Earth Connection is a school of primitive skills and wilderness survival located in Northern Virginia and North Carolina (Raleigh/Durham area) that has been in existence for over a decade. Our hands-on classes are reasonably priced because we don't believe in big price tags for primitive skills. That's just not natural!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Managing Wilderness Adventure Risks

In the coming weeks, Earth Connection will be publishing a series of blog-articles on Wilderness Adventure Risks. Experiencing the wild places exposes each of us to many risks to our health and well-being. Risk and uncertainty are central to the concept of adventure and understanding these risks from the onset of your adventure will help you prepare and mitigate the possibility of contracting a debilitating disease or injury.

Just ask Tim about risk; he'll tell you about all of them... for instance, the likelihood of eating bird droppings or snail snot in a wild edible salad.

In this series we will be identifying some of the commonly-asked-about adventure risks and factors to help you decide how to mitigate the risk.

First, before we begin the series, let's cover the basics of Risk Management and Assessment.

What is Risk?
A common definition of risk is identifying a specific hazard and the likelihood that the hazard occurs (probability) x (hazard) = risk. That likelihood may be expressed as a rate or a probability. For example the risk of a wilderness accident (hazard) can be expressed as one accident per one hundred adventures (likelihood).

What is Risk Assessment?
Risk assessment is the process of analyzing potential losses from a given hazard using a combination of known information about the situation, knowledge about the underlying process, and judgment about the information that is not known or well understood.

What is Risk Management?
The process of combining a risk assessment with decisions on how to address that risk is called risk management.

Five Step Risk Management Process
Step 1 - Identify hazards
Step 2 - Assess hazards to determine risks
Step 3 - Develop controls and make risk decisions
Step 4 - Implement controls
Step 5 - Supervise and evaluate

There, now you know all about risk management, right?

Probably not, so now we have to discuss some of the specific risks you might encounter in a daily outing... say, at one of Earth Connection's classes. We will not discuss the simple risks like cutting yourself with your knife, but probably should with as many times we have seen students hack away at their own fingers at our classes. But, alas, I will keep on track.

Stay tuned for more five steps of risk management at Earth Connection classes.

If we do not discuss the risk you are concerned about then let us know so we can address it.

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