I am sure you are familiar with the saying “up $#&% creek without a paddle”? Fortunately, we were not on our final hurrah of the summer before school started. We had a great time river rafting down the North Fork of the American River with American River Recreation. They did a great job and our guide was a lot of fun. It was a short, quick trip; perfect to close out the summer vacation. We drove up the day before, woke up the next day and took a 4 hour ride down the river then headed home. I did happen to see a rafter in another group hop in the raft in pants and a cotton shirt and I thought to myself “that doesn’t seem like the best choice for river attire”. Cotton is the not best fabric for a wet adventure; it just doesn’t dry quickly enough and can make for a cold and uncomfortable trip down the river. And if you don’t get wet on a rafting trip, it’s not much of a white water adventure.
I am not an expert white water rafter by any means. I’m barely a beginner for that matter. I have only been on a handful of rafting trips and none were very extreme. That being said, I do know to use a little common sense when packing and preparing, however. I also read the information sheet provided by the rafting company. I highly recommend you do as well if you are new to rafting, even if you are not a beginner it is a good thing to do. Especially if it is the first time down a particular river. Each river and surrounding environment can be different and may have some unique qualities or conditions that you should be aware of and prepared for.
So, we were not “up $#&% creek without a paddle”, fortunately, but I can see how someone can easily be in that situation. As a non-expert I advise doing some research and a little common sense goes a long way. Here is the short list for the common sense items to bring in case you forget to read the sheet.
- Quick drying water clothing
- Water shoes – not flip flops
- A hat foe added sun protection – one that will fit under a helmet
- Dry bag
VP & Dad