Colorado River Rafting Info
Colorado River Rafting is a hugely popular sport, and it should come as no surprise to anyone who has felt the addiction that the rapids holds that there are more people discovering the thrill of whitewater every year. There are many companies that provide excursions down rivers across the world, and the United States and Canada are no exception.
The number of Colorado river rafting outfitters out there means that rafters have a lot of option when it comes to what they would like to do for their trip. A casual float down Class III rapids or a wild contest with Class Vs are available in almost every state and province. Every outfitter offers at least a five hour trip, with many offering anywhere up to week-long excursions to really explore the rivers across this continent. No matter how long a trip you are planning for, there are some essential items that you need to bring along in order to have the best experience possible.
Protection from the sun
Whether you are embarking on a trip that can be measured in hours or in days, the most important equipment to bring along are items that can protect you from the sun’s rays. Remember, you will be out on open water, and even though you may not feel the heat, there is little protection out there from the sun.
"Most of your efforts go into protecting yourself from the sun," states Brian, a guide with Raftmasters, which runs rafting trips in Colorado on the Colorado, Arkansas, and the Royal Gorge area. To that extent, he always tells rafters to make sure to bring along good sunscreen, a water bottle, and sunglasses.
Virtually every company we talked to agreed that the battle with the sun was the most crucial in deciding what to bring along. Jeff Proctor, of Jeff Proctor Class VI River Runners (which runs river trips down the New and Gauley Rivers of West Virginia, concurs with the basic list set out by Michael, and also adds that other weather considerations are crucial.
"For the shoulder season (when the weather begins to turn), bring a wet suit or paddling jacket."
Both outfitters provide trips that will last for longer than one day, and for these trips some additional thought is needed when preparing your gear.
Proctor points out that foot gear is important. "Folks should come dressed for the river, with a shoe or sandal that can get wet and stay on your feet. You should still feel comfortable walking around on a sandy beach."
Sandy beaches are part of what makes packing for a two-day trip down the Holiday runs a lot easier; "With warm sandy beaches to camp on, you don't need much gear. A light weight tent, a basic sleeping bag and pad is all that you need," states Michael.
As for other equipment, well, both outfitters want to make sure that you always remember the trip, so in the words of Michael “Don’t forget your camera!”
What if you forget?
If you forget something on your checklist, or fail to make a checklist at all, there is no need to panic. Most rafting outfitters have stores at their expedition start-outs where they sell or rent out any equipment that rafters may need.
There is nothing quite like getting out and taking on nature in one of its most powerful forms, so make sure that before you hit the river you prepare for the trip. It’s guaranteed that your first time will not be your last!