We all love a bit of adventure every now and then. However, we sometimes forget the perils that await us mere mortals or lesser spotted urban adventurers when we venture into the realms of the more experienced. 

By: Tony van Niekerk. Editor of COVER Magazine

One of my favourite adventure stories is an anecdote of a young guy asking Louis L’Amour, renowned author, adventurer and historian, what it takes to be an adventurer.

Louis told him to go to a bar in the roughest neighborhood, select the meanest looking guy and slap him in the face. Then, when you wake up the next morning, decide whether you are up for adventure.

Yes, adventure stories sound romantic but they are full of perils and most of the adventure mishaps are seldom heard. These big adventurers won’t become motivational speakers if it wasn’t a rare thing.

However, we sometimes forget the perils that await us mere mortals or lesser spotted urban adventurers when we venture into the realms of the more experienced, with little more than our enthusiasm and enough money to buy a fancy tool (read bicycle, boat, massive motorbike, surf kite, etc.) with which we can put our lives in danger. At least the adventurers have survived a few adventures and gained some experience.

I’ve had my series of adventures in boats and am probably lucky to have survived relatively unscathed. Nowadays my adventures are limited to travel, which I sometimes think is much more dangerous than 30-foot waves and 90km/h winds on the sea.

COVER is fully immersed in Africa, with a presence in 13 countries outside South Africa and I am lucky enough to have been to 17 countries on the continent. I’ve travelled Mozambique during the civil war, been to Sudan two months after the civil war ended in a ceasefire, and visited Tunisia a month after the country’s biggest terrorist attack in the past two decades. Nevermind the perilous roads I have travelled hundreds of kilometres on. All of my adventures and travels have, luckily, gone without any major incidents.

MTB crash at Tankwa trek

Caught in the act! Oak Pics, captured a crash at one of South Africa’s MTB stage races in the Tankwa Karoo.

However, let’s take mountain biking, where it’s estimated between 500 000 and 800 000 local riders take their lives onto their own handlebars on a weekendly basis. In a recent survey (TREAD 2017/2018 SA MTB Crash Survey) 1670 of the 1680 survey participants said that they had crashed out before. (Ten are waiting for next weekend.) 58% of riders said they went down hard or had a serious crash, with 85% reporting that it was rider error.

This is just one of the many adventurous activities that we use to cause serious injuries to ourselves, putting our wellbeing, lives and jobs at risk. But who can blame us? Life is for living and live we must! As Dr Seuss said, “If you never did, you should. These things are fun and fun is good”.

On-demand insurance cover for your adventures

Luckily, OUTthere, an initiative of OUTsurance, now provides accidental death and injury cover for just that occasion – when you want to follow Dr Seuss’s advice and venture out there to have some fun.

The beauty of the cover is that you don’t have to commit to monthly premiums as you can limit the cover from just one to 30 days. When you come back after one day and realise that adventure is not for you and fun can be had right at your home, there will be no more commitment. However, if you have decided there are places to go and photos to show, you can pick cover of R100 000 up to R1 million whenever you need it.

A few further particulars of this innovative, on-demand insurance product is that you can take it out on your OUTsurance app, add beneficiaries and can get international cover.

So, before you venture OUT there on your next adventure, remember to follow Dr Seuss’s advice: “It is fun to have fun, but you have to know how”. Other than that, visit the OUTthere website and make sure you are prepared for the unexpected.