Life is for the living

How many times have you waited for someone to organise an adventure?

That was me for many years. It slowly dawned on me that I could create my own adventures and invite others to share them. The helping hand was miraculously at the end of my arm!

I spent too long watching “Days of Other peoples’ lives”, instead of living my own life.

Once the penny dropped I was away. I have no idea how many weekends, day trips, climbs and longer events I have planned (many hundreds). What is wonderful is that so many people benefit from you simply being able / prepared to get an idea and then act on it. BUT FIRST you have to realise that you can do it – you ARE allowed to dream and plan.

I was once told about folks who needed help in building a business in Walvis Bay. So I phone a friend who I knew was able to help. He explained that he was going to help people in Tanzania, oh dear!!!

I then panicked a bit and phoned another friend who is also capable of assisting them – Guess what, he was literally off to Ghana to help folks there. So no one could help these people.

Then it dawned on me – Keith, why don’t you go and help them??? WOW, I had never thought of that before – you know I can do it!!! So I started planning it – and lo and behold, I went and it all went well. That was a HUGE eye opener to me – I don’t have to wait around for other to do everything – I can do it!!!

So, with that in mind, I thought that I would share my strategy with you:

I always use the following strategy when planning adventures: (Notice this is almost exactly like the Adventure Trip Plan done on the GASG Course. Editor)

BRAIN STORM – think of amazing adventures that you would like to be on as well as share with others. What about taking a group down the Fish River Canyon? (I’m taking a group down in September this year – I decided to!!), What about organising a group to do the Klipspringer trail at Augrabies Falls!! What about booking 10 on the “Whale Trail”? Or simply doing a day hike up Devil’s Peak or Dark Gorge”. The adventures are infinite.

E.g. As I write this article I am busy chatting to an MCSA buddy (Graham D.) about a wonderful weekend (last weekend) we had with 10 other friends in Steenboksberg, Bainskloof. While we were sitting around having supper, Roy M, told us of a camp up on the left hand ridge that he had visited about 40 years previously – it had water and we could camp there prior to launching a hike to Bailey’s Peak (1500m). So we did a little recce on Sunday morning but didn’t see anything promising. On the recce I used my Garmin Extrex 30 GPS to track the hike. At home I loaded this onto google Earth as a .kmz file and saw that we had stopped about 300m short of a heavily wooded and green area wher water may very well be found – we had not gone far enough. So, I am whatsapping Graham to suggest that sometime in March we invite everyone back to Steenboksberg and we do another recce up the ridge to check our ideas. This gives everyone another amazing weekend and a chance to have fun swimming and exploring the area. We can also update the hiking maps in the area. So, GET THE IDEA and ACT ON IT. MAKE IT HAPPEN

GATHER BETA (as much info as you can) on the event / venue / area. (GASG: Task 02 Educational)

PLAN in DETAIL (GASG: Task 03 Adventure Trip Plan)

  • Booking of venue, trail, camp – find out what you need to know.
  • Permits required (private land, mountain club land, National Parks land, etc..).
  • What transport is needed.
  • Meals (ideas, formats, spreadsheets) I always whatsapp a suggested meal format
    (i.e. food ideas for Day 1, 2, 3 etc.., morning, afternoon and evening)
  • Clothing (winter, summer) checklist – Never underestimate – always build in redundancy. Over prepare.
  • Equipment – checklist
  • Safety (Once again – redundancy – check, check check).
REMEMBER: There is No democracy around safety. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • Collect info on your hiking members (i.e. what special talents can they bring to the group in case of emergency and just generally – maybe a nurse, a doctor, a mechanic, a guide, and so on).
  • Brain storm a lot of “What if’s”) – e.g. “What if a sudden snow storm occurs”, What if someone breaks a limb”, “What if there is no mobile coverage and we have an emergency”, and so on.

ADVERTISE (newsletter, word of mouth, web) – If it simply taking a non-paying group of friends you have advantage of knowing their capabilities and choosing folks you generally get along with. If you are advertising to take a paying group of customers, the selection process is much more complex – you don’t know them or their capabilities.

FILL PLACES – Firstly decide on a MAXIMUM number. As folks indicate they want in, keep an excel spreadsheet of their info: Names, Mobile no’s, Wild Card No’s, Payments, Can they provide transport, Ailments, etc..

STABILITY CHECKS VITAL: is the person capable of completing the hike / event – If they are not known to you, you have to ask them to fill in some sort of questionnaire – e.g. Have they ever hiked before, when last did they hike, can they easily climb Lion’s Head, Would they make it up and down Platteklip Gorge relatively comfortably, what allergies, other ailments do they have. Then be brutally honest – e.g. “You will not make it on this hike.”

COLLECT MONEY – if a paying adventure.

REGULAR NEWSLETTERS giving info and keeping interest up..

CREATE A WHATSAPP GROUP (eg. “Sprinboksberg Weekend 10-12March” and enter all participants names therein. Everyone is in touch with everyone.

DO ALL YOUR DEEP THINKING and then EXECUTE the actual event – DO IT!!!

FEEDBACK – When the event is over ask for feedback – for paying customers this is more important than it is for old friends.

THEN, VERY IMPORTANT: Immediately start to plan next adventure.

REMEMBER: – If it is to be, it is up to me. It is no good sitting around waiting for someone else to create adventures. This way you get to do the adventures you want to do. You can have as many adventures as you want. Above all you ENRICH other peoples’ lives.

Keith Bosenberg

Author: Keith Bosenberg

"I love adventures. All my life I have sought good clean "highs", if you'll forgive the pun. I enjoy organising hikes, scrambles and climbs. My motto is, "If it is to be, it is up to me!". I am a veteran of over a thousand climbs on Western Cape Mountains and beyond on over 100 different routes. I take massive care to be safe and try to build redundancy into my hikes - By its very nature mountain climbing is dangerous so safety is not negotiable. Climbing Table Mountain is one of the most beautiful things a human can do - it's natural, beautiful, great exercise and a huge sense of achievement every time! I'm ready to climb :-).

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