Are we spoilt in modern times?

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Are we spoilt in modern times?

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Apr 15, 2008, 9:54am

My caving magazine Descent reached it's 200th edition recently, and had an interesting article from some of active cavers when it was first published in the 60s.

There was a certain amount of envy about the gear we use now compared to the carboard hats, and boilersuits they used then. But also a worrying concern:

Over-reliance on fancy gear, and a lack of exploration when things get difficult. They relied on judgement and personal skills, modern explorers - including climbers, and hikers here - are more reluctant to push themselves if there isn't an assurance of "safety"

I think this is certainly true - but I wouldn't know where to start changing attitudes, but it is concerning if there is to be a future in outdoor sports. Although not everyone is in it for the extremes.

Apr 15, 2008, 10:29am

I would guess that there are about the same percentage of people doing the extreme stuff, with the safety equipment available it has opened many sports up to a lot more people who are only willing (or at least more likely) because of it.

Apr 16, 2008, 6:17am

Well, all the new developments *have* opened up the more extreme sports to more people. People don't fear for the safety of their kids as much, when they send them to holiday camps to learn how to climb, simply because the gear is much better than it used to be.
Also, I don't think it is necessarily a bad thing if people shy away from dangerous undertakings. There are enough people climbing mountains in the Alps with sandals!
An on a very simple level: I'd never have started long distance hiking without the custom-fit inlays (computergenerated) for my shoes, since I always suffered blisters (not anymore :-) ). Fancy perhaps, and not exactly cheap, but they did the trick. Mostly, at least, and for the rest there are fancy blister plasters that help me out.