Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Why You Should Hire an Adventure Athlete?

I was reading some reviews for the book “Business Lessons from the Edge”, which talks about how extreme athletes use intelligent risk-taking to succeed in business, when the idea of this article came to me.

Why would anyone hire a crazy risk-taker who risk even his own life?

Well what does it take to succeed in business? Risk taking. Preparation. Self-confidence. The same principles that drive extreme athletes to the highest peaks of performance.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Little Things in Life

A little Gecko
It is the little things in life that make the difference, the finest details what make the experience. Paying attention to these small details what makes the perfection. It is agreed that everyone will see the beauty of a flower, but it is hard to see the beauty of the ordinary things we face every day in our life, the beauty hidden in every corner.

When I used to guide the people on Safari, everyone wanted to see the big five, they all wanted to encounter a kill, but only few stopped next to line of solder ants going back of their battle carrying their winnings back. It was our job as guides to show them this beauty.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Age is never a limit

Few years ago, I been to some area near Al-Karak in an exploration trip -as I prefer to call it- to find a new canyon -was new for me and still not well known for mass hiking groups- with one of the local guides in the area. Early in the morning we prepared our gear, Ropes, helmets, etc... since the Canyon supposed to have 3 abseils

Before we head off, he told me we need to wait, his friend is going to join us, few minutes later an old man appeared, all grey hair, without any teeth in his mouth, he was 68 old then, it came to my mind is that the friend we are waiting for!! and the surprise was yes.

He had his own backpack and harness which he made himself. With all the walking, climbing up and going down he only needed two breaks, one for a cigarette and the other for making tea.

I wont talk about safety in the picture, we tried to convince him, but he wasn't interested in it. :)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Grounding, a better way to discover the nature

After we finished our afternoon walk in Selati Reserve trying to identify as much animals Tracks and signs, as part of the Tracking Course I was doing in south Africa, we started a discussion with our instructor Colin Patrick, who was one of the best field guides in South Africa, a person with a very high senses for nature.

Colin Patrick, Selaty Reserve, South Africa
Colin started “it is very essential for the tracker to think in a different way, to feel all the components of the nature around him and be open in his explanation of the animal behaviors that left behind the tracks and the signs he is trying to interpret”.

“One important aspect a tracker should not forget, and it can make all the difference between finding the animal you are tracking or not, is the unnatural noise that we make.” Colin added.

He then looked at one of my colleagues, garbed his back bag explaining, “ the bags we carry for example, many pieces  going out of its body, some metal pieces hanging from it, and too much friction, the noise of friction is not natural to animals, though it will scare them away. Even our clothes do make a lot of noise, certain fabrics can make too much noise, though we should be careful choosing our bags and our hiking clothes.” He then asked us to take off our back bags and put them a side.

“One big barrier between us and the wild life surrounding us are these shoes we are wearing. Look how antelopes moves in the wild, he takes the front limp off the ground to put it forward and then moves the hind limp to fall right exactly on the same place the front was before, they recognize that walking can make a lot of noise that will get their camouflage reviled, they avoid breaking more twigs or crashing more dry leaves on the ground, since shoes protects our feet, now we stop paying attention for what we step on, we become less carful in or way, not only that, but it will give you the feeling of the ground,  t same feeling that the animal get when it is walking, giving you a better imagination and understanding for where the animal next step will be.” He added again. We all then took off our shoes.

We went in a small walk around to see how this can affect the acceptance of our existence by the surrounding animals. The results was surprising how close we could get to different birds, and other ground animals without them to flee away, they were no more scared by our close presence, Like if we were accepted as part of the environment and not as a strange body from outside.

This experience left many questions in my mind of our connection to our surrounding environment.
One of these points was the effect of barefoot in hiking or outdoor walking in general, on the park, the beach or even deep in the forest. A small act that removes many barriers to the natural wildlife, I won’t say it in a loony hippie way spouting sounds about being one with mother earth (It is fine if you are one), but it is the innately human feeling of nature that have been forgotten with the rush of the modern life.

Interesting enough there have been many studies conducted on this subject, explaining many benefits giving us all the reason to forget our shoes home next time we go hiking!

Knowing that around 40% of the world population are not wearing shoes makes you feel you’re not odd by doing so, even that the reasons are different in both cases.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Why we risk it? the reasons for taking high risk actions.

An interesting article on fox news under the name “New research shows what motivates people to do high-risk activities” was the motivation for me to write this post. The study that was conduct to investigate what pushes people to do Adventure Sports which involve a high risk factor, risking losing their own life. I quoted most of the article but added my comments to it. 

Photo By": Wolfgang Streicher - Canyonwolf (Saut d'Accomat, Guadeloupe)
The list of adventure sports is growing longer and longer, and the risk factor is even going higher. It is believed that all these adventure lovers and thrill-seekers are just sensation-seekers with the tendency to pursue sensory pleasure and excitement. It's the trait of people who go after novelty, complexity, and intense sensations, who love experience for its own sake, and who may take risks in the pursuit of such experience. Sensation seekers are "easily bored without high levels of stimulation," explains Sam Gosling, a psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin. "They love bright lights and hustle and bustle and like to take risks and seek thrills." 

This new study that was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, has found that risk takers are not all of the same ilk. Some participate in high-risk activities as a way of controlling their emotions and their lives.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Can't it be prevented? -Canyons of Jordan-

It took me too long to publish this post even it was ready since 16/5. but the main reason behind it was that the responses I got on the previous "Can't it be prevented?" posts were mainly from people from outside Jordan, I do appreciate all the responses since it is for the benefit of all, but I was hopping for more local involvement from the local canioneers of Jordan, it is bitty though but I will keep posting for the benefit of all.

In the previous two posts of the series (Cant it be prevented?) we had an introduction to canyoneering and its hazards in the first post, and then we discussed the need of a code of conduct that set a base of understanding for the minimum level of accepted standards for both canyoneering operators and their guests.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Can't it be prevented? -Why we need a code of conduct-

In the last post "Can't it be prevented? -Introduction to canyoning and its hazards-", I talked about some of the accidents happened in the last 2 years in Jordan canyons as an example of these accidents happening all around!

Wadi AlWaleh- Hidan
Maybe most of these accidents I mentioned occurred with individual Travelers who are not supervised or not joining groups, but some happened with people who promote themselves as professional guides!

I agree with a comment I received on that post, accidents is the word used to excuse the lack of professionalism, a professional is one trained to leave no chance for accidents.

Even with the extreme nature of the canyon, a professional should be able to read the signs of the nature and be proactive to it, but in the same case he should be able to deal with any case to minimize its impact.

In our case in Jordan, the biggest problem occurs due to random access to hazards area by none trained and none professional people.

Many calls were made to have a control on accessing these places by sort of land owners or so. But without the existence of a set of standards there won't be a way to differentiate between the good and the bad.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Wadi Al-Waleh (Hidan) [10-5-2013]

Last Friday (May 10, 2013) I was invited to join Jo Hike team in their trip to Wadi Al-Waleh (or as some refer to it as Wadi Al-Hidan).
(The Long Siqe of the Canyon on June 2010)

The Canyon situated on Madaba Area. Runs from Dhiban area all the way down to connect  with the Mujeb Canyon and then down to the Dead sea in a deep gorge surrounded by a rigid black basalt rocks.

Personally it is one of the favorite places for me in Jordan, with many memories in every corner, I even lost count for the times I been there.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Can't it be prevented? -Introduction to canyoning and its hazards-

Photo by: Jennifer Eaton Gokmen 

Canyoning is the mother of all recreational sports, because in many cases you will end up using a variety of other recreational sports, hiking, trekking, scrambling, climbing, technical swimming and even diving, and the most important part is the technical rope use.

A lot of technicality needed to provide a special, but safe experience.

The rush of adrenaline, a mix of thrill and pushing ourselves to the limit, even reaching to new limits we never knew that we were able to reach is what makes the canyoning experience a great Adventure, and with the addiction to the adrenaline rush, the need will be always for a bigger dose, though every time a canyoneer will look for a bigger challenge in which -same as all other recreational sports- he will challenge himself before challenging anything else.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Oryx Relies in Shomari

Today and Yesterday we had the privilege of having a part in the relies process for Arabic Oryxs in Shomari Reserve, and prepare for the Oryx Safari to be set in the reserve, it is going to be a great chance to be able to view these animals in their natural habitat, not to forget that Oryxs have a great connection to the desert and the freedom as well as the beauty in the Arabic poetry.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Art of Tracking - Make The Nature an Open Book-

fresh Spotted Hyena Spoor -South Africa, Wet Land

I always was interested in the art of tracking, lately I was reading an interesting book called " The Art of Tracking, The Origin of Science" by Louis Liebenberg, a free book that you can download from the library section in the Resources & Forum section in the website - - . The book discus the evolution of the hunting methods and the use of Tracking and who it was the way we could develop our thinking toward the modern since.

But I want to share with you here some citation from the introduction of this interesting book.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

What is next?

Well here is my schedule for the next couple of weeks, it is going to be buzy, wish us luck!

8th Feb: Leave Mvuu Camp, Liwonde National Park to Blantyer, from where we will fly to Johannesburg.

10th Feb: Fly from Malawi to Johannesburg.

13th Feb: Travel from Johannesburg to northern Kruger National Park!

19th Feb: Travel to Botswana, Machato Camp.

24th Feb: Graduation day in Botswana.

25th end of Eco-Training Course.

After that still an open time to travel, I am planing to visit Cape Town for Few days! Any one in? ;)

Last Day in Mvuu Camp- Liwonde National Park

It is a mixed feelings indeed, a part of me is happy because the time to go back home is getting closer and closer.

But with all the memories through the five months I stayed here in the camp I feel sad, the camp become my African house, my small cottage have the coziness of a home! The family I have in here, the smiley faces in the morning, my little army and dedicated soldiers - who think I am Osama Bin Laden :D-, the naughty Elephants, the laughing of the hippos, the monkeys who alway set there waiting to steal your food, the ghosts of the Rhinos, the lion, and the night drive searching for it in every time we hear it close by, the lovely and the crazy nights of Dancing, listening to music, or just talking pulshit :), my cool neighbors and the story telling in the afternoon, my baboon tree where I used to sneak out from the camp into the bush to watch the baboon and chill out when ever I need time out!, and more and more, each of which a separate story.

The only hope is that I will be back one day!

Will miss all of my big family here, all the friends, all the times we had!
Thank you all for every thing!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Life is Either a Great Adventure or Nothing

I am not sure if it was normal for a little child of a four years or even less to answer the classical question of what do you want to be when you grow up, by “Emperor”, but this was my answer, I even couldn't pronounce it right but since then I learned to dream big.

At the age of five I was fascinated by science, if I may call it science, but I stared to collect pieces of metal, wood and any electrical devices I would find on the street because I was planning to build a spaceship that can take me to space, but in every time I will collect some, my mom will come and throw them away, because it was rubbish J

When I grew up my dreams started to take a more realistic shape, but it is still big. I still remember that TV show about a group who was discovering parts of Africa where no other people has been before, the show was in French but I remember I have watched all the episodes , the images of their four wheel drive cars stuck in the mud still in my mind. It was always nice to see it in the documentaries, about the different cultures and the wildlife. Back then I never knew that my life is going to be the next real documentary.