When adventure becomes disaster


An uncertain outcome is a prerequisite for adventure. Adventure cannot exist without it. It is the uncertainty that motivates us to go places where we have not been, experience things that the Jones’s forget about in their race to keep up with their neighbours.

Uncertainty brings the promise of excitement and a refreshing change to our dreary daily routine. It also brings risk, and specifically the type that weekend warriors do not have in their daily life. Yet we continue searching for more, being driven by the promises of the next adventure looming on the horizon.

The great majority of adventurers come home incident free and motivated to get back into nature at the first opportunity, but for some of us adventure turns into disaster. It is at those times that preparedness save lives.

I just completed a five-day swiftwater rescue course with whitewater training because I believe that to remain welcome on organised trips I need the ability to:

  • keep myself out of trouble
  • rescue myself if possible, thus not endangering my mates
  • rescue my mates who may need help

Now you may say that you never come close to dangerous water and that may be true, but how confident are you in your disaster response abilities during a crisis in your beloved mountains, or while trekking through a desert? If there is uncertainty there is risk. You owe it to yourself to know how to stay safe, and how to respond when disaster comes knocking on your door.

If you are the adventurous kind, check out this poll, and make your contribution.

This poll, and will close on Monday 8 July 2013. Please vote before the deadline to avoid disappointment.

Be safe, be prepared and enjoy your time in the great outdoors!

Instructors in emergency preparedness, and adventure safety organizations are welcome to leave their details and hyperlinks to their websites in the comments below. That way future readers of this post know how to get hold of you when needed.

Post by Franz Fuls


About Franz Fuls

Adventurer Freelance Journalist Photographer Bunny Hugger Engineer January 2014 I depart on a 2,500km eco-expedition called Triwaters Tour. The website link is in my profile. Go check it out.

10 comments on “When adventure becomes disaster

  1. Here’s a great place for swiftwater rescue training in Europe: http://www.rescue3europe.com/

  2. Well done for doing the course and Hugh is one of the top chaps to learn this from. Unfortunately most people don’t realize how quickly things go from bad to worse on the water and even less people know how to help. Basic first aid(wilderness based), a good instructional book and most importantly a safety course should be how any new person gets into adventure, saddly tho this is generally not the case. Remember gear helps to keep you alive but a cool paddle can’t throw a throwbag or do cpr for that you need people with proper training, equipment and experience. Choose your adventure buddies wisely and if you are introducing people to an adventure discipline do it properly.
    Well done Franz!

    • Having posted the contact sheet, I’d like to add that it’s critical that you inform someone where you’re going and when to expect you back. This needs to be someone who cares enough that they’ll do something about it if you don’t return on time. No reliable friends? Try TrailNote

  3. The words in this article flowed more swiftly than I imagine the waters do. It was wonderfully written. Maybe when I overcome my phobia of birds and fish, I might consider venturing in the wild. Until then, the playground is my Amazon rainforest.

    Thankyou for not only visiting, but also commenting on my blog.
    If you liked what you saw (and I’m assuming you did), do stay tuned 😀

  4. The poll is now officially closed. Look out for another one coming soon!

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