Safety Measures for Canyoneering or Canyoning Activity

Canyoning or canyoneering involves following the course of a canyon using different techniques such as swimming, diving, rappelling, scrambling, trekking and jumping. The uncertainties in the outdoor environment make this outdoor activity perilous but fun. Here are some tips on how to make this activity safer and more enjoyable.

Know the techniques used in the activity.

It is important that everyone in the team know how to swim because despite the availability of life vest and the dry riverbed, the river can swell at any given time due to intermittent weather. Practice rope techniques in indoor climbing facilities to gain useful experience for actual scenarios.

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Bring and wear essential gear and equipment.

Canyoneering equipment is literally your lifeline out there. Wear a durable helmet, life vest and trusty trekking clothes and shoes, preferably all terrain, for the activity. Make sure you have wetsuits and thermals if you’re going to explore cold waters. Bring the necessary abseiling gear including ropes, harness, descenders and ascenders. Make sure that your gear is in good shape with no cracks, tears and faulty parts. Never forget waterproof GPS, compass and map to keep you informed of your position and destination.

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Know how to give first aid and signs of distress.

Things can go haywire in the outdoors at any given time. Knowledge in first aid treatment and giving signals of distress can mean a difference between life and death during emergencies. Use your whistle or light to signal for help or call distant parties.

Bring trail food and water, and containers.

Water is the most vital survival item when you are in the wilderness. When canyoneering river channels, river water may be plenty but may not be safe for drinking. Make sure you have tools for distilling or purifying water and a trusty container to store water as you go along. Also trail food keeps you energized the entire trip, so bring lots of dried fruits, nuts, chocolates and other lightweight but calorie-filled snacks.

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Inform other people about your activity.

Make sure to leave trail signs and proper information of your trip to folks back home and to respective authorities. This is to alert them right away if you can’t make it home on time and to know your estimated position when they need to look for you.

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Photos by: KoenVernJules and Stefan Schmitz

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