Every so often in the fishing game, you are going to end up in some horrible and dangerous situations. Usually it is due to a bad decision somewhere along the way. Charging through water that manute bol couldn’t wade, rafting class 5 rapids in a float tube or hiking through miles of devils club all spell disaster. In the fishing world we all do a lot of exploratory trips, and with all the available resources some good research goes a long way.
However, if you do end up in a situation that raises the hairs on your neck like a charging bear there are a couple golden rules to live by. At this point risk management has to be at the forefront of every decision you make. If there is a known entity like a long hike out compared to an unknown entity like a “possible” shortcut take the the option you are sure about. Even a couple hours of extra hiking is much safer than trying to scale a deep canyon rock wall that could risk lives.
Sending out scout teams for a “quick look” can be very helpful as well to scope options. Whether it’s being overly cautious about walking down river to look at each rapid before running it, or walking 10 minutes in a certain direction to see what the terrain is like before you commit.
Taking risks after you are already in a sticky situation can ultimately ruin you. Keep a cool head, and mitigate all risk until the minute you are climbing into your bed taking advil and smearing Voltaran on your weary beat up muscles.
Trips that go horribly wrong can be some of the best fishing memories of ones life as long as you stay safe. Don’t fear the unknown, just be prepared.