Some people argue that safety is the most important piece of the jigsaw, perhaps denying the risk inherent in all outdoor experiences. For others, living on the edge or walking the tightrope is what attracts them to the outdoors.

The level of risk that you as leader choose to accept will be influenced by many things. The attitudes of group members, your own attitude, your legal responsibilities and the attitudes or policies of any organisation for whom you may be leading are all important considerations. Regardless of any gung-ho tendencies, your trip must fit somewhere on the continuum that runs from safe to safer to safest to paranoid! Possibly, in response to current trends towards litigation, many leaders favour the paranoid end of this spectrum.