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
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…