Canyoning? It’s not every day you get the opportunity to go (well certainly not for me anyway) and one of the hardest things about doing something new is the unknown. So along with telling you about my first Australian canyoning experience in the Blue Mountains and 10 things you should not do on your first canyoning trip.
One of my lovely members had mentioned to me during the winter how excited he was for summer and to be able to go canyoning again. This instantly sparked a little bit of fire in my heart, if you haven’t noticed already, I am a dabbler. I enjoy nothing more than learning something new and even better when it is outdoors. I had no idea what canyoning was before I met Dave and if you are in the same boat as me let me give you the low down. Canyoning involves travelling in a canyon using various required techniques such as walking, scrambling, climbing, jumping, abseiling and swimming. Safe to say its not for the faint-hearted.
Dave made sure to provide a list so that Judson and myself (both newbies) were well prep’d for the trip, including but not limited to things like a wetsuit, volleys, lunch, change of clothes, shorts, hat and sunscreen, he could also provide some additional items; dry backpack, helmet. Second to being a dabbler, I am also a skim reader so its safe to say my day wasn’t quite as smooth as I planned. It’s impossible to know what to expect, right? So my top ten tips for your first ever canyoning trip:
1. Don’t forget water
It’s a need not a want. I give you permission to laugh and potentially fall of your seat whilst doing it, but I didn’t take any water. I got so caught up in the excitement of going canyoning and checking my “list”, that I forgot water. I use the word list loosely because it was more of a mental list. I spent the trip borrowing water from everyone else and the best part is I even had my own water bottle….my own empty water bottle.
2. Do not assume anything
Despite the fact that the weather say’s it’ll be a hot summers day, the water will be cold, and you will need a full length wetsuit. I already owned a full length wetsuit prior to the trip, however I specifically remember having a conversation with Judson (who had a spring suit wetsuit) about whether or not I should find a second hand spring suit, we even looked for one. Luck was on my side because I could not find one and the water was freezing, lips blue, muscles tight kind of freezing.
3. You do not wear your wetsuit the whole time
Saying this out loud now seems like an obvious thing, but all I knew was that I would be in the water and that we were taking a wetsuit…. what else is there to know right? Clearly I didn’t do my research but its safe to safe I had a bit of a shock when we got to the car park to get ready and I was the only one who put my wetsuit on.
4. Always be ready to go walking
As I thought I would be wearing my wetsuit the whole time, with shorts over the top, the only other clothing I had was a dress, so when I had to pack my wetsuit in my dry bag I ended up wearing the shorts I had and a borrowed shirt. True story.
5. You will run into a spider
You’re in the bush what else do you expect. I detest spiders, having said that I conveniently managed to walk straight through a spider web. Don’t worry though I have my spider dance down pat; flail your arms around as much as humanly possible and turn around in circles until you’re content that the spider could not have held on even if it where to land on you when you walked through the web.
6. Trust the people you go with
You will be challenged and thats not a bad thing, but make sure you trust the people around you because they will help get you through.
7. Don’t just take lunch
Have some other food ready too, lollies and snacks. You never know when you might need a couple of All Natural Confectionery’s to cheer you up and I am grateful to the people around me with a good lolly stash who were willing to share.
8. Do not forget you camera
I was fortunate enough to have Dave taking plenty of photos and they are amazing, I spent a good three days after my first canyoning experience looking through the photos, wishing I could do it every day. You can see the whole page here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/eevblog/sets/72157648620149586/
9. You are not on the run way
In no way, will your first canyoning experience be a fashion experience, so I figure if I prep you to know you will look like a dork it won’t bother you.
10. When it gets hard, it’s all worth it
It’ll be a long day but trust me when I say it’ll knock your socks off / blow you away you get my point. The views from in the canyon, to the end of the canyon, and on the way out are 100% worth it. It’ll take you away from the awesome physical benefits you will be getting all day, mentally and physically.
Photos by David Jones