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BASE Jumping: Articles: Philosophy: Ethical Guidelines

Ethical Guidelines

by BASEwiki

The nuances of BASE ethics vary from place to place, and especially vary depending on the legal status of a site. If there are established guidelines for a site (true at an increasing number of popular legal sites; see this page), always find out what they are, and follow them. The guidelines have been established for good reasons, and often in conjunction with local authorities. Jumpers breaking these rules (through ignorance or otherwise) undermine the legalization efforts of the entire BASE community.

  • Only do jumps you are capable of. Thinking you are capable is not sufficient. Prove yourself by mastering one skill at a time under a controlled instructional situation. Learning too much at once and teaching yourself will invariably lead to accidents and death. If you’re very keen to learn BASE jumping right now, then pay for proper intensive instruction. If you don’t want to pay then be prepared to spend time learning with experienced jumpers.
  • Minimise your visibility to the public by jumping at appropriate times (i.e bridges when there is no traffic, buildings at night). You minimise the chance of accidents, injury, and court cases if there are no other people around. For those jumpers who like public attention, remember that there is a good chance that the person you are trying to impress will have a mobile phone and they will call the police.
  • Minimise noise by jumping in small groups. Don’t invite crowds along. if you are planning a daytime jump for the purpose of selling footage, don’t bother. The market is saturated with BASE jumping footage. You will only sell footage if it is extremely high quality and you are doing something that no one has done before. Getting a site shut down for a small amount of money is selfish.
  • When visiting a new area, ask local jumpers about how to jump their sites discreetly and safely. If you want to deviate from their methods, give a logical reason as to why your method may be better. Be prepared to swallow your pride. They may come to jump in your area one day!!!
  • Use BASE specific equipment. Standard skydiving gear will eventually fail in the BASE-jumping environment.
  • Don’t cause damage to persons, property, or the environment (vandalism / accidents). Repair any damage. Treat any natural, sacred, or religious site with respect. Use minimal impact bushwalking techniques and ask landowners if you can walk on their properties.
  • Cooperate with authorities and accept their rulings. If you think the rulings are unjust, attempt to change them through legal means. Unless safety is in question (i.e urgent medical treatment is required) try not to associate jumping activities with any authority.
  • Help promote the sport by being professional and teaching people the right things. Pass your knowledge and experience onto others. If you don’t have experience and ability then don’t teach.
  • If any of your jumping colleagues are injured you should stay with them. There are a variety of injuries that if treated quickly will not have any long term or lasting affects. These same injuries can lead to death if not treated immediately.
  • Practice good wilderness etiquette. Leave no traces of your passing. Do not litter, and respect wilderness areas.

Submitted by BASEwiki on 2007-06-13 | Last Modified on 2007-07-02

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