Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold. –Hellen Keller
Many of us dream big in our daily lives, we dream of romance, power, wealth, and often time’s adventure. But few of us ever go beyond our day dreaming to make things happen. Sometimes you just can’t find your March of the Penguin partner for life, you never seize any real seat of power, and great wealth is always in short demand. But adventure is one of those dreams where any of us can actually make it happen and it’s almost guaranteed to be achieved. All you have to do is try.
But some people are Try-Hards, and they take adventurous activities to the next level. Adventure to some is not trail hiking, skiing at a resort, or even regular old sky diving (as though that’s not enough). Some go out of their way to find the thrills, and often spills, of big time adventure activities. If you are unsure what constitutes such things, continue reading and go over this list, it’ll tell you 10 of the most dangerous activities anyone can take part in… that is if you’re daring enough.
Free solo climbing is considered the purest form of climbing, and is done without safety equipment of any sort. That means no harness, no ropes or any other sort of protective gear. This makes the sport extremely dangerous as at about 20-30 feet above ground is enough to either severely injure someone, or potentially kill them if they were to fall. Not to mention, it’s not dangerous enough for these climbers to only scamper 20 or so feet up. Some will climb hundreds and even thousands of feet up the side of a wall, and not even bat an eye when they look down. For proof of this, check out one of the most well-remembered of free solo climbers Dan Osman. Sadly he died in 1998, but his skill and courage will probably never be forgotten.
Base jumping is one of the more dangerous forms of parachuting, where a person does not have the time to make a mistake. Generally they never carry a backup parachute as there is not enough time to deploy it if the first one fails. Base is an acronym and stands for buildings, antennas, spans, and earth. Generally, base jumping is illegal because most of the places people choose to jump from are off-limits. Such as the Eiffel Tower, Chrysler Building, and other big name locations. Not only is there the thrill for these people of jumping, but also of evading authorities both before and after the jump as occurred.
Wing suit flying in itself is where a skydiver jumps from a plane and soars like a sugar glider. It adds a lot more time to the overall “freefall” and the distance that is covered can be miles long. However, regular wingsuit flight isn’t enough for some. There are those that want to do proximity flying, which means soaring as close to the ground as possible. And when I say close, I mean really close. At times they will soar no more than 20 feet from the ground, dodging trees, rocks, and at times even people watching. If you have never witnessed this, do yourself a favor and look it up and prepare to be amazed. Your jaw will most certainly drop.
Originally, bull running was a tradition of driving bulls from corrals in cities through the streets and into the bullring where they were to do battle with the Matador. Nowadays this festivity still exists and has become an activity in itself. Though it is certainly not for the faint of heart, feeble of mind, or the flawed of physique. Meanwhile there is only one rule, run. Run as fast as you can and try extremely hard not to get gored by a bull. It will most certainly ruin your experience.
Hang gliding is considered one of the most dangerous in-air sports around. 1 out of every 100,000 flights ends in an accident, and you can imagine what happens if the kite you’re flying on fails you. There is no other safety precaution that can be taken, no parachute, and no cabin to protect you if things go awry. It’s almost nothing more than a glorified paper plane you’ve strapped yourself into, and all paper planes eventually crash to the ground.
Now some people will say they’ve been mountain climbing before, they’ve done a fourteener or two in their time and it wasn’t that bad. But real mountain climbing doesn’t involve trails that lead to the top. Real mountain climbing involves plotting new paths, scaling others that were thought impossible, or overall just climbing the hardest parts of a mountain. There are countless risks involved and numerous people die every year in attempting it. Though, once at the top, there is no doubt to be fewer places in the world with a better view.
Some people are not satisfied climbing as high as they can go, but would rather dive as deep as possible. Recreational scuba diving is fun and has very little risk associated if you are prepared and skilled. But scuba diving in caves, ship wrecks, and those that go deep-sea scuba diving take it to the next level. They also get to see things in this world that few others even know exist. Then there is also the danger of sharks and other creatures that will snap you up and drag you down deep to Davy Jones’ Locker.
Some people have a love for the high seas, sadly however, there is no love to be found from the sea in return. Recreational boating and sailing is very dangerous, where anywhere from 500-1,000 people die every year from either poor weather conditions, sailing while drunk, or just plain errors made on the captains part. The worst of it to is that most of those deaths could have been preventable by either wearing their life jackets, or taking the necessary precautions needed to alert the authorities of their outing. Nearly all of the deaths involved drowning, which in itself, is a terrifying way to go.
We’ve all seen people surfing waves off the coast of California and Hawaii. But big wave surfing is a whole other bread of beast. Those that attempt to do it have to navigate through waves that can be in excess of 50 feet. Then there is also the sharks that tend to frequent the same waters, and is an added danger most could do without. Never mind riding a wave that could crush almost anything in its path.
Finally there is heli-skiing, where risk takers hop on a helicopter, which has to fight the turbulence to get to the access point and is dangerous in itself, then strap their skis on, cruise down a rocky and craggy mountain, avert and avoid either causing or being caught in an avalanche, and ensure any other number of things don’t go wrong before they reach the bottom. Many people die every year in attempting to ski in places that are otherwise not accessible. But then again… they do it for the fresh pow-pow. Which I assume is reward enough.
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The author of this article is Damien S. Wilhelmi. If you enjoyed this piece you can follow me on Twitter @JakabokBotch. Sometimes people don’t want to go too extreme when seeking adventure, if you want a little excitement that is a bit less dangerous, you can always Raft Denver Colorado or the surrounding area through Inaraft.com, where guided tours can be arranged.