There are several sports around the globe that are fun but do have their own risk at the same time. Canyoneering is among the list of these sports and something that has been accepted and really appreciated by a really good percentage of the population.
That is the reason as to why before you engage into this wonderful sport and adventure, you will need to have the basic knowledge of what you are doing.
What is Canyoneering?
The term canyoneering comes from the word canyon, which can be defined as a deep, narrow valley with steep sides and more occasionally with a stream flowing through it.
Canyoneering therefore simply means that it is a sport that involves exploring of the ccanyons.
This is done by in so many ways like walking, scrambling, climbing, jumping, rafting and rappelling.
Normally this is done in remote areas and it involves the use of navigation, route finding and any wilderness skill that an individual might have.
This sport or adventure is enjoyed by a person of a different age, and is available all over the globe.
It is a very simple sport, but to some people might be a very difficult one.
What are the Canyoneering Gears?
You might be wondering why you need special gears; you will realize that when you are canyoneering you are likely to encounter a wide range of terrain and difficult conditions to maneuver through.
Here is a list of some of the gears that you might find necessary.
This rope is totally different from the normal dynamic ropes as they are the kind of ropes that are made specially to accommodate the severity of canyoneering.
They are made from polyester.
This is because they have to be dynamic, so as not to stretch at all.
The ropes are very static making them not so easy to absorb water and are usually about 9mm in thickness.
As for the length of the rope it varies, the longer the rope the variety of canyons one can be able to take on.
The drawback to this is that the long ropes can be heavy to carry around.
This is the bag that you will use to carry the rope (and your belongings) with you. It is advisable to use a bag so as to make the rope carrying more easy and convenient.
When you have a bag all you have to do is flake the rope in a bag and you are good to go. This is unlike when you are carrying or coiling the rope on your body.
The set of bag that you will find handy is the dry bag, this is important if you encounter water bodies as they will keep your valuable like the phone and some clothing safe.
The bag should be waterproof. However there are bags that have holes to act as water drainage and store your ropes, but you need an extra wateproof case to place your non-waterproof possessions.
When you are considering canyoneering be advised to have a harness that is not prone to wear and tear. The harness should be a simple one, very sturdy.
Because you are likely to encounter some tough conditions and extreme environment you need a pair of very good and comfortable shoes.
The shoes should not be slippery at any cost, meaning you will have to go for shoes that have a lot of grip. Avoid use of some of your old sport shoes.
This is another one of the most important items that one should have when canyoneering.
You will realize that the thickness and benefits of the wetsuits totally depend on the canyons and the fat in your body.
The best wetsuit should be thick enough and one that not only fits but stretches. Make sure that it is one that has no room for water to get into.
When you are looking for the right descenders for canyoneering, make sure that you get one that allows a lot of contact area to increase the friction.
They should also keep the rope at a lower angle to allow it to be smooth. Above all the descenders should be not only versatile, but also comfortable to descend with.
To be on the safe side, it is always advisable to carry two or three carabiners for different functions.
That is for binary-block, to connect with the descender and maybe another one to put the rope in the rope bag.
There are so many other uses that the carabiners will be of use so it will not harm to carry a few extra.
There are several other gears that you should also have with you. These are: Helmet (very crucial), Headlamp, Webbing, Gloves, Socks.
What You Need To Know About Canyoneering Shoes
As mentioned above, the shoes that you pick will largely contribute to whether you are going to have a successful adventure or not.
So a lot of emphasis need to be taken when choosing the type of kick for canyoneering.
You will realize that there are common features that any canyoneering shoe should have, and these are;
- The traction of the shoe should be very good; this does not only apply to the wet weather but also the dry weather as well.
- The shoe that you pick should be able to protect you against some of the objects that you will encounter when canyoneering. Some of the objects that the shoes should protect you from being cactus needles, some of the bush thorns and mostly sharp stones
- Not only should the shoe be able to protect your feet, but comfortable at the same time. Since you will be jumping or walking between rocks and a lot of hiking your feet needs to be as comfortable as possible to endure these elements.
As mentioned earlier canyoneering involves once in a while, crossing multiple streams and pools. The shoes that you end up picking should be able to keep off the water as you would not want to have shoes that hold water.
This will not only make your sports a nightmare, but also a very unpleasant experience.
What You Need To Know About Canyoneering Boots
There are specific boots that are ideal for canyoneering. This is available in the local shops or online. These boots have certain features like:
- They have a rubber sole for proper griping
- They have increased lug height, which will go a long way to improve penetration if you are on a soft ground and make it very easy to release when in a mud.
- The boot should be able to eliminate any chance of delamination with the help of welded rubber that are interlocked with the mesh.
- These boots should not have any type of waterproof membranes. The reason behind this is that the membrane keeps water locked inside the shoe and this in the end takes a lot of time to dry out or they do not dry at all.
- Sand also tends to stick on the waterproof membrane which will result to the shoes not being waterproof as the sand will tends to break down the membrane.
- The laces should be an asymmetric fast lace system that can be easily adjusted in cold and wet conditions.
- The boot that is ideal should be able to protect your feet from scrapes, drainage options and most important of all the sticky rubber soles.
What Canyoneering Beginners Should Know?
Unlike caving, gorge walking and canyoneering, this is one of the best option for exploring the earth and at the same time having the fun of your life for any beginners.
There are some of the basics that you should know:
Do not do it alone
Despite the excitement that any beginner has, canyoneering is one sport or adventure that one should do with the help of a qualified guide.
It is very important to get a guide.
This is the only guarantee that you will have just in case anything happens wrong while you are on the trip.
When you are alone, you will be stuck and frustrated as compared to when you have a qualified guide who will be there to help and guide you through some of the basics.
What Skill Do You Need?
As mentioned earlier canyoneering is a sport that involves a lot of climbing, hiking, and at some point swimming.
This is a very challenging experience and will need an individual who is in good physical shape and up to the tasks ahead.
The easiest and quickest way to climb down a canyon is by rappelling, which is the use of a rope while coming down.
This is something that you will have to practice in a much friendlier environment before embarking in a canyon.
The only thing that is keeping you from some of the major injuries associated with repelling are the knots.
This is the connection between the harness and the rope. It is very important to be well aquainted with your knots.
Swimming is another basic skill that a beginner should have.
Canyoneering involves a lot of water either going through or above them. You will need to have some of the basic in swimming skills just in case you encounter an experience that will involve some swimming.
Places to visit
There are several places that you can go canyoneering in the states.
One of the palace that you will not be disappointed is in Utah and Arizona. It is important to figure out what you are really in for before deciding where to go in the first place.
The places that you decide to visit will depend on how prepared you are and you intend to explore. For beginners it is advisable that you start slowly and ensure that you go places where they have a guide.
This can be any national park that has canyoneering features.
After a few lessons and experience, then it is advisable you try some of the tough terrains that are available across the country.
If you are in Greece go at the famous Neda Waterfalls. Gorges in Greece are green with really nice clean waters and pleasant to walk through. There are Nemouta Waterfalls, Panta Vrehei, Osios Loukas and lots of others in Greece.
What to look for while Canyoneering?
It is very important to take all the necessary precaution while canyoneering and you will find that it is not a dangerous sport.
First and foremost, since you are going into some of the tough terrains you should make it a habit to tell people of where you are going and when you should be expected back.
This will not only stop them from getting worried, but be alert just in case you might need some rescuing.
Canyons have a tendency of getting flooded by sudden storms, so it is important to have your GPS and compass with you to avoid getting lost.
The weather should be one of the most important factor that one need to consider before embarking on this trip.
It is very important to check the weather report and find out if the weather is friendly enough for the sport. If there are chances of storm or harsh weather it is best advised to postpone the whole event.
The key thing that one should do is follow the guide at all times. If you do not have a guide getting lost on the trip is a very common thing.
This is why it might be appropriate to carry a GPS, a map or a compass if necessary.
There are also other items that might not be so necessary, but one might need to have just in case it is required.
These items are water, some food supplies, first aid kit and anything that you might find very necessary.
As you very well know that it is better to be safe than sorry.
Ensure that you have followed the weather report before you travel to your destination.
Having taken care of some of the mentioned basic like the clothing, what to wear and some of the gear to carry by yourself, you are likely to enjoy canyoneering more than you expected in the first place.