Outdoor Education - Safety and competence in adventure (knowledge and
Safety and competence in adventure (knowledge and skills)
Dealing in real dangers should be reserved for participants who have a
clear understanding about risk.
"Why do they whisper; why are they so afraid? (said of the Paheka, White
Witi Ihimaera, Maori writer
Since adventures are defined as experiences with uncertain outcomes,
people involved in outdoor adventure frequently meet situations that
require a high level of competence in safety techniques. As outlined
earlier, how safe an activity is, and appears to be, affects the whole
adventure experience. For example, think of when you first climbed or rode
a bike, the more competent your instructor the safer and more confident you
felt. Likewise safety and technical skills have a large affect on the
adventure experience. Instructors endeavour to deal with perceived risks.
This allows the participants to experience concern, fear and challenge
while keeping the real dangers at the lowest possible levels for the chosen
activities or environment. Dealing in real dangers should be reserved for
participants who have a clear understanding about risk, are astute at
perceiving their own level of competence, and have been appropriately
trained in safety and judgement.
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