Base jumping can be extremely risky and dangerous and it can lead to serious injuries and even death, but still there are many people who would want to focus on how they can get into base jumping and make a career out of it. For many base jumping offers the right kind of thrill that they need in life and for some it is the right career path to something that very few would attempt to do. No matter whatever your goal is when you are stepping into the world of basejump you have to ensure that you keep things in complete control. For this you need to focus on the right base jumping gear and base jumping equipment that can provide you with exhilarating experience and fun that you need.
Base jumping sport has evolved in the past few years and therefore there have been changes in the base jumping equipment as well. It is always recommended that you search for the perfect base jumping gear that can provide you with all the assistance you need. To make it even better it must be light and durable and should be able to adapt to different jumping styles that you prefer.
Helmets – When you’re jumping off the cliff you certainly need to protect your head and for that you need the right base jumping helmet that can guard you from skull damage. If you have been doing skydiving earlier you can continue using the same helmet if you want. However, you must remember that skydiving helmets have a different objective altogether and therefore it is recommended that you have a base jumping helmet that can protect your head from serious collision against the objects, boulders on the ground and even from the tree branch on which you might land accidentally. It is recommended that you look out for the right breaking strength, distribution of energy, fit, weight, and size and other aerodynamics of the helmet. You may also want to look out for other helmets that are used for mountain biking and paragliding as they can offer similar protection level.
Body Armor – There are various body armors that are available in the market that you can use for base jumping. Hence, it becomes more important that you choose the right one that offers perfect protection to your elbows, shoulders, back, chest and stomach. One of the main reasons you need to invest correctly in basejumping body armor is because it reduces the risk of breaking your back and it also offers general padding to the elbow and shoulder area. When you are buying body armor for extreme base jumping you have to focus on the hard shell protection that it can offer and the back protector. You would also want to try it because you should be able to move in it comfortably. You should also ensure that your rig still fits you even when you’re wearing the body armor. Lastly, you must also focus on whether you feel warm in it or not. If you’re sweating too much in the body armor you must try another one which offers better comfort.
Canopies – Canopies have been evolving since the early days of base jumping and therefore the canopies that you find in the market these days are much advanced than the earlier ones. Some of the early parachute jumping has been done with the regular round parachutes. There are many factors that you need to look out for when you are buying canopies and different people prefer different canopy models and therefore it is hard to tell which one you should purchase. It is recommended to get a vented canopy that can help you with safe landing. Vents are just small mesh openings near the nose that help with faster top skin inflation and secondly they keep the canopies inflated even when the jumper is descending close to the ground. Hence, it helps in reducing the time to inflate the canopy and thereby reducing the risk. While purchasing the basejumping canopy you have to consider the wingload and therefore you need to include the weight of every base jumping equipment that you have.
Containers – Base jumping containers are usually designed to hold one parachute and therefore the containers in base jumping are very different from that used in skydiving. The concept here is that basejumper has very little time on hand to deploy a reserve in case of malfunction and therefore the container focuses on one parachute only eliminating the complications of adding multiple parachutes. There are various containers that you can find in the market. Velcro-closed containers are immensely popular and are highly recommended for those who want to try wingsuit basejump and slider-up aerials. You may also find containers with single pin and dual pin. In a single pin container a curved pin is used to loop near its center and the pin is fixed with the bridle. In the dual pin container two pins are used; one at the top and one at the bottom of the container.
Cameras – If you love shooting your base jumps, you can certainly add camera so that you can enjoy watching those base jumping videos when you are done with your base jumps. The most important factor that you need to consider when you are buying camera for base jumping is image stabilization. This is because your camera will be mounted on your helmet and not on the tripod stand and therefore the video output is bound to be shaky; image stabilization feature will mitigate this effect. You also need to make sure that the camera doesn’t hamper your base jumping experience or come in the way of your movements that can further lead to accidents. If you are making a base jumping documentary right cameras can help you get the right base jumping videos without any problems.
Bridles – When you are thinking of base jumping equipment you also need to pay attention to bridles that connects the pilot chute to the canopy. Although, most basejumping bridles are made from square weave nylon, there are some models that are available in 720 pound Dacron line. The typical base bridle length is around 9 feet compared to skydiving bridle which is 7 feet long. One of the reasons base jumping bridles are longer because most jumpers do lot of experimentation and due to lower airspeed during deployment. You can also find multi-bridle attachment that can help you to prevent center-cell striping offering consistent opening for better performance. If you’re not sure about multi-bridle attachment you may want to stick to single bridle attachment which is commonly used by basejumper around the world.
Gear Bags – For a basejumper gear bag certainly plays a critical role because he or she will spend more time carrying base jumping equipment in it. This indicates that you must pay close attention to the base jumping gear bag that can help you to enhance your extreme base jumping experience. When you are extreme base jumping, not just any other bag will do because you need to look out for multiple factors that can help you to stay on the move and carry all that stuff in a better way. The most important of all is to check the quality of the fabric. Base jumping gear bags need to handle rough terrain and climate and therefore it should be made of sturdy material. The size of the bag also matters because you need to make sure that all the equipment fits in it. The bag should be lightweight and waterproof and should have hip strap that makes it comfortable to carry. You may want to try out different base jumping gear bags that can help you to carry all your equipment without any discomfort.
Understanding Your Environment
For extreme base jumping you have to make sure that you understand your environment before you basejump. This will help you to evaluate the situation and how you should jump and help you prepare mentally. Different basejump environments have different requirements and preparations and therefore it is important that you do some site analysis before you take that huge leap.
If you are passionate about urban environments, you will find various antennas as the ideal place to basejump from. However, you need to ensure that you take the right precautions before you decide to go ahead with the jump. While antennas are easier compared to buildings and cliffs, but they are more complicated than bridges. The important thing is that you need to start with finding the right antenna that can help you make that basejump possible. You will find countries that freely provide information on which antennas basejumper can use. No matter what antenna you choose you need to get up there as quickly as possible. So, you need to pack your extreme base jumping gear and climb up. If the antenna is too high it will have an elevator. However, some antennas have a ladder that comes with a cage to offer added protection. When you want jump off the antenna you need to jump on the side that offers tailwind. Jumping in harsh weather with strong winds is not recommended as it will blow you into the antenna.
All successful base jumps end with a landing and therefore it is also important to understand more about the landing area even before you make the jump. Different jumpers get different landing areas based on where they are jumping from and therefore the landing area could be a rocky land or water. It is important that you focus on what your landing area will be when you’re going to make the jump. This will allow you to prepare your mind even before you have made the jump. You also need to take into consideration other factors like time of the day, wind speed and surface of the landing area.
If you’re going to land in water it can be bit difficult especially if you’re not sure how to get out of water with all that base jumping equipment. Water can drown you as well and there have been reports of base jumping fatalities due to drowning in strong currents. At times the force of your lightweight canopy can drag you further deep inside the water and therefore always consider that factor as well. You must also take into consideration the water temperature because if the water is too cold it can lead to hypothermia.
Apart from landing on the land and water you also have to keep close watch on power lines and poles that can interrupt and ruin your base jumping experience. Poles often have the tendency to tangle up your canopy which means the jumper drops violently on the ground which can also lead to serious injuries. It is therefore recommend that you investigate the landing area yourself and take into consideration every little factor that bothers you. If you’re not sure or happy with the landing area it is recommended to avoid the jump because it may turn your almost successful jump into a terrible mishap towards the end.
Not all base jumps are legal and therefore when you’re making certain jumps you have to be aware of the legal problems you can get into. In most countries, base jumping is not permitted and if you’re jumping from high places that belong to someone else you might end up in a legal battle. Basejumper therefore has to make sure to jump as quickly as possible without letting people know and they move out from there. It is recommended that you wear your body armor and be prepared for the jump before you step at the exit point because you don’t want to waste your time doing a full gear check and getting caught or being seen by someone. You may want to try most of the jumps at night because most people are asleep and you have an easy chance to make your jumps. Always have a getaway plan in your mind that can help you to stay away from legal issues and still enjoy the base jumping experience.
While extreme base jumping can be dangerous you can certainly enjoy it with the right base jumping gear and base jumping equipment. You can also focus on how you want to make your jumps and have a clear plan in mind including what your landing area will be and how you intend to get in and get out of the area without letting anyone know.