Ready for the ultimate adrenaline rush? Extreme adventure activities such as rock-climbing, skydiving and canyoneering are an ideal way to challenge yourself while having fun, exploring the country and building your mental toughness – they're called ‘extreme’ for a reason, after all.
But, if you're new to the world of adventure activities, it can be difficult to know where to start and what to expect. Extreme adventurers like Jordan Wylie make it look easy, but as he readily admits on the Fear Naught podcast, it’s not as simple as it seems.
In Fear Naught’s ultimate beginner's guide we'll go over everything you need to know to get started on your own extreme adventure journey.
Rule one: Don’t be stupid
Rule one of extreme adventure: don’t be stupid. These activities can be dangerous, so safety should always be your top priority. Before you start, make sure you research the activity you're interested in and the location you'll be doing it. Look for reputable companies that offer instruction and equipment rentals, and make sure you read reviews and check for certifications.
When it comes to extreme adventure activities, always wear proper safety gear and follow the HHH rule: helmet, harness, hospital. You can’t wear the last one, but you should always know where it is.
It's also important to understand that, even with every safety measure in place, accidents can still happen. So, before you start any extreme adventure activity, make sure you have a good understanding of the risks involved and have an emergency plan in place should something go wrong.
Rule two: Know your body
Rule two of extreme adventure: know your body. Before you start any extreme adventure activity, consider your physical fitness and any medical conditions you may have. Like it or not, extreme adventure has a high physical fitness threshold, and not everyone passes. Take a moment to reflect and consider your health – if you’re unsure you have what it takes, take a few months to train and then come back. Even if you have the mental toughness required, your body needs to be able to match your mind and vice versa. Here are some exercise ideas guaranteed to increase your mental toughness.
In some case, people may have any medical conditions that could affect their ability to participate. If this applies to you, make sure you consult a doctor before attempting any extreme adventure activity.
If you have no prior experience of an adventure activity, it’s also important to gradually build up your endurance and strength in that activity. We know it’s fun to jump in the deep end, but this is one of those times when you really shouldn’t. For example, if you're new to rock climbing, start with easier routes and gradually work your way up to more difficult ones. The same can be said of activities like canyoneering and white-water rafting.
Rule three: Choose your adventure activity
Rule three of extreme adventure: choose your activity. Once you've taken the necessary precautions and assessed your fitness level, it's time to choose your activity. There are loads of extreme adventure activities to choose from, each with their own set of unique challenges, rewards and ways they’ll test your resilience and mental toughness. Here are some fun adventure activities that Fear Naught recommends for beginners:
Rock climbing is the most popular extreme adventure activity and one that requires strength, endurance, and mental focus. It’s popularity stems from how it can be done indoors and outdoors at both rock climbing venues or any wall with bits poking out. There are many different types of climbing for budding adrenaline-junkies to check out, including sport climbing, trad climbing, and bouldering.
Sport climbing - a type of climbing that involves pre-placed bolts that you can use to secure yourself as you climb. It's a great option for beginners because it's typically less physically demanding than other types of climbing.
Trad climbing - also known as traditional climbing, this involves placing your own bolts as you climb. It's a more challenging and physically demanding type of climbing that requires a high level of skill and experience.
Bouldering - a type of climbing that's done on shorter routes without the use of ropes. It's a great option for people who want to improve their core strength and technique.
White Water Rafting
White water rafting is another popular extreme adventure activity – just make sure you’re a strong swimmer. When it comes to white water rafting, there are different levels of difficulty to choose from, ranging from easy Class 1 and 2 rapids to more challenging Class 3, 4, and 5 rapids. It's important to choose a trip that matches your skill level and experience. If you’re a beginner, start low and work your way up.
Before you go rafting, make sure you dress appropriately. Wear clothes and shoes that can get wet and will provide good traction. In case it’s not obvious, it’s going to get slippery.
Bungee jumping is a classic adventure activity that requires a strong stomach and an even stronger rope.
When it comes to bungee jumping, there are different types of jumps to choose from, such as traditional bungee jumps, where you jump from a fixed platform, and bungee swings, where you swing from a platform.
Remember, you’re not scared of heights, you’re scared of the ground.
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Ziplining (also known as canopy touring) is another classic adventure activity that involves gliding along a steel cable suspended high above the ground. Think of it like flying, but instead of wings you’re attached to a harness.
Ziplining is an easily available adventure activity that can be found at many adventure parks and zipline tour operators across the world. Of all the activities of the list, this is the most widely accessible and requires little preparation.
Falling from the sky is great. Hitting the ground isn’t.
Luckily, skydiving is an adventure activity that involves free-falling from an aircraft before deploying a parachute. Beginners should start with a tandem skydive, where you'll be attached to an experienced instructor who can guide you through the experience. With training, many adrenaline-junkies can eventually skydive individually, taking the thrill into their own hands.
Canyoneering is an adventure activity that involves hiking, scrambling, swimming, and rappelling through canyons. It's the perfect way to experience the beauty of the wilderness while getting a taste of adventure. Canyoneering is an activity that requires a certain level of fitness and technical skill, as well as some specialized equipment. For beginners, it's recommended to join a canyoneering group or start with an easy canyon that doesn't require too much equipment.
Still want more? Click here for even more blood-pumping adventure activity ideas you can do in UK (and where to find them.)
Rule four: Prepare for your adventure
Rule four of extreme adventure: preparation is key. Mentally and physically ready yourself for the challenge ahead and pack all the necessary gear and supplies.
Physically prepare yourself by gradually building up your endurance and strength through regular exercise, and optimise your performance by designing that exercise routine around the adventure activity you plan to take on.
When it comes to gear and supplies, make sure you research the activity you're interested in and the location you'll be doing it. Look for reputable companies that offer instruction and equipment rentals, and make sure you read reviews and check for certifications. In some cases, having the right equipment and supplies means the difference between life and death.
Rule five: Challenge yourself, stay safe, have fun
Extreme adventure activities are some of the most satisfying, testing and enjoyable challenges anyone can take on. Just remember they can be dangerous and often require a certain level of skill, so safety should always be your number one priority.
Once you’ve found the right activity right for you, you’re guaranteed an experience that will push you to your limits, test your resilience and take you on an adventure unlike anything else.
So what are you waiting for? Start your own extreme adventure journey today. With the right preparation, mindset and a healthy dose of mental toughness, you can take your first unforgettable steps into the world of extreme adventure.
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