Adventure has multiple meanings to different people. For some it could be a good book, exciting and firing imagination. Most of the people keep the risk at minimum and look for more rewards without much effort. It’s only few who value risk and adventure as inseparable to them. It’s a well-known principle that the greater the risk, the better the rewards of adventure. Some people who have enough courage, experience and expertise, would take it to the extremes. However each individual must realize where his/her limit lies and where does the risk become too great to justify the rewards.
Deciding when the risk is too great, becomes an intricate process of evaluation, and is vital for becoming a successful adventurer. Factors must be weighed such as your skill level to a given activity, the level and nature of unavoidable, uncontrollable, or unforeseeable dangers, the quality of your equipment, your knowledge of your equipment, your awareness of your own limitations, and the readiness of your partners in the adventure. The nature of the endeavor brings some of these considerations to the forefront. When these factors, and many others, are fully evaluated, then you get an idea of how risky the undertaking will be. It is vital to be completely honest with yourself at this point. The final consideration, and the most important, is to compare that amount of risk with an honest self-evaluation of how much you value your own life. It sounds a bit detailed, but almost every adventure activity has the possibility of some consequent risks. It’s important that we accept that fact and don’t make a decision without keeping this in mind.
In most adventurous activities, such as skydiving, rock climbing, kayaking, or scuba diving, life-threatening circumstances are few. They are well within our tolerance level. There are some, however, that go beyond that level of risk. Some degrees of all of these are required to travel at the edge of adventure, and that is why I emphasize heavily on the fact that we must be completely honest with ourselves when evaluating such things. All of that said, I will label myself as one of those who push up to the edge of the typical tolerance for risk, without venturing into the realm of extreme danger. I prefer the mental capability of using my knowledge, with my body and my equipment as my tools, against the material, the elements, or the water. I prefer the challenge of evaluating each decision I make, in order to keep the adventure as safe and fun as it can be. I do not rely heavily upon luck to keep the weather nice or the rock from breaking loose under my hands. It isn’t worth the salt.
The adventure experiences make you realize how small we are in the whole scope of the universe, and how beautifully we fit into the universe. They make you appreciate what you have and inflate your desire to seek more and more. They make you want more out of life. Life is short, and we should live it to the fullest.
Most adventurers want to travel, learn, explore, meet new people, and experience. After all, that’s what life is all about. Then there are those who partake risk activities solely for the sake of emotional stimulation. Then there are those who engage in high risk pursuits to expand their personal horizons or to explore new destinations.
The finest explorers I had the pleasure to meet and associate, had certain level of motivation. They were dedicated to a long term commitment to exploration. The dangers they faced were inherent in their areas of interest. They did not actively seek out these hazards, but accepted them as part of the risk that came along with their interests. All those who seek adventure must weigh the risks v/s. the benefits of exploring new horizons. The mere pursuit of thrill rarely justifies personal risk.
There are three important things while preparing for a successful adventure activity. Know yourself because you are your best asset and your worst enemy in any challenging situation. Knowing your own strengths and limitations will give you the confidence to assess whatever may cross your path. The next thing on my list is all weather clothing. No matter where you plan to be, there are good chances of becoming cold and/or wet. You must put emphasis on bad weather gear. Adventures are planned but what I am talking about here is not the adventure itself but the problems and risks that often accompany an adventure activity.
Careful planning cannot remove the possibility of a crisis. It may occur in many forms at any time and place. There can be an unpredicted storm at sea or an unexpected illness on a hike. It can develop out of nowhere and leave you drained and helpless. One should be glad to be in one piece after a situation evaporates.
The one rule I give high importance is, to stay calm and think and act rationally. If I know what is to be done, I do it. When unsure, I take others’ suggestions without any arguments. Emotions have no place in a crisis. You can fall apart after a crisis. Thinking clearly is what gets you through when a mast snap, lightning strikes, someone goes overboard, or when you find someone collapsed and not breathing. Assess what is to be done, think how you can do it safely by yourself or the other person and then act.
If you survive a crisis, that experience is an adventure and a value add for a lifetime…