Forget ISIS …

 … sugar is the new killer! … or was it something else? There are so many things which can kill us or are dangerous that we normally don’t worry about the ones which actually matter. The stuff we do every day.

Falling Tree2

Geocaching in general is a fairly safe game. Unfortunately fatalities do happen. Around Victoria T5 caching has always been a part of the game. So far there hasn’t been a recorded death however if we trust the numbers from other organisations, we might be heading down the wrong track:

  • Canoeing Victoria saw a massive decrease of drownings with the mandatory introduction of PFDs. Since more cheap kayaks are pushing onto the market this trend seems to reverse
  • Climbing is a sport which becomes more and more popular and unfortunately also the accident rate is climbing along

There might be a wild bunch out there who makes things look sooo easy, that it’s tempting to follow in their footsteps. How hard can it be to do one of these remote paddles or tree-caches?Wrong buddy! That’s a very dangerous idea. Although there haven’t been severe injuries or fatalities, I do know of at least one close call for each a tree cache, a long distance hiking cache and an open water paddle cache. All of these near misses can be accounted to lack of skills and overconfidence. In every case the cachers should be very lucky to be alive.

Unfortunately nature isn’t simple and also the safety systems aren’t simple either. Caches like 100km/h at Impact or Dihydrogen Monoxide are appealing but the first one should only be attempted by people with years of experience on ropes and if you want to paddle to H2O, you have to know sea-kayaking inside out.

But why? Why does it always look so easy? Because everything goes to plan … most of the times. Danger arises when things go pear-shaped and trust me they do. Eventually you will find yourself in a messed-up situation. Training, experience, a calm head and the right equipment will get you out of it. If you’re lacking one of them you’re screwed. You will injure yourself or others or die altogether.

Bottom-line: Things aren’t as easy as they might look from the outside. Don’t get yourself into trouble for no apparent reason. Join a climbing or paddling club. Go out with someone who is experienced. Learn. Gradually increase the difficulty. Expect set-backs. Always have a back-up plan. Use your brain.

Play it safe!

P.S.: … and don’t use ropes from the hardware store. People died doing that.

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