail conditions, you can often drop the air down to 30 psi and create a larger footprint on the trail increasing traction and climbing success. (Don't lower pressure too much on rocky terrain or you'll risk pinch flats.)
Use Some English Body English can help too. Most of the time, you work to pedal fluidly, smoothly. But, on a climb, especially a steep one, you must lean forward to keep the front wheel from lifting off the trail, which reduces the bite that the rear tire has. So here, what's really needed is adequate traction each time you pedal. One way to get this is to bounce downward with each pedal stroke, driving the rear tire into the dirt, which increases traction and will help get you up the hill.
Get The Gears Of course, having the right gearing can help in the hills, too. If you feel like you're always working too hard, even in your easiest cogs, bring your bike in and we'll see if it's possible to install lower gears to lighten your load.