Monday, February 8, 2010

What to Do in An Emergency

Posted by: Colorado River Rafting

Now all you have to do is sail down the open rivers and enjoy! But before you jump into a tiny piece of rubber and go careening over waterfalls, you should at least be able to handle yourself in an emergency. (Yes, peeing your bathing suit is a good start, but there's more you can do):

  • NEVER PANIC, because that's the only thing that can lead to drowning or death. Deaths are incredibly infrequent on guided river rafting tours.

  • Remember, your guides are equipped with all sorts of first aid and emergency equipment.

  • In addition to having your capable river guides in tow, most expeditions have a lead guide in a kayak quipped with buoys, ropes and lifesavers, and you will be required to wear a life saving flotation device (usually a vest).

  • If you fall out of your raft, float downstream on your back until a guide can get to you. The guide will tow you to shore and (if you're lucky), perform mouth-to-mouth.

Most people's attitudes change drastically from the beginning of a rafting expedition to its end: they go from being apprehensive and nervous to confident and boisterous. Of course, there is the occasional whiner, but the entire group (including the guides) can handle those wimps by continually splashing them with water.

A Colorado whitewater rafting trip will leave you with memories to last a lifetime, as well as potential souvenirs: many outfitters now videotape expeditions and take photos at strategic points on the river for guests to purchase afterwards. Ahhh…capitalism meets nature. What a beautiful thing.

Learn All About the Rapids

The first thing you need to know about Colorado whitewater rafting is that it takes place on rivers. But not all rivers are created equal. Some rivers are big and muddy; some are calm and winding; and only some are conducive to whitewater rafting, since the sport requires a little something called rapids. Here's what you need to know about rapids:
  • Rapids are the result of the vertical descent of a body of water over a given horizontal distance. Water travels downhill. As obvious as that sounds, you'd be amazed at how many truly clueless people - not yourself, of course - live under the misconception that water travels from north to south, regardless of geography or topography, until it meets an ocean.

  • While all rivers have some downhill gradient, steeper gradients result in more rapidly moving water. Rapids, or whitewater, arise as a result of steeply descending river channels.

  • Some of the most famous river rapids in the country include the Snake River and Colorado River (through the Grand Canyon). But there are thousands of rivers in every state that offer whitewater rafting trips.

  • Since these channels are still being carved by erosion, whitewater rafters have been known to encounter numerous boulders and layers of hard bedrock that sit in the river's path. You know what that means? Fun stuff like vortices of swirling or funneled water, natural ramps, and sudden drops in elevation. Real adrenaline pumpers.

  • Rapids are generally classified on a scale of 1-5. The idea is to find a happy medium. Class 1 rapids are just a bit more exciting than a calm river (think water park tameness), while Class 5 rapids are likely to give you heart palpitations.

While there are rivers in the U.S. that are considered Class 6, you will have a very difficult time finding an outfitter that offers expeditions on them, due to the extreme danger involved.

If you're ├╝ber-adventurous, the Blue Nile River in Africa has rapids that are classified from 1 to 10. In addition to being even more dangerous than a U.S. Class 6, this mighty river has the added challenges of African crocodiles, sleeping death (due to tsetse flies), malaria, and roaming machete-wielding bandits. We recommend you steer clear of these crazy rivers, especially on your first couple of times out. Typically, a good course for beginners mixes Class 1, 2 and 3 rapids. To find almost any level of rapid classification on any river, check out the American Whitewater Association or GORP.com.

So You Wanna Go Whitewater Rafting...

Posted by: Colorado River Rafting

The roar of the rapids! The thrill of cascading waterfalls! The aroma of peach-scented bath salts and the factory-manufactured squawk of your rubber ducky... hey, wait a second. You're not whitewater rafting - you're just taking a bubble bath. You wimp. Wasn't this the year you promised yourself you'd try an extreme sport? And while surfing the net with your iBook's electrical cord dangling precariously over the rim of the bathtub may qualify as "dangerous," it hardly passes for an extreme sport now, does it?

So get out of the bathtub and give whitewater rafting a try. Here are some reasons why you should take the plunge:

  • Whitewater rafting is an exciting way to see the great outdoors.

  • Whitewater rafting is a challenging (but fun) way of testing your strength, endurance, reflex time and ability to think on your feet.

  • Whitewater rafting is a group activity that brings friends closer together through teamwork.

  • Whitewater rafting is a whole lot cheaper than those big sissy cruise ships.

  • Whitewater rafting is a sheer adrenaline rush.

  • Whitewater rafting gives you a great excuse to toss back a few brewskis when you're done.

  • Whitewater rafting gives you bragging rights to whatever river you tamed, making you much more attractive to the whitewater groupies everywhere.
Article Source: Rafting Information

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Know What to Expect from Colorado River Rafting

Posted by: Colorado Whitewater Rafting

Rafting guides are frequently surprised to find guests that have no idea what is expected of them, including those who assume that, having paid a good $45 for the trip, they should not have to paddle. Guess what, though: no matter what, you WILL have to paddle. Hey, that's part of the allure of Colorado river rafting. The whole "take-charge" attitude is what makes river rafting an exciting sport.

So what exactly is expected of you on the river? Here goes:

  • You must show up sober and stay sober. Rafting outfitters will not allow (or at least should not allow) you on the water if you show up drunk or high.

  • There really isn't any need for special training at Home
  • Prior to your expedition. So before you embark on this extreme sport, you can maintain your standard daily routine of Hungry Man microwave dinners and I Love Lucy reruns on TV Land. Of course, at the end of a long day of running rapids, you will very likely be sore in many unusual places, but that's just one more reason to sign up for a massage afterwards, should it be a service your outfitter (or significant other) provides. One note: though many outfitters may not require that you know how to swim, it sure is a lot safer. It IS a river.

  • You should advise your guides (in private, of course) of any pre-existing medical conditions or injuries that may affect your performance. These include heart conditions, back and neck (spinal) injuries, diabetes, and epilepsy. Although such a condition may never play out during the expedition, it's always a good idea to make your guides aware of it.

  • You are expected to be a good team player; conversely, this means you want to pick adequate members to accompany you in your raft. Most rafts are designed to accommodate four or five passengers, so choose three or four friends whom you deem capable, competent and level-headed. (Of course, you can sign up as an individual, but you will wind up sharing a raft with strangers.)

  • Pay close attention during the tutorial prior to your expedition. The most common error most river rafters encounter is the counter-intuitive nature of paddling: to turn right, you paddle with the left oar, and vice versa. Often, it helps to elect a leader, either someone with prior experience or else a natural born leader.

  • Your attire is important. If you are going in the spring or fall, make sure to have wool socks and possibly a wool pullover sweater. Wool pulls water away from your skin to the surface of your clothing and prevents excessive loss of body heat. A windbreaker and wool cap may also help retain body heat. In the spring, you will most likely be provided a mandatory wet suit like those worn by surfers. Spring rains and melting winter snow combine to make very cold water in March, April and even May. Don't be a diva just because your wetsuit clashes with your nail polish color; odds are that without that cumbersome looking thing, you're going to be blue all over. Almost all of the Colorado river rafting companies/outfitters will provide a wetsuit to rent on your trip.

    In the summer time, shorts, cut-offs, bathing suits or swim trunks are all acceptable, as are T-shirts and tank tops. Bear in mind, however, that in summer time the rapids are also much lower and therefore less exciting. Also, summer sun means a need for a waterproof sunscreen.

Best River Rafting Destinations - Places to Consider

River rafting is a lot of fun. Whitewater river rafting offers thrills, chills, and even an occasional spill. You'll find great river rafting rides in water from Alaska and Colorado to Peru and Fiji. While the wildest rides on many rivers are in the springtime, you can find float trips throughout the summer and early fall, and trips through stronger rapids on rivers that have dam-release water. The generally accepted international grading system puts whitewater river rafting in classes I through VI, with I being the most gentle water and VI promising the most extreme rapids.

1. River Rafting with ROW Adventures
"River Rafting with Row Adventures"Row Adventures
Row Adventures offers more than 30 different trips on 13 rivers, including the Salmon and the Snake rivers in Idaho, the Missouri and Clark Fork in Montana, and the Grande Ronde in Oregon/Washington. The company also offers a trip that includes rafting, mountain biking and hiking, while overnighting at the River Dance Lodge in Idaho.
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2. Finding River Rafting Trip Through Rafting America
Rafting America is a gateway Web site to 20 companies that offer river rafting trips in the United States and Canada. These companies offer half-day to multi-day trips for beginner to experts, on rivers stretching from the Snake River in Utah and the Arkansas river in Colorado, to the Gauley and New rivers in West Virginia. On the Web site's map you can click on the state where you want to go river rafting and company's names may pop up.
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3. River Rafting With Don Hatch River Expeditions
Don Hatch River Expeditions focuses on rivers in the southwestern United States. Rafters can float on the Yampa River that slashes through the canyons within Dinosaur National Park, on the Green River through the Gates of Lodore or the Colorado River through Cataract Canyon.
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4. River Rafting the Royal Gorge with Raft Masters
Rafting the Royal Gorge canyon is one of the top places to go Colorado river rafting. There is no better way to go royal gorge rafting afting with one of the best rafting companies in the US; Raft Masters. As the Arkansas River narrows to only 25-feet wide, this adventure-packed whitewater rafting trip winds its way through the 1,100-foot cliffs of the Royal Gorge. Famous for its steep drops, huge waves, and continuous Class III to Class V whitewater, the spectacular scenery and Royal Gorge's famous rapids thrill even the most experienced whitewater rafting veterans.
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5. River Rafting the Lehigh Gorge with Pocono Whitewater
Pocono Whitewater offers three Lehigh Gorge river rafting trips. The company also offers combination packages, such as Battles & Paddles, which includes a rafting trip and an evening of paintball at Skirmish "Castle Night" event. Another choice is mountain biking the Lehigh Gorge and rafting the Lehigh River.
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6. Wilderness Aware Offers Whitewater River Rafting in Colorado and Arizona
This company, twice named "Colorado Company of the Year," offers raft trips on the Platte, the Delores and the Colorado rivers in Colorado, and the Salt river in Arizona.

7. Some Multi-sport Trips With Austin-Lehman Adventures Include River Rafting
Austin-Lehhman Adventures offers a variety of adventure trips and many include river rafting.

8. River Rafting With Nantahala Outdoor Center
This company runs river rafting trips on nine rivers in Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina.

9. River Rafting with Oars
Oars offers more than 20 new and classic river rafting trips, in locales from Alaska to Fiji. The company also offers multi-sport trips, such as rafting the Apurimac River, the source of the Amazon and taking a lodge to lodge trek to Machu Picchu.
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10. River Rafting the Grand Canyon With Arizona River Runners
Arizona River Runners offers multi-day river rafting trips on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. The company offers a selection of 3- to 8-day motorized adventures and 6- to 13-day oar-powered trips, which can include hiking in or out of the Grand Canyon.
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