Before you hit the road - If you need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm.

Text: Aleksanda Dzik, photos: Maria Khytrykova

19 August 2021

During different types of trips, and those with a more or less extreme nature in particular, a lot of things are not going as expected. So we need to be prepared for emergency situations. Not because it can happen to us, but because it will happen for sure!

If we go to the area where the professional rescue works, as it happens for example in the Alps, we need to buy an insurance policy. You can choose between the insurance for a year, or a "customized" for the time of the trip. It is worth finding reliable agent who will choose the right policy for us, including the type of the risk concerning us for the amount that is high enough to cover the costs of a possible rescue mission for example with the usage of helicopter. It all seems obvious.

However, I know, those who save on insurance, because "for sure, nothing will happen". And I know those who exaggerate in the other direction, assuming that since you have a policy, you do not need to prepare for unexpected emergencies and to prevent them. Because after all, "if anything happens, they will come right away and save us". However, if there are bad weather conditions, no one will come!

The purpose of the extreme tourism are often such extreme places, where in emergency situations, we can count on ourselves only. We can seek help from colleagues or other expeditions ... However, when it is really bad, others may not be able to do anything about it, or simply do not dare to take a huge risk, inappropriate to the tiniest chance of the success. Quoting the wise saying "if you can count, count on yourself."

We are obligated to buy insurance even if we are going to the area far from civilization. In this case, however, it is only a small part of the preparations that are necessary to maximize the chances of getting us or our friends out of the trouble. Therefore we have to take care of right equipment in the first aid kit and to be able to use its contents properly, not to mention the knowledge of first aid. The ideal would be, if the doctor can accompany us in the expedition, but it is still a rare luxury. Coping in extreme situations requires a variety of other skills, depending on the type of undertaken activity. For example, before you go climbing in high mountains, you need practice and repeat first aid techniques.

Preparing extreme travel is a real challenge. Although I have shown the subject in general, many readers dreaming of their first major expedition might have been frightened or even discouraged. It is better to face the truth and think about this step honestly. With each consecutive trip of a similar nature, or in a similar area, it will be easier and easier. After some time, it will also give us more and more satisfaction and many reasons to be proud of. But the biggest reward is the success of the most important stage - the journey itself. That is what I wish all the readers.
Aleksandra Dzik.