Adventure travel sounds like a lot of fun. It entails going beyond your comfort zone and treading less traveled and unfamiliar roads. Adventure creates an ecstatic high for adventure-seekers as it opens doors for new possibilities, new experiences, new social relationships, new skills, knowledge and understanding during the whole adventure quest. Adventure travel may include trying out bungee jumping, whitewater rafting, scuba diving, car racing, and mountain climbing among others. Some adventurers can think of endless possibilities in going beyond their physical boundaries. And you or someone you know may be one of those adventurers.
Seeking constant adventures in life is a wonderful experience. The joy that you get cannot be bought and the rewards are unexplainable. However, as in any dangerous stunts there are high risks involved. As some people put it, it is as if your one foot is dangling on your tomb. You may argue that it is actually the risks involved that makes the adventure so much more exciting. But before you embark on your adventure, read the risks involved first.
What are the risks involved in adventure travel?
- Adventure travel in motor vehicles is the most risky, which accounts for most deaths and about one fourth percent includes children 0-17 years old. Adults should never ever bring children in adventure travels.
- Acute mountain sickness (typically about 8,000 feet) affects people of any age. That is why it is recommended to hike or climb high altitudes gradually. Acute mountain sickness is also referred to as altitude sickness. Minor symptoms include lightheadedness, fatigue, and difficulty in sleeping and will eventually improve when brought down to lower altitudes. However, severe cases can lead to death if left untreated.
- Asthma episodes are triggered particularly in children when traveling.
- If adventure travel is brought to icy and cold environments, the risk of hypothermia is prevalent. This happens when your body’s temperature falls below 35 degrees Celsius. Outdoor adventure travel such as mountain climbing, skiing, sailing and the like exposes your body to wind chills, wet environments, dehydration and low immunity due to improper food and nutritional intake. Symptoms include blood vessels shutting down in your hands and feet, motor skills deterioration, involuntary shivering and worst the cases lead to loss of consciousness and eventually, death.
- In extreme contrast, when adventure travel is brought to locations with high temperature, the risk of hyperthermia or heat stroke should be considered. This is especially true when the adventure travel requires prolonged exposure in the outdoors. A person suffers from heat stroke when internal body temperature reaches 40.5 degree Celsius and higher causing internal organs to shutdown. Symptoms include rapid heartbeat, difficulty in breathing, hallucinations, and strange behaviors and may lead to seizure and coma if untreated.
There are many other accidents and unfortunate events that may occur during adventure travel. Although the rewards of joining friends in a skiing party or in a mountaineering activity may be too valuable to miss, you should keep in mind the safety precautions that you need to plan and prepare ahead of time. Understand that even the most trained professional in adventure travel still meets accidents along the way. It is important to take calculated risks and evaluate the potential hazards that you and your friends will possibly encounter. Lastly, make sure to get a travel insurance particularly one that deals with adventure travel. As some people say, it is better to be safe than sorry.