Outdoor Adventure Mishaps and How to Avoid Them

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Outdoor adventure sports are truly a thrilling, exhilarating and incredibly fun experience. That if, you can overcome your fears and partake in them. Outdoor adventure sports come in various forms which include:

• Zip lining
• Ice climbing
• Rock climbing
• Sky diving
• Paragliding
• Base jumping
• Bungee jumping
• Extreme motor racing
• Bike or car racing
• Parasailing

All these kinds of sports and any other extreme sports out there help strengthen your will and provide the necessary adrenaline fix especially for adrenaline junkies. They also improve camaraderie and boosts team spirit.

Participants of all outdoor sports and activities often understand the risks associated with these various sports. That is why they often take personal responsibility for any injuries sustained during the course of the activity.

As a result, many of them became more extra careful and tend to take precautionary measures. Apart from that, they also equip themselves with outdoor survival gears just to ensure their safety and protection during the activities. However, in spite of all the precautions, accidents can and do still happen. Highlighted below are some of the common mishaps, accidents and injuries as well as their possible causes.

Hypothermia

This is the situation in which your body’s core temperature drops below acceptable levels resulting in impaired judgment, irrationality and confusion. This is usually caused by prolonged exposure to the cold temperature without the necessary outdoor adventure apparel.

To prevent hypothermia, avoid staying in cold and wet conditions for too long. If you must, as in the case of kayaking, surfing or parasailing, make sure that you’re wearing the appropriate wet suit and waterproof adventure gloves. These will protect your arms from cramping up in the cold. If you’re camping out, make sure that you’re securely ensconced in your tent.

Slips and Falls from High Altitudes

This is common in sports such as rock climbing, mountain climbing and extreme hiking on high altitude locations and cliff edges. For people who like jumping from the edge of slippery cliffs or walking particularly in dangerous trails, the risk of slipping and falling to the depths below is always inevitable.

Since cliff jumpers usually require little or no gears, it’s always better to be on the lookout for things that can cause them to slip and hit their heads at the very last minute. Cliff jumpers should also make sure that they won’t be jumping into shallow waters or those with jutting rocks.

Altitude Sickness

Also known as acute mountain sickness, this is common with mountain climbers or people who ascend a steep, tall incline ( usually about 8,000 feet ) far too rapidly instead of acclimatising first. While the acclimatisation can be aided by drugs, it should interest you to know that altitude sickness can have far more fatal consequences like high altitude pulmonary or cerebral oedema.

Exposure to Dangerous Animals

Backpacking and hiking across dangerous and demanding terrains can often result in increased exposure to wild animals. These animals often like feeding on human foods. If you’ll be backpacking across the country or hiking in the forests or natural parks, be sure to always hang your bags where the animals can’t reach them. Not just that, make sure that where you sleep can’t be easily reached by bears and other wild animals.

Concussion, Head Injuries and Drowning

While this doesn’t happen often, it may still possibly happen anytime. For instance, people who partake in white-water rafting, parasailing and sea kayaking can encounter turbulent waters and storms. Whatever the case, storms can often result in the participant being thrown overboard or having their kayak overturned. This can result in head injuries and concussions if the participants hit their head against rocks or other obstacles.

If they pass out from the severe injuries, there’s a real risk of drowning in the waters if no one comes to their aid. To prevent this or minimise the impact of the head against any of the obstacles, kayakers, parasailors and other extreme water sportspeople need to wear their helmets.

Sometimes, it can mean the difference between death or spending the rest of your life as a vegetable and surviving and living an active life after the incident.

Heat Exhaustion

This is common among extreme sportspeople who go hiking in unfamiliar territories or without the proper maps. This is possible because after a while trekking in the desert or wilderness, every direction can look the same. Heat exhaustion can also happen if you expose yourself to the sun for too long.

This is why you should take the necessary adventure survival gear. You must wear the appropriate clothing materials –no nylons or leather jackets- in the first place. You also need to carry around navigational equipments like the compass and maps. Heat exhaustion is real and can be deadly as it causes dehydration, paranoia and can lead to heat stroke.

Broken Bones, Sprains and Back Injuries

This can be the result of falls, trips and slips during any of the outdoor sporting activities. There’s always a real risk of this. This is why you should be careful about your outdoor footwear. Wear only appropriate and comfortable shoes that support your heel, sole and ankles.

Defective Equipment or Lax Operators

Defective equipment has resulted in the death of many extreme outdoor sportsmen. This is also possible with lax or careless guides and operators who neglect observing safety measures. Equipments that don’t deploy when they should, like parachutes during bungee jumping or skydiving could mean certain death.

The same goes for the absence of certain safety devices on equipments. For instance, if a guide or operator forgets to attach a carabineer to a hang loop during hang-gliding, you can be sure that it will result in certain accident or death. So, make sure that all your equipments are working and in good condition. Also, double check all necessary attachments connected before attempting your stunts. These actions can save your life.

Ignoring Weather Forecasts

Many outdoor adventure enthusiasts have lost their lives because they either didn’t listen to the weather forecast or ignored the weather forecast. Weather forecasts are your best friend in extreme sports.

If there’s a threat of a thunderstorm, don’t ever go surfing, parasailing or kayaking; even if it’s in the opposite direction. If there’s a threat of a blizzard and half the day’s gone without any sign, don’t assume that it won’t happen and then go mountain climbing. This should be the last thing you do. Remember that weather is fickle and can change within minutes. So, heed all weather warnings to stay safe and alive.

Some other outdoor adventure mishaps can result in other form of incidents which include:

• Cardiac arrests
• Asthmatic attacks
• Oxygen deprivation
• Muscle cramps
• Crashes and vehicle accidents
• Getting trapped in dangerous places

No matter how casual the outdoor event, always make sure that you have the appropriate outdoor survival kit or gears in order for you to stay safe and alive in the game.