Travel Blog


Guide Rafting Whitewater

March 28th, 2017 ernie Posted in White Water 1 Comment »

Whitewater rafting attracts thousands of participants every year. Whitewater rafting can be safe and fun for the whole family, from the beginner to the advanced paddlers. A simple guide rafting Whitewater guide follow:

Classification of Rapids:

Class I – Easy. Small waves in fast moving water. Few obstacles.
Class II – Novice. Wide channels and rapids that are easy to navigate, without many turns or obstacles. Small waves less than two feet high.
Class III – Intermediate. Strong currents require training and ability to maneuver quickly and effectively. From this class on, rafters require a guide. Not suitable for young children.
Class IV – Advanced. Powerful rapids for strong paddlers that can handle fierce turns and spins. Drops and waves are common.
Class V – Expert. Violent, dangerous rapids, usually through obstructed channels, tight turns, and soaring falls. Requires professional equipment.
Class VI – Unrunnable. Likelihood of death in attempting class 6 runs.

Types of Crafts

Kayaks – Kayaks designed for whitewater are usually shorter than sea kayaks and most are made of plastic (although fiberglass kayaks are popular among racers).

Rafts – The preferred type of craft for large groups, they are made of inflatable plastic, and can handle almost any type of current.

Catarafts — Similar to rafts but easier to maneuver, they consist of two inflatable tubes held together by a frame.

Canoes — Made of fiberglass or plastic, they can handle an Eskimo roll the same way kayaks do.

Guide Rafting Whitewater

Fall has always been one of the most amazing months for rafting, to add to the incredible scenery, bears, mountain goats, deer, and cougars are often seen along the way. Also, during lower flow times, the big hits and tight, technical maneuvers make for a very exciting ride!”

Summer rafting is usually more calm, due to lower water volume. Some rivers provide daily dam releases from May through early October; others take advantage of melting snow (which increases water flow).

What to Bring

This varies according to the season and the company offering the trip –Some places have very specific outfit rules, and they provide some of the items in the list below, so it’s always better to ask in advance. Some basics you need include:
* Wetsuit (in spring and fall); bathing suit or shorts (summer)
* Wetsuit booties or strapped sandals (no flip-flops)
* Pogies (special gloves to use when dealing with cold water)
* Polypropylene t-shirt (avoid cotton, as it takes a long time to dry)
* Wool socks and a windbreaker in spring and fall
* Waterproof sunscreen
* Bug spray
* Sunglasses (with neck strap)
* Disposable waterproof camera (do not bring any expensive equipment)
* First aid kit (if you’re not going with a group)
* Fresh Water
* Depending on the location, the water may be cold even in May, so make sure you ask beforehand so you can decide what to wear.

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Cabin Rafting Rental whitewater

March 7th, 2017 ernie Posted in White Water No Comments »

Almost every state and province in North America offers combined cabin rafting rental whitewater combinations for whitewater rafting vacations. Pick your location based on available cabins or whitewater rafting opportunities, it does not matter. You will have a great time, great memories of the Whitewater excursion and camping out in your cabin in the wilderness.

Before you book your vacation in one of these whitewater rafting and cabin areas, check out both the available whitewater rafting trips available as well as the cabins you will be staying in.

Whitewater rafting trips can be half day, full day or multi day trips. You also want to know what equipment you need to bring vs. what will be provided by the operator. Also confirm the class of the whitewater trip to confirm that this is really the level you are looking for. Finally confirm that all of the safety gear is provided and the guides have adequate experience for your whitewater rafting trip.

Cabin Rafting Rental whitewater

The cabin you select can also make a huge contribution to your whitewater rafting trip. Staying in a great cabin that is clean, dry and comfortable makes a huge difference to your experience. Look for references and previous users experiences. Are there restaurants nearby or will you need to make your own meals.

Are the accommodations first class or basic. What do you need to bring with you to make your entire rafting and cabin whitewater rafting experience enjoyable. And always brings change of clothes for your whitewater rafting trip, since you are going to get wet!

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Rafting River Whitewater

December 21st, 2016 ernie Posted in White Water No Comments »

Whitewater River rafting is a very popular sport that thousands of people take part in every year across the nation. Many rafting river whitewater companies have trips that are available for the beginner. They also have trips for the expert who is looking for the extreme challenge that a class 5 white water rapids offers. These companies offer half day whitewater trips as well as all day trips. Overnight rafting trips that take you into the wilderness were you can see fantastic scenery and wildlife are also available. So how do you select a whitewater rafting company?

By far the best way is word of mouth from a like minded individual. If you know of someone who has gone on a whitewater trip ask them. They should have the same amount of courage and drive for exciting sports. Rely on their opinion with regards to which rafting trip to select. If you are searching on the web for a company , then you will have to do a little more research. Before making your decision regarding which trip to take and which whitewater rafting trip to take down the river do the research. Here are a few details to consider.

Rafting River Whitewater

All rapids are classified from class one to six. Class one is suitable for beginners, children and seniors. Class five is for experts with strong swimming skills and training in swimming out of whitewater rapids! The last  one, lass six whitewater river rapids are deemed to dangerous to attempt. If you are a beginner, stay with class one or two and try your first whitewater river rafting experience.

In addition, check out the equipment that the company provides, and what you need to provide. Most companies will provide everything you need including refreshments, however you will need to bring along a change of clothes, since you are sure to get wet. Early spring Whitewater rafting river travelers will find that the water will be quite cold, since this is snow melt off the mountains. With Class one or two, you will not need a wet suit, however for classes three to five, a wet suit will be suggested by most companies.

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Rafting Trip Whitewater

October 31st, 2016 ernie Posted in White Water No Comments »

There are many whitewater rafting trips in virtually every state and province in North America, not far from most major urban centers. Rafting trip whitewater trips have become very popular for families, seniors as well as the extreme adventure tourist. Of course the more challenging the whitewater rapids are, the more equipment and skills you need. All of this is needed to make sure that you will have a successful and safe trip.

Class one and two trips are for beginners, children and seniors. A class one set of whitewater rapids are relatively easy to navigate. Although you still need to be wearing a life jacket and you need to follow the instructions of the guides. These can be very nice relaxing whitewater trips, were you can enjoy the scenery and the wildlife that may exist along the river. If you are planning to take on higher class rapids, make sure you read the requirements. Study the safety issues before you sign up just to make sure you receive what you expect in terms of whitewater thrills.

Rafting Trip Whitewater

 

Class 3, class 4 and class 5 rapids are progressively more difficult and thrilling. You may need to pass a number of tests before going on some of these whitewater trips. This is required to make sure that you can handle any of the potential upsets that could occur. Particularly in class 5 whitewater rapids trips, participants could be thrown out of the raft or the raft could even tip over. If this happens you need to be able to swim out of the rapids and get to shore were someone can pick you up.

If you are not up to the task of swimming out of the whitewater rapids, then this level of rafting trip may not be for you. You can still great thrills if you go on lower class rafting trips down whitewater rapids. Remember too that rapids classification are also dependent on the amount of water that is cascading down the river. Spring runoff will usually bring higher cascades than summer or late fall unless there are heavy rains in the headlands of these whitewater rapids.

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How to White Water Raft

March 21st, 2013 ernie Posted in White Water No Comments »

How to White Water RaftWe have written numerous articles about components of how to white water raft on this website. We have covered a variety of topics such as white water safety, white water etiquette, white water gear. We have many review posts about various locations that you can go white water rafting. The one thing we want to emphasize above all else is safety. Follow the instructions of your guide and if they tell you to paddle, then do it. If you are stopped at some point for lunch or supper and they tell you to stay out of the water, then follow their instructions. It could mean the difference between life and death.  You can die from hypothermia very quickly in the cold water from rivers running high from snow melt. Before you know what is happening to you, you can lose your footing and be swept away in the water, dash your head on a rock etc. Follow the guidelines that your rafting guide gives you always.

How to White Water Raft

We have found that most locations have a variety of white water rafting excursions that cater to both the novice as well as the seasoned and expert white water rafting enthusiast. If this is a first time for you or someone with you, most tour operators will recommend that you take them on a milder rafting trip to get them used to the idea of rafting, how the raft works,  paddling techniques and safety measures. This is so important when you are learning how to white water raft!

Some of the more challenging tours have specific requirements about raft handling, dealing with challenging rapids and being able to swim out of rapids when the raft has dumped some or all of their occupants into the water. If there is a high probability of being dumped into the water, even though you have a life preserver and possibly wearing a wet suit, participants must have the stamina to swim out of some of these ferocious rapids. Make sure you can swim!

A gentle trip drifting down the river might be all that most people want to participate in as a first trip. There maybe some relatively gentle rapids which are just find for the first trip. Consider this a training trip and as you learn more about rafting you may consider more challenging trips. White water rafting in late summer can also mean that the water is warmer and you may even be able to go swimming as well. White water rafting can be a great past time and enjoyed by the entire family under the right conditions. Like all sports, training is important and preparedness is also important. Don’t get over confident, follow the instructions of the guides, have fun and stay alive.

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River White Water Rafting

February 21st, 2013 ernie Posted in White Water No Comments »

River White Water RaftingSafety is a huge concern when anyone goes river white water rafting. Participants can be dumped from the raft at any time and equipment can be bounced around the raft hitting some of the people in the raft. Rivers are categorized in various levels of difficulty and it is important that participants meet the levels of proficiency and health to enhance their safety. Before you book a rafting trip take the time to learn about safety rules and what you are responsible for during your trip.

White Water Classifications

Calm rides with minimal rapids are usually fine for just about anyone including young children and older adults. Everyone must wear a life vest to protect them and keep them floating should they accidentally fall into the water. On these calm rides there is little chance of this occurring, however better to be safe than sorry.

At the other end of difficulty, only expert white water rafters are allowed to goes on these trips. It is routine for people to be thrown from the raft and both guides and participants need to be able to work hard at navigating through the rapids. If you do get thrown from the raft during a particularly rough ride, participants must be able to stay afloat and swim to shore to be picked up later.

Real Life Experience with Rafting

If you cannot swim or cannot swim for any distance, then do not go on these trips. These trips are really meant for people who are very fit, have excellent stamina and can swim well. We also recently talked to a river guide who mentioned that you can suffer hypothermia and be dead within 5o minutes if you do not get out of the water. You will begin to cramp and feel the effects in three minutes and some people will die much quicker. If your guide tells you to stop fooling around or get out of the water, do what he says. It could be your life that you are fooling around with and no one wants to die on a trip.

This particular guide rafted on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon and other places. He also mentioned that younger guides might be afraid to take on an older adult tourist. It is an age thing and a respect thing, however this also can mean the difference between life and death. When a guide asks you nicely to stop drinking or not go swimming in the water follow his or her instructions because you could be playing with your life here. You could also jeopardize the lives of the people who try to save you. You do not want to be responsible for other adults, or your family not making it along with you! It is that simple.

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White Water Rafting

February 7th, 2013 ernie Posted in White Water No Comments »

White Water Rafting River RatingsThe best time to go white water rafting in most locations is early to mid spring once the ice has left the rivers. The spring runoff is just beginning. The snow in the mountains is beginning to melt. The rivers are higher than they will be in the summer providing roiling rapids that provide fantastic river rides. Book early for an exhilarating ride with one of the river guide companies. If this is your first time river rafting you may want to wait until the water is a little calmer before you go. In some locations you can watch from shore and gauge just what the rafting trip will be like.

Tourists who prefer a more laid back approach to white water rafting can wait until the weather warms. The rivers are calmer and the flowers have begun to grow. At this time of year the water is lower, there are calm sections to the rivers were you can relax and enjoy the scenery. At the same time go through rapids at various stages that will provide a white water ride to remember. These rides are more suitable for families with young and older children enjoying the outdoors.

Warm Weather White Water Rafting

When the weather is warm, ,many people also enjoy overnight camping excursions as well that are part of the white water rapid trips that many outfitters offer. For more details always check with a number of outfitters to find the best trips, the best whitewater services and the most exhilarating trips.

If you have your own rafting or canoe, always check the conditions before you go and make sure that these conditions match your equipment and your skill level. The best way to get into trouble on the river is to not be prepared and to not know how to handle your canoe or raft on the river. Make sure that you have all of the safety equipment that is needed for your trip.

In the spring time and on mountain streams even in the summer time were water is from snow melt, the water can be very cold. A few minutes in the water can give you hypothermia and people have died very quickly as a result. If you do go white water rafting on cold water rivers, always have the proper gear including wet suits if you think there is a remote chance of ending up in the water. One river guide told us that he had several people die on him due to hypothermia because they did not listen and went for a swim in the water at night without telling anyone or even wearing a life jacket!

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Whitewater Rafting Packages

April 21st, 2010 ernie Posted in White Water 1 Comment »

Whitewater Rafting PackagesWhitewater rafting packages vary a great deal from company to company and even on the same river. Each company puts together rafting packages that take into account the river they are on, the staff they have to run the trips and the gear they have. Some companies are better equipped than others with both personnel as well as the gear they use. You might even take the same trip from the same company with two different guides on different days and have a totally different kind of trip.

The water levels may be different and the guides could be having a great day or not so great a day. You could even find that the group you are with may make a difference as well. Some will be gung ho, while others are timid and afraid of the white water rapids.

Whitewater Rafting Packages

White Water Rafting Packages are put together by these companies to maximize the experience of their customers, while keeping them safe and still making a profit for the company. This is a tough business for them and they are still dependent on the weather during the winter, the spring melt and the summer flows. All of these conditions impact the overall water flow and can make the difference between a class 2 rapids and a class 4 rapids. White water rafting companies cannot control these elements, however they do the best they can to give you a memorable experience.

White Water Rafting is for Families as well as experts.

If you are new to white water rafting and really wondering what is white water rafting and what the sport is all about, you may want to start with one of the relatively calm white water rafting packages and then progress as you find these trips interesting and exciting. Beginners can choose from camping packages and hotel packages. Most beginners will take a short half day trip to get a feel for rafting to see if they really will enjoy it. Some trips are suitable for elderly people and small children accompanied by an adult.

Discuss your trip with the local guide or representative of the rafting company. Ask all of the questions that you may have and focus on making sure that you are compatible with the trip being offered. If you cannot swim, make sure that the company is aware of this. They will not send you on a trip that is dangerous and requires that you may be able to swim out of a rapids should your raft capsize.

What do Packages Include

Typically white water rafting trips will include the following, however they do vary by location and company so be sure to review the list in detail and ask questions if you do not see what you are expecting. Some items on the list will apply to full day or over night trips and are not offered with half day trips. If in doubt always ask the organizer of the representative of the white water rafting company:

  • Buffet Breakfast before your trip.
  • A great riverside lunch complete with all the trimmings (usually applies to full day trips)
  • One or Two Day full day rafting trip
  • Complementary beverage after your trip
  • Delicious Gourmet Dinner. (Usually applies to overnight trips)
  • One or 2 nights Camping Include camping and meals or
  • One or 2 Nights Lodging for hotel trips
  • All gear is provided including life preservers, rafts, tents and food
  • Customers may want to bring their own sleeping bag rather than use one provided by the rafting company.
  • Always ask for a full list of the items provided by the company and for a recommended list of items that each person should bring along.
  • You should ask for a list of those things that should be left behind such as your non water proof watches and cameras, jewelry, wallets and any other items of value which might not do well in a wet environment.

Select A Rafting Site that Fits your Least Fit Person

Choose a white water rafting trip that makes sense for you, your family and friends and your budget. If you want the exhilarating ride of a fast rapids and the comfort of a hotel room at night, book the hotel package with meals and you will have a very exciting and comfortable vacation.

If you like to rough it, then an overnight camping trip might be the best trip for you. Camping under the stars can be a lot of fun, however the weather may not always cooperate, so be prepared for wet , cold conditions. Bring several changes of clothes that can be kept dry and ready for you after a days rafting down the river.

Finally, any trip should be fun for everyone involved. This includes white water rafting. Being prepared for your trip and making the most of it will contribute to wonderful memories that you can share with friends and family for years to come.

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White Water Rafting in the Americas

April 7th, 2010 ernie Posted in White Water 1 Comment »

White Water Rafting in the AmericasFrom half day trips for beginner rafters to multi day trips for experts, there are lots to choose from. White water rafting in North and South America offers you the ultimate choice of whitewater rafting travel fun on over 75 rivers across the U.S., Canada and South America. We have listed some of the areas and rivers that you might consider for white water rafting trips. All offer various levels of trips from family to challenging class 4 rapids. Check with each local site for details, prices and packages.

If we have missed a river that should be on the list please add a comment to our blog with the correct information and we will be happy to add it. Note that we have not been able to verify the accuracy of each site and the rivers that provide these rapids. Please take the time to verify the skill level and the training level of the guides and the quality of the equipment used by each provider to ensure you have the best and safest trip that you can.

White Water Rafting in the Americas

West Coast rafting trips:

  • Grand Canyon rafting
  • American River rafting and Kern River rafting in California
  • Rogue River in Oregon
  • Salt River rafting in Arizona

British Columbia Rafting, Canada

Rocky Mountain Region rafting trips:

  • Colorado River rafting in Utah
  • Middle Fork of the Salmon in Idaho
  • Arkansas River rafting in Colorado
  • Flathead River rafting (Glacier national Park) in Montana

Mid-West rafting trips:

  • Peshtigo and Minominee River rafting in Wisconsin
  • East Coast rafting trips:
  • Rafting West Virginia’s Gauley River
  • Rafting the Kennebec River in Maine
  • Nantahala River rafting in North Carolina’
  • Chatooga River rafting in Georgia and South Carolina
  • Rafting the Deerfield and Millers Rivers (Massachusetts),
  • West River (Vermont) or Housatonic River (Connecticut)
  • Lehigh River rafting in Pennsylvania
  • Rafting the Delaware River in New York and Pennsylvania

Northern Canada (multi-day expeditions)

  • Yukon Territory rafting – Yukon, Wind, Snake and Firth Rivers
  • Northwest Territory Rafting – Nahanni, Mountain, Horton and Thelon Rivers
  • Nunavut Territory Rafting – Copper Mine and Burnside Rivers
  • Northern British Columbia Rafting – Taku and Stikine Rivers

Southern Canada (day trips, resorts and multi-day packages)

  • British Columbia Rafting – Thompson, Nahatlatch, Fraser and Stein Rivers
  • Quebec and Ontario Rafting – Ottawa River

South American White Water River Rafting

  • Futaleufu River Rafting (Chile)
  • Rio Upano River Rafting (Ecuador)
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White Water Rafting River Ratings

March 28th, 2010 ernie Posted in White Water 3 Comments »

White Water Rafting River RatingsAll Rivers that qualify for white water rafting have White Water Rafting River Ratings using roman numerals I to VI. This is according to the International Scale of River Difficulty. Note also that a river’s level of challenge changes with fluctuations in water levels; a river rated Class IV at medium water levels might resemble a Class III river at lower water levels, while at higher levels, it might look more like a Class IV+. The rating system used in the Grand Canyon, which rates rapids 1 to 10, pre-dates the modern Class I-VI system of rating rapids. A “10” in the Grand Canyon is comparable to a Class V rapid elsewhere.

Time of Year for White Water Rafting River Ratings

The time of year and the seasonal snow load can have a dramatic effect on the flow of water in the river and hence the class of rapid that you may be traversing. Check for local conditions prior to booking any rafting trip. Spring water flow levels can be very different from summer flows, so it is always important to confirm the level of difficulty before you book.

Note that multi-day expeditions can have a wide variety of rapids on a single trip, from class I to class V, so check with your outfitter to get details about that rivers specific white water rafting river ratings. Most companies will require evidence of previous experience if you are planning to run Class IV rapids.

Match White Water Rafting River Ratings to Skill Level

First-time and veteran rafters alike thrive on class II, III and some class IV rivers and rapids. Class V river trips–especially for paddlers–usually require two or more previous trips and previous Class IV experience. When booking your rafting trip with a Rafting America company, make sure you let the outfitter know your comfort and experience level so they can recommend the right trip for you. You may also need to be able to demonstrate that you have the stamina and the skill level to swim out of a class IV rapids in the event that the raft capsizes in one of these rapids.

CLASS I

Easy – Waves small, passages clear; no serious obstacles, perfect for all ages and abilities. No guide needed.

CLASS II

Medium – Rapids of low difficulty with passages clear. Suitable for everyone, no experience necessary. A guide is preferable for these rapids, but not required.

CLASS III

Moderate – Waves numerous, high, irregular; rocks; eddies; rapids with passages clear though narrow, requiring experience in maneuvering. No previous experience is necessary.

CLASS IV

Difficult – Long rapids; waves powerful, irregular; dangerous rocks; boiling eddies; powerful and precise maneuvering required. Have an experienced guide. Previous experience is helpful, but not necessary.

CLASS V

Extremely Difficult – Exceedingly difficult, long and violent rapids, following each other almost without interruption; riverbed extremely obstructed; big drops; violent currents; very steep gradient. Paddlers should have prior Class IV or better whitewater experience with experienced guides who know the river.

CLASS VI

Un-runnable! Just like it says – Don’t even think about it! These constitute waterfalls and other death-traps that should not be attempted.

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White Water Rafting for all Levels

March 21st, 2010 ernie Posted in White Water No Comments »

White Water Rafting for all LevelsWhite water companies all over America offer White Water Rafting for all Levels – from beginners to experts – top quality half to multi-day whitewater rafting trips on the most popular rivers in North America and South America. Go with companies that have at least 15 years of professional guiding experience, and have a safely record that they proudly advertise. Check out their record before going on any trip. You can verify the level of experience and their safety record to make your own decision regarding whether you want to use one company or another.

White Water Rafting for all Levels

Plan Your Trip

If you are planning a trip that is a class 3 or 4 rapids, then you will want to seriously verify that the whitewater rafting company has the credentials to offer a safe environment for the rafters and have taken all of the precautions they can to ensure your safety. What is the experience level of the guides? How many times have they gone down the river and on these particular rapids? How many times have they had to bail out of the rafts to rescue someone? Has anyone had any serious injuries? What equipment do they have and in what condition is it.

If you are planning a class 3 or 4 rapid adventure, then you have already gone on several trips and know what questions to ask and what the answers should be. The bottom line is if you are uncomfortable about a specific river or rafting company then go to another. After all it is your life you are dealing with and you looking for a fun trip!

Match your Rafting Trip to Capabilities

There are lots of other trips that less experienced people can go on and have a great time. We will review a few of these trip types to help you decide on what is right for you. Most rafting companies over the Americas offer all types of trips and you will need to check with them for schedules as well as fee’s etc. Not all white water trips are the same, so always ask lots of questions and make sure you fully understand what you are getting into before you sign up. Often the best approach to follow is to ask someone who has recently gone on a trip you are considering. Word of mouth and a report from a fellow traveler can be sometimes much better than a sales pitch you get from a rafting company that is trying to sell a ticket.

Where do you want to go rafting?

If you are lucky enough to live in an area were white water rafting is offered then start with a local company. It is much easier to obtain comments from other customers and you do not need to make extensive travel arrangements. If there are no white water rafting trips offered near you, do some research online and then build your trip into a mini vacation that you and the family or friends can go on.

There are whitewater adventure tours offered in most mountainous states, provinces and in various countries in both North and South America. Always go with a reputable company!

First time white water rafting?

If this is a first time for rafting you probably want to consider a class 2 white water rapids. Some companies may try to sell you a class 3 trip and you will probably be ok on one of these trips, however if you’re the timid type definitely stay with a class 2 trip. The rapids are less challenging and the probability of being thrown out of the raft is much less. You may not get the excitement you are looking for, but that is ok for a first time. Sit back and enjoy the scenery and learn.

For those athletic types who want to try the most challenging rapids, you need to gain experience before trying anything really difficult. Don’t let ego and excitement get in the way of safety. Build up your experience and then take on the more challenging rapids. This is definitely true for class 4 rapids were you need to be able to show experience, you need to be able to swim and you need to be able to show that you are fit.

Family Rafting

Family rafting trips can be the most fun of all. There is nothing better than having the kids and even the grandparents on a white water trip. Of course you will stick to class 1 or 2 rapids. You will learn to paddle and there will be time to enjoy the scenery along the trip. These white water trips are designed with the family in mind.

For Groups: Whitewater Rafting Trips

Most white water rafting companies will offer group rates for those people who can get a large group together either from the office or from your local community.  Check with your local company for rates and stick with a class 1 or 2 rapids since you may have a collection of experienced and 1st timers on the trip.

For White Water Aficionados

There are a group of people who have set the challenge for themselves to try all of the most challenging rapids across the country. Most companies offer class 4 white water rapids trips and you will need to satisfy them that you have the experience as well that you are fit enough to go on the trip. They may ask you to demonstrate that you can swim out of a set of rapids and that you have the stamina to deal with any emergency that might come up. Remember they are guides and are trained to navigate these waters, but at the same time they do not want to put themselves into needless jeopardy by taking someone along who cannot look after themselves in the first few minutes when a raft over turns.

There are trips for everyone at all levels of experience and also fitness. Make sure you select a white water rafting trip that matches your skill level, your stamina level and also the level of challenge you wish to endure. No need to waste a trip on something that literally scares you out of your wits. This is supposed to be challenging and fun!

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First Time White Water Rafting

March 14th, 2010 ernie Posted in White Water 1 Comment »

If you are considering a first time white water rafting experience and wondering if it is right for you, we may be able to address some of your questions. Most rafting companies show pictures of extreme white water with lots of waves and foam, rafts careening down rivers which for non rafters it is an experience that looks quite challenging and perhaps scary at the same time.

This type of advertising appeals to many people looking for excitement, but may scare others away. If you are a concerned about the safety issues or perhaps cannot swim, then you may be initially afraid to try one of these white water rafting trips based on the pictures alone. Sometimes the white water rafting companies might be better served by showing less challenging pictures that might not appeal to more experienced rafters, but that may be attractive to people who are considering rafting for the first time.

A list of frequently asked questions follows. We have tried to answer them as carefully as possible, however as always, before trying something yourself, always verify safety claims and verify the type of trip with the operator prior to paying for your white water rafting trips.

First Time White Water Rafting

Is rafting dangerous?

Like any sport, white water rafting can be dangerous if you do not follow proper procedures, match your sport to your skill level and do not wear proper safety gear. If you wear flotation jackets, helmets , go with skilled white water rafting guides who use the latest and well maintained equipment, then it is perfectly safe. Additionally you will want to match your first trip with your skill level. If you have not gone white water rafting before, then going on a class 1 or 2 river is probably a good idea to give you a feel for what to expect. Generally these are very safe, yet will provide a level of enjoyment to most people that they will remember for a life time.

I can’t swim. Can I still go rafting?

All rapids are graded in terms of complexity. Some of the higher level rapids will require you to pass a physical and swimming test. Lower grade rapids do not need or require rafters to swim. All rafting participants must wear a life-preserver to protect them, and help them float if the raft should capsize.  These lower level rapids are not overly dangerous and even if you cannot swim, your life-preserver will help you float until you can get to shore or are picked up.

How fit should I be to go rafting? Is it strenuous?

Again, higher rated rapids will require a level of fitness that is above the normal person’s fitness level. The lower level rapids do not require a great deal of physical activity. Your guide will do most of the work steering the raft through the rapids that you encounter.

More Frequently Asked Questions

What should I wear on the river?

It really depends on the time of the year. Since the best rapids are usually in the spring, the water is cold and the weather can also be quite variable as you run down the river. Obviously you should leave anything valuable behind and have a set of warm dry clothing waiting for you at the end of the white water rafting ride.

I’ve never been before. Which trips are best for me?

Most rafting companies will claim that rapids rated from one to three can be handled by just about everyone. However if you are a first timer, a bit older or quite young you may want to try one of the easier trips before moving to a more challenging set of rapids. Your guide and the rafting company can also help you with selecting the right trip.

I have a family with young children. Can they go rafting?

Young children can go on rafting trips provided that they are accompanied by a responsible adult and they are limited to trips that are less challenging. Again your guides and rafting company can tell you if the rapids they offer are calm enough for small children.

Additional Information

Some additional information which may help you make a decision regarding who you go rafting with and who you take along with you.

Rafting trips often create lifelong memories for our guests and offer you a unique rafting vacation experience. When you choose a rafting trip for your vacation, you will discover a unique sense of “escape”, removing you from civilization for a bit. Absorb amazing scenery as you float through each rapid amidst rushing whitewater – learn new paddle commands in a “no worries” environment – discover how to paddle together as a team forming new bonds between family and friends and completely relax to the soft sounds of the river lapping at the side of your raft.

It Is important that you go with another person that you can share the memories with. Yes the trip will be exciting and yes you will be able to describe what it is like to those who have not gone on any of these trips. But if you have not experienced it yourself, then you really cannot fully appreciate the white water trip you went on. Only those you share the experience with can actually appreciate the experience. You will many conversations about various aspects that each of you saw and felt. In fact it is impossible to take it all in by yourself. Your friends will see things that you do not and vice versa. Share your experience with a friend.

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White Water River Safety

February 14th, 2010 ernie Posted in White Water 1 Comment »

White Water River SafetyWhite water river safety should be at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Whether your taking a ride on a canoe through a small set of rapids that is labeled as a beginner set of rapids. Or the much more dangerous class 4 type rapids that only an expert should consider. Accidents happen and if you are well prepared, then you can deal with them easily and avoid anything serious. We will try to cover some of the essentials that you need to know before you go on your first white water rafting trip.

Always check with your guide. Use your own common sense as well to make sure that you can easily get out of any situation that might occur. Matching skill levels to the rapids is probably one of the most important areas to pay attention to. Some agencies will even have you conduct swimming tests to verify that you can swim. That you also have the stamina to deal with a whitewater situation that goes bad. Pay attention , they know what they are doing. Always wear a life preserver regardless of what anyone else is doing or even if they are making fun of you. They will be sorry if they end up in the water without one.

White Water River Safety – Some Guidelines

Research – Regardless of your skill level and the river advertisement, do some research about the water you will be on and assess based on the time of year as well as current conditions if it is something you can handle. Rivers change all the time based on local storms, time of year and even water release schedules from upstream dams.

Safety Gear – Either bring a safety jacket or make sure you are given one by the tour operator. Also wear a helmet to protect your head from rocks in case you are thrown out of the raft.

Water Tight Package – Especially required for overnight trips and even some half day trips, a water tight package with dry clothes, duct tape for sealing your package, rubbing alcohol for disinfecting wounds and a fire starter in case you are stranded and need to make a fire. The water tight package should be of strong plastic material and sealed so that water cannot get in even if it is submerged for some time.

Other Items – these items need to be kept together and it does not matter if they get wet. A camp stove, a small pot for cooking and boiling water, some thin rope that can be used for many things, and a signaling mirror.

Features of a White Water River

Eddies – form just behind large rocks or obstructions in the river. The water is moving slowly in these eddies or may even move backwards. If you need a rest they can be good places to get into in the middle of a rapid.

Humps and Holes

A hump in the river is were the water is flowing over a large rock at a very fast rate of speed. Depending on the overall flow the water over this rock can also be shallow which can scrape the bottom of a canoe or raft. The water flowing over this rock or hump then drops into a deep hole in the river taking everything with it including your raft. If you do get stuck in one of these , keep paddling until you get out and do not panic.  Most times you will pop up after being sucked in a few yards downstream. Keep paddling.  Always try to avoid holes and go around them. Occasionally you will get stuck in one or you will be tossed out of your raft and will need to swim out of them.

Chutes

Chutes are a set of V pointed waves pointing downstream and the best way is to ride the tops of the V shaped rapids . Sometimes you may not see the V’s of the chute until you are on top of them or even down stream from them. Your guide will have navigated these many times and will steer you in the right direction.

Standing waves

Usually are indicated by deeper water although if there are rocks they will interrupt the flow of water so you need to watch for them.

White Water Rafting Tour guides

Most people will sign up with a white water rafting company for their first ride through the rapids . The tour company should have experts on staff and well maintained equipment. You can evaluate the quality of the company, by assessing the equipment, how it is maintained and the training the guides are required to take.

Have them explain how they will handle emergencies, can they do CPR, what rescue equipment do they have and how often has each guide run this particular stretch of river? Use your common sense to assess whether you feel safe with the company you are signing onto.

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White Water Rafting

January 19th, 2010 ernie Posted in White Water No Comments »

White Water RaftingIf you are wondering about white water rafting, how safe is it and what services you are provided with? You have arrived at the right web site. We will be adding a great deal of information and links to various sites that provide white water rafting across the country.

Whitewater Rafting trips can be great fun and provide lots of excitement. However it is always a good idea to practice safe rafting and to choose wisely when you are about to go on a whitewater rafting trip for the first time. Always confirm the experience of the guide that will take you down the river. They should be well trained and have completed many trips successfully. The best way to know is through referrals to ensure that you go with a whitewater rafting company that you know or has been recommended.

White Water Rafting – Safety First

Always wear life jackets and pay attention to your guide. They have the experience and will tell you when to paddle when to hold on etc. Never drink alcohol prior to going on a rafting whitewater trip. Reaction time and judgment are never as good as they are once you have had a drink or two.

Almost every state in the nation offers whitewater rafting trips through many rapids. Usually they offer half day trips as well as full day trips that include lunch cooked over a fire for you to enjoy in the great outdoors. A few whitewater rafting trips also have overnight excursions. You will need to inquire what equipment you need to bring with you. Above all bring several changes of clothes, because you will get wet!

The spring whitewater rafting trips usually bring fast high water for great whitewater rafting, summer months are slower and the fall often has more rain which means again fast rolling water. Some locations are below dams which  regulate the water outflow ensuring a steady water flow all year round.All rafting on rivers is classified into categories. If this is a first time always make sure that you are going rafting on a river trip that is in line with your physical abilities.

White Water Rafting Packages

If you are new to white water rafting and really wondering what is white water rafting and what the sport is all about, you may want to start with one of the relatively calm white water rafting packages and then progress as you find these trips interesting and exciting. Beginners can choose from camping packages and hotel packages.

Typically white water rafting trips will include, (however they do vary by location and company) :

  • Buffet Breakfast before your trip.
  • A great riverside lunch complete with all the trimmings
  • One or Two Day full day rafting trip
  • Complementary beverage after your trip
  • Delicious Gourmet Dinner.
  • One or 2 nights Camping Include camping and meals or
  • One or 2 Nights Lodging for hotel trips

Select the Right White Water Rafting Package

Choose a white water rafting trip that makes sense for you, your family and friends and your budget. For an exhilarating ride of a fast rapids and the comfort of a hotel room at night, book the hotel package with meals. You will have a very exciting and comfortable vacation.

Always book a trip that is aligned with the members in your group. If someone cannot swim, you will want to stay away from a trip that has a high probability of being dumped into the water.

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