Hi, you seem to be concerned about your safety. Try not to think about it. It can drive you crazy and it's no help at all.
Every day, you take certain risks without thinking too much of the danger. Speeding on the road ? Driving when tired ? Crossing red traffic lights ? Jumping on moving trains ?
Now you're driving thru the dessert, your first time. It is 10 days to your destination and right at this minute, you're 412 km from the nearest settlement. What if your truck breaks down ? This is risk enough, simply avoid any of the other risky things and you should be as safe as always.
Apart from "safety first"-behaviour, "preparedness" is another key to survival. In the comfort of your home you can do a lot to make your planned adventure safer, before you set out:
Exploration of a cave is a safe activity if signs, walkways and lights have been installed. If not, it's a completely different story. This is what you want to know before. You want accurate, reliable information - which will take some of the surprises (and disappointments) out of your mission, while it will add excitement to the preparation phase.
Having gathered (and weighted) information from literature (I'net is a great tool), from people who have done it before and from people who think they know better than you, ask yourself:
Think of above points and give yourself green light, if the overall risk is what you accept to take.
- Do my skills match ? Can I swim under these conditions, do I understand enough of the local language, ... ?
- What equipment and supplies are needed and how adequate is what I plan to use ?
- What can go wrong and how do I get out of it ?
If you conclude you shouldn't do this, keep in mind that different people have different judgement. Someone might tell you that a mountain is too tough for you, a trail too dangerous (sometimes bragging with his own achievements). Ask about a place you both know, to learn about the scale this person applies.
So there's this climb that you want to do, but as you're planning your climb, you find that it's tough, lots of people have died before you, it's not being recommened by lots of other people, still you want to do it so much: You could do a perfect preparation, join with the perfect people at the perfect time, and promise yourself that at the first sign of a problem, you turn back. Expect that you will turn back, but maybe if you're very lucky you reach the peak at an affordable risk. If not, it's what you expected.
I really don't know what to expect. How can I prepare myself ?
Adventures where you can't be sure what will come down on you (like visiting a foreign country) require a more general preparation. Very general information (climate, political system, languages, ...) you will have, so you can prepare a little bit. Once you entered such an adventure, you will quickly feel what level of caution you must exercise.
The gear you've brought is versatile but compromising. You can still climb a mountain with your sneakers, though they're not really made for it. Your small flashlight does somehow get you through the cave, but you saw little of the drawings on the ceiling. Your language skills are not as useful as you expected and your dictionary which covers five languages does not have the words that you really need.
Naturally, you are more careful under these conditions but this doesn't mean you miss out on something. Here, the excitement is not in mountain peaks of challenging hight but in breathing the foreign environment wherever you move.