Canyoning, Essentials, Safety



The person(s) in charge of a canyon’s descent select according to the safe canyoning practice instructions all additional equipment necessary to carry out the descent successfully. The ability of team members to swim and dive is essential. Every member of the team should know how to swim. Minor members of the group must be accompanied by their guardian. Physical condition is also important as well as experience in nature.


A small group is a factor of safety, comfort and discretion.

The number of participants for each descent must be estimated according to the conditions, the level of experience of the participants and the following parameters:

a) Predicted amount of water during the descent.

b) Water and air temperature.

c) Total duration of descent (including access and return).

d) Morphology and peculiarities concerning the relief of the canyon.

e) Difficulty and absence of escapes.

f) Inaccessible rocky passages.


– Did we get what we need?

– Did we start early enough?

– Do we know enough about the people in our team, how they might react in case of emergency?

– What weather will it be?

– Should we finally start or go back?

The approach to anyinconvenience / problem and the measures we will take, of course, depend on the individuals and the parameters of the excursion (beginners descent, club descent, athletic descent, knowledge or not of the canyon …).


We take the meteorological information of the last hours and decide calmly if the descent is possible. We inform a reliable third party about the planned action, the hours, the places where the vehicles have been parked, their registration numbers if possible and the names of the participants.

At the beginning we take some minutes to observe the following, especially if we do not know the canyon:

– How is the water flow.

– If there are traces of rising water level.

– The color of the water (cloudy water may mean a sharp increase in flow).

– What is the sky like (the meteorological service predicts storms for 24 hours within a distance of 150 km and a time of 3 hours. This is how we should judge).

We do one last check:

– We check everyone’s equipment and all backpacks having the necessary gear.

– We define a couple of persons responsible for each bag and its content.

– Re-check rescue and assistance equipment.

– We re-check the tightness of the group’s pharmacy.

– We re-check that we have a couple of copies of the canyon’s district map. And we move on to enjoy again a wonderful day doing our favorite extreme sport: Canyoning!!!

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