Is rafting dangerous?
Rafting is thrilling, exciting and unbelievably fun. However, as with all adventure sports, there is inherent risk involved. That risk contributes to the excitement, and is one of the reasons people enjoy rafting so much. Our guides are trained to minimize and manage risks, and, statistically, you’re safer in a raft than in your car. The most common injury on most rafting trips is sunburn, and most other injuries occur on land.
If I can’t swim, can I still go rafting?
Everyone on commercial rafting trips wears a life vest or personal flotation device (PFD). This critical piece of equipment will keep you afloat in the event that you find yourself in the river. Many non-swimmers go on rafting trips, and they have a great time. Your guide will give you an in depth safety talk before your trip explaining what you should prepare for and do in the event you fall out of the raft. Your guide is professionally trained in white water rescue and will work with the rest of your guide team to ensure that you are able to feel comfortable with the white water conditions on your trip.
How fit should I be to go rafting?
Guests will be an active source of power to move the boat through the rapids and you will need to learn commands from your guides to help manoeuvre the boat as it moves downstream. You should be reasonably healthy, and must be able to fit into the life vests supplied by your outfitter. Paddling can sometimes be tiring, but your guides will instruct you on paddling techniques which are lots of fun to learn. If you’re in doubt about your fitness to go rafting, check with your doctor before you go.
What should I wear on the river?
Your gear will depend on the time of year, water temperature, and weather for your trip. Ask your outfitter for gear recommendations before your trip. As a rule of thumb we recommend you dress for the water temperature, rather than the air temperature, since you’ll be getting wet. Hotter days, with cold water, we recommend wearing a wetsuit, which can be rented from us when you make your booking. Cooler days, with cold water, and especially Class V trips, we require a wetsuit, or a wetsuit/paddle jacket combination. Wetsuit booties are good if it is cold. Sandals don’t offer as much protection, and tend to come off easily in a swim. Sunglasses, especially prescription glasses, should have a string. Consider a hat cord to tie your hat to your life jacket as well. In warmer weather, and late season warmer water, shorts and a T-shirt are good. Use lots of sunscreen.
I have a family with young children, can they go rafting?
Many companies have special family trips available, on which you can take children as young as four. Each particular river trip and company has its own suggested age limits. Contact the individual operator to find out suggested ages for their trips.
What happens on a typical rafting trip?
Your trip begins when you meet the trip leader at your designated rendezvous place and time. Then everyone gets on the bus which will transport you to the “put in” where we put our rafts in the river. At the put in, the trip leader will give you a safety talk – a vital 20 to 30 minute discussion about how to be safe on the water. Then you’ll head to your boat and jump in! The guide will give you further instruction on how to paddle once you are afloat and give you time to practice following his or her commands. Then you’ll head on down the river, and have the time of your life!
What are my chances of falling out of the boat? What should I do if I do?
Believe it or not, many people love falling out of the boat. It’s exciting. But it can be disorienting and a little overwhelming at first. Many people have taken multiple trips and never fallen in. Some people swim on their first trip. It’s all a part of rafting. Before you go on any trip, you’ll be given extensive instructions on what to do if you fall in, and how to stay safe. Follow your guide’s instructions, and your “swim” could be the most exciting part of your trip and a great story to tell your friends afterwards!
Can I bring my camera or video camera?
We don’t recommend bringing video cameras, or even expensive still cameras, on trips. Many people bring disposable waterproof cameras, which work just fine. The quality of the pictures is reasonably good, and if you lose your camera, it’s not the end of the world..
Should I tip my guide?
Tipping is certainly appreciated by the guides, who work hard to make sure you have a fun, yet safe trip. If you feel your guide has done a good job, keeping you entertained, and sharing the wonderful river environment with you, then feel free to show your appreciation.