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Canyoning Ethics

Canyons are very special sensitive natural environments. You should consider it a privilege to be able to experience them. There are two things that you need to take special care of whilst participating in canyoning. One is the canyon environment. And the other is your personal health and safety. Ethics imply that a person should follow moral principles and behaviour when undertaking any activity. The principles below should be a guide to how to behave in the canyon environment. Following them will mean that you and future generations will be able to experience the amazing world of canyons for many years to come.

Canyoning Environment

  • Leave no trace (waste, fire pits, markings, equipment, rubbish).
  • Fixed hardware should only be installed with appropriate permission and as a last resort.
  • Take nothing but photo’s (and rubbish).
  • Respect rules, regulations, laws, public and private property owners, land owners and mangers, and the environment.
  • Keep group sizes between 4 and 8 people (enough for safety and to minimise traffic).
  • Do not mark or damage or handle the environment where possible (trees, rocks, flora, fauna, infrastructure).
  • Keep to established routes and trails. Spread out wide for areas with no routes. Do not create new trails.
  • Minimise noise. Be courteous to other people and animals.
  • Avoid camping, human waste, fires, etc inside canyon environments.
  • Minimise publicity of canyons and other wilderness areas.

Personal Health and Safety

  • Understand that you are responsible for you own safety (consider skills, equipment, and environment).
  • Ensure you have appropriate skills for the canyon you are attempting. This includes emergency skills.
  • Ensure you have appropriate equipment for the canyon you are attempting. This includes emergency equipment.
  • Ensure you have enough food and water. Allow for trips to be extended.
  • Inform family, friends, or authorities about your trip intentions. Follow that plan.
  • Do not canyon in adverse weather or conditions.
  • Do not canyon when areas are closed for safety reasons (fires, pest control, military ops). Check prior.
  • Canyon in groups of 4 to 8 (enough to rescue, not too much to hamper progress). Solo trips are not recommended.
  • If in doubt, seek advice from experienced canyoners, or Say NO (do not attempt the canyon)!
  • Canyoners should treat all other canyoners with respect and dignity. Harassment is not acceptable behaviour.