Thursday/June/2016 Filed in: White Water Rafting | Risks
Risks are an ever-present part of life.
Staying at home may seem safer than getting out and exploring but there is hardly a reward in life without a challenge. We prefer the challenges in life that are fun and exciting. These challenges build up excitement & anticipation and reward us with a sense of accomplishment and ultimately a great adventure. We embrace these adventures and at the day’s end, rest with a sincere sense of satisfaction in having lived life to the fullest.
We are not the only ones who seek out and find enjoyment in white water rafting. White water rafting in Colorado alone is enjoyed on average by over 500,000 people annually. In being a participant in an outdoor adventure it is important to understand that you are involved in an activity with inherent risks. It is always wise to weigh risk vs. reward and always factor in your physical capabilities when confronting a challenge. This is your personal responsibility.
White water rafting is not 100% safe and no-one could ever say factually that it fully is. White water rafting contains constant inherent risks, like moving water, gradient, obstructions and rocks. Challenging these risks and “going with the flow” when running a river successfully and on occasion unsuccessfully, is where the excitement and reward is found and of course the risk.
Choosing a rafting trip
When choosing a raft trip with young children, older folks, or less physically capable individuals, you would be better off seeking a class II-III section of white water such as the Bighorn Sheep Canyon. As a white water rafting outfitter we are more capable in assessing and recommending a trip that is best suited to your abilities upon your arrival. If you have questions about which trip is right for you, it is best to book the lower classified white water trip, and then switch to a higher class after meeting your guide and conferring as to which section might be best.
It is important to acknowledge, understand and manage risks when possible. This is why rafting outfitters perform a pre-trip orientation prior to every rafting trip’s departure. The pre-trip orientation helps educate you about how to react should you swim the river. Dealing with a swim can be a challenge in any class white water as the risks are always inherently present, but a swim with prior knowledge as to how to minimize the risks involved and self rescuing in the moment can make all the difference.
Outdoor activities, white water rafting in particular, has become more mainstream since the 1980's. Despite the increase in participation in whitewater rafting - yet, there is less risk involved when compared with other adventurous sports, according to American Whitewater. Scuba diving has a mortality rate of .0035% and the chance of a fatal incident while rock climbing is .0032%. Your risk of a tragic outcome while river rafting is only .0029% in 100,000 participants. Compare that with the risk of a motor vehicle accident, which is 1 in 113 (.88%) and heart disease claims a person every 40 seconds (yes, we consider bacon an adventure)!
Whitewater rafting trips that used to be considered extremely difficult are now traversed by thousands of people a year. This is due to improved boat and safety technology and knowledge within the white water community. Runs that used to be considered impossible are now navigable by experts. View more statistics from Teton Gravity Research which compare adventurous sports to everyday activities and potential health problems.
Dealing wisely with dangers and risks is a valuable goal to ascertain - as with proper knowledge and skill comes greater success. This is why thousands of people are drawn to the adventure, fun and excitement of white water rafting! It is the very reason why many families and youth organizations continue to bring their children year after year. It's not just about the thrills. Executing skills learned under pressure helps to develop a cool, rational mindset in the face of a challenge. Outdoor activity is often used to teach self-reliance, good judgement, and to build confidence. All of these factors have positive implications in life outside of the river. So get out and explore! Have fun and every now and then, eat a little bacon.