First Time White Water Rafter? What to Expect

by | Mar 29, 2012 | Sports And Games

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White water rafting in Colorado is one of the most thrilling things that you and your friends or family can do on vacation. If you are considering a white water rafting trip in Colorado or elsewhere, there are a few things that you should keep in mind which will make your rafting experience easier and more enjoyable.

It may sound surprising to some, but many first-time white water rafters schedule an excursion not expecting to get wet. White water rafting is not a leisurely ride down a river. Instead, it involves churning water and a great deal of movement, including rocking and bouncing of the raft. There is even a possibility that passengers in rafts can get thrown out of the rafts as a result of the vigorous movement of the raft atop the churning water, so all passengers must wear life vests and must know how to swim. Furthermore, any possessions you bring will get soaked, as well, unless you bring a dry sack. You should not bring items with you that cannot get wet, like small non-waterproof electronics or cameras.

Many people who are unfamiliar with white water rafting, especially in places like Colorado which can be quite warm, are surprised to learn that white water rafting can be a very chilly experience. Even during the summer, water temperatures can be frigid. Water feeding into rivers sometimes comes out of deep reservoirs or down mountain slopes from high altitudes with near-freezing temperatures or from snow melt. If you are planning a spring white water rafting trip, it is recommended that you wear a wetsuit. Additionally, it is wise to invest in long underwear and thick wool socks which will wick moisture away from your body and keep you warm and dry and comfortable. When in doubt, you can always ask the rafting company what attire is best for your excursion.

When planning your trip, keep in mind that the raft will have very limited space. Therefore, expect to carry the items that you wish to bring on your body either in a small backpack or in a pocketed jacket. White water rafts will generally carry a first aid kit and often a cooler for food, but have little room for anything else aside from people.  Generally, it is not advisable to try to carry many items when you consider the high amounts of bouncing the raft undergoes as it travels over waves and churning water. The more items that are carried onto the raft, the more chances there are to lose them.

Most white water rafting programs in Colorado and elsewhere will require that all passengers or “crew members” undergo some training on rafting and safety. White water rafting guides are responsible for directing a large number of individuals, often possessing no knowledge of white water rafting, over dangerous rapids in deep water. Their number-one priority is your safety, and everything from loading the raft to navigating the rapids must be performed in the safest and most stable manner possible. The best way to ensure a safe white water rafting experience in Colorado is to train all passengers beforehand.

White water rafting Colorado Colorado River Runs specializes in giving customers a safe and exciting white water rafting Colorado experience. To learn more about white water rafting in Colorado, contact Colorado River Runs.

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