## What is More Dangerous: Base Jumping or Skydiving?

Adrenaline junkies often face a dilemma when choosing between base jumping and skydiving. Both activities involve leaping from a great height, but differ in terms of altitude, equipment, and risk. This article will delve into the intricacies of each activity to determine which one poses a greater danger.

### Altitude and Risk Factors

Base Jumping: Base jumping involves plummeting from fixed objects such as cliffs, bridges, or buildings. The altitude is typically below 2,000 feet, providing less time for deployment of the parachute. This lower altitude also means that there is a shorter amount of time to make critical decisions in case of emergencies.

Skydiving: Skydiving, on the other hand, involves exiting an aircraft at altitudes ranging from 10,000 to 15,000 feet. The higher altitude allows for a more gradual descent and provides ample time for the deployment of the parachute. This higher altitude also reduces the risk of collision with the ground.

### Equipment Used

Base Jumping: Base jumpers use specialized equipment, including a wingsuit, which allows them to glide through the air. The wingsuit, however, can be challenging to control, especially in turbulent conditions. Base jumpers also use smaller parachutes with a slower rate of descent.

Skydiving: Skydivers use a rectangular parachute that provides a more controlled and stable descent. The larger size of the parachute also reduces the risk of entanglement or malfunction.

### Training and Experience

Base Jumping: Base jumping requires extensive training and experience. Jumpers must be proficient in freefall techniques, parachute deployment, and landing on uneven terrain. The activity is often self-regulated, with individuals relying on their own skills and judgment.

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Skydiving: Skydiving is also a demanding activity but has a more structured training system. Jumpers typically undergo supervised training with certified instructors. The training includes classroom instruction, simulated jumps, and tandem jumps before solo jumps are allowed.

### Risk of Injury or Death

Base Jumping: Base jumping is considered a highly dangerous activity with a significantly greater risk of injury or death compared to skydiving. The lower altitude, challenging equipment, and unpredictable landing zones contribute to this higher risk.

Skydiving: Skydiving, while still a potentially hazardous activity, has a lower risk of injury or death due to the higher altitude, more stable equipment, and supervised training system.

### Statistics and Comparisons

Base Jumping: According to the B.A.S.E. Fatality List, there have been over 400 base jumping fatalities worldwide since 1981.
Skydiving: The United States Parachute Association (USPA) reports an average of 7 fatalities per year in skydiving.

### Conclusion

Both base jumping and skydiving involve inherent risks, but base jumping poses a significantly greater danger due to its lower altitude, challenging equipment, and unpredictable landing zones. Skydiving, with its higher altitude, more stable equipment, and supervised training system, offers a lower risk of injury or death. Ultimately, the choice between these activities depends on the individual’s risk tolerance and experience level.

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