Successful river trips require a team effort
River trips are challenging undertakings in unpredictable conditions with limited resources through difficult to access areas. (What could possibly go wrong?) Being successful under those conditions depends on thorough preparation, responsible behavior, and constant vigilance by everyone involved.
We take our jobs seriously and we promise to work meticulously and diligently to provide you with the best possible river trip we can. In return, we ask you to:
BEFORE YOUR TRIP
Make sure that you are physically and mentally prepared.
- Read the trip description and pre-trip materials
- Read the Essential Eligibility Criteria (EEC) and discuss them with your physician if you have concerns
- Be open with us concerning any physical limitations or concerns
- Disclose to us any pertinent medical conditions or allergies
- Bring twice the necessary amount of any essential medications
- Honestly assess the physical and mental suitability of any minors under your supervision
DURING YOUR TRIP
- Listen to your guides and follow their directions
- Be respectful of your fellow guests
- Act responsibly and take proactive measures to protect yourself and to not endanger others
- Monitor your medications, fluid intake, and any food allergies
- Keep your personal flotation device on and properly adjusted while rafting
- Keep your helmet on and properly adjusted when required
- Wear appropriate clothing and footwear
- Supervise any minors accompanying you
- Refrain from ALL drug and alcohol consumption while on the river
- Refrain from excessive alcohol consumption and obey all relevant laws pertaining to drug use while on shore. Our trips take place on Federal lands where Federal laws apply.
Following these guidelines greatly increases your safety as well as the safety of your fellow guests and our guides. Failure to follow them may result in a decision to remove you from the trip.
Here are some additional situations that occur frequently enough on our trips that you should consider them when making a decision about joining us:
Falling out of the raft – If you go on a whitewater rafting trip, you should be willing to fall out of the raft and into the river in the middle of a rapid. On some rivers under some conditions, we can reduce the chance of falling out to almost zero, but we can never completely eliminate that chance. Everyone will be wearing a personal floatation device while rafting and our guides will instruct you on proper swimming/floating/rescue technique, so the ability to swim is not a requirement. The best way to combat a fear of falling in is to get more comfortable in the water before the trip (go to the pool, take swimming lessons, etc.) and to get in the river voluntarily early in the trip.
Encounters with wild animals – Most of our trips take place in wilderness areas that are home to wild animals including poisonous reptiles and insects. While we often see bears, we rarely have any issues with them. We occasionally see rattlesnakes, but we rarely have any issues with them. We are commonly dealing with wasps, bees, gnats, and mosquitoes; if you have a known allergy, we expect you to bring TWO applications of appropriate medication (epinephrine, etc.) and keep one with you at all times and give the other to our guides.
Weather conditions – We will be outdoors for almost the entire trip and exposed to a variety of natural elements and conditions. There is potential for hypothermia and dehydration on every trip; sometimes both on the same trip. If you bring the appropriate gear as described in the trip details and you follow appropriate procedures as given by our guides, your comfort and safety will be greatly increased.
Communication – We will be away from standard communication options for the majority of the trip. No cell coverage, no wi-fi, no internet. We carry a variety of communication devices that are only available for our use in emergency situations. If you feel a need to communicate with the outside world during your trip, you will need to provide your own communication device. You can learn more about your options here.
General fitness level – Some of our trips are very demanding and should only be considered by active, healthy, fit participants. Other trips are less demanding and suitable for almost everyone. All of our trips are more fun and less risky for people who get regular exercise and are comfortable in the water. Every year we have guests who use their river trip as motivation to improve their physical conditioning.