That's not actually how the statistics work for something like hiking. As an analogy, consider flipping a coin. Every time you flip a coin, you have a 50% chance of getting heads. So if you flip a coin 2 million times, on time 2 million and 1 the odds of getting heads are still 50%. Even if the first 2 million flips were all tails, the odds of each new flip being heads are always the same.Chip Down wrote:But the thing is, we need to think about cumulative risk. Sure, my chances of getting lost/injured on any particular hike might decrease as my level of expertise increases, but my chances of needing help at some time will still increase with every trip. As an analogy, consider a guy playing Russian Roulette with a six-chamber revolver. If he survives, he moves on to a seven chamber revolver, then eight, etc. On any single round, his odds of survival are better than ever before...but ultimately, he's going to lose.

So if the odds of an inexperienced person getting in trouble outdoors are small (like, smaller than getting in a car accident), and the odds of an experienced person getting in trouble are either smaller (due to increased knowledge) or the same (due to balancing increased knowledge with increased level of difficulty), then those odds are the same each and every time that person goes outdoors, regardless of the number of times they went outdoors previously. Thus, unlike, say, radiation exposure, "cumulative risk" doesn't really apply to hiking.

Sorry for the thread drift, but maths.