Efficiency and adventure sports

I have been fortunate enough to participate in a few different adventure sports (whitewater kayaking and rafting, rock climbing, canyoneering, downhill mountain biking, scuba diving, skiing, backpacking) and exposed to others through friends (ice climbing, mountaineering, paragliding, skydiving) a common theme that I have seen throughout them all is efficiency. You have minimum amount of equipment that makes any of these sports possible. After you have taken care of the minimum requirements you try to be as efficient as possible. Each sport has a unique techniques and objectives but not a single one is inefficient.


It is an interesting dichotomy because I would say that going out of your way to do an adventure sport is a labor of love and might not be the most efficient habit in your life but so needed at times. In order to spend more time in these hobbies taking care of your gear as efficiently as possible a best practice and is paramount to your safety.

  • When climbing you try to find the best route and conserve energy.
  • Scuba diving you try to move as efficiently as possible and conserve your air supply.
  • Kayaking and rafting you are working on having the most efficient stroke (with your core not your arms)
  • Canyoneering you travel light and are finding the most efficient route through the canyon
  • Backpacking you are moving quickly and want to have as light a pack as possible.
  • Ice climbing and mountaineering you are moving as fast as possible for safety and efficiency
  • Mountain biking I am trying to find the most efficient path down the trail

I know that because I have a natural affinity for efficiency that I will probably see efficiency in all things but what I hope is by talking about the different examples people are able to see that is not a dry boring subject. That it is something that can enable fun and happiness. How are is efficiency bringing happiness into your hobbies?

Author: Nora Laitinen

Lover of list, dogs, and the outdoors.

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