It’s good to have friends on the river, especially the kind that let you borrow their dry towel after you’ve dropped yours in the rapids. Good friends always share, and ours are no exception. The following rafting tips have been compiled from some of our good friends’ sites, because they want you to have as much fun on the river as we do.
■ Our friends at Crab Apple Whitewater recommend you take special care choosing your outfitter. After all, they’ll be responsible for your safety on the water. Inspect the equipment before getting in the water and remember: duct tape doesn’t really fix everything!
■ Our buddies at Bali Rafting say listening to your guide is the best way to stay safe and sound on the river. The guide’s directions may not always make sense, but they’ve been running the stretch of whitewater for many moons … and they hasn’t lost anyone yet. Don’t be the first!
■ Pals can teach you things, and our friends at the Nantahala Outdoor Center want to make sure you know the safety code. It’s important to be aware of the universal signals for stop, all clear, and “I just fell in the water, and I want you to get me out right now!”
■ The river can be a dangerous place, and it’s even more precarious when you’re not 100% on guard. The guys and gals at GloboTreks want us to remind you that friends don’t let friends drink and raft. Save the beers for dry land.
■ Even the river has friends and these Friends of the River want to make sure you come out of the water safely. Never head out on your own and always be sure someone knows your plans. Don’t forget your first aid kit and wear your PFD at all times, even if it clashes with your swimsuit.
■ Rafting isn’t exactly a pleasure cruise. You’re going to be called upon to paddle, and you’re not going to be very popular if you don’t know the basics. Paddle Inn Rafting reminds us to consider paddling strength and weight when placing people on the raft. Remember, it’s always easiest to steer the boat when it’s at less than full power.
■ You’ll find tons of safety tips on ABC of Rafting’s site that cover everything whitewater. Upper body strength is king on the river, and it’s important to make sure you have the muscle for the trip you’re taking. Do your research before you hit the water, and know the stretch you plan to raft. Remember, rafting after dark is a big no-no. Always use the right gear and be prepared for anything!
■ We’ve learned a lot today and yes, there is a test. Review your knowledge with Whitewater Challengers safety quiz and brag to your own friends about your rafting prowess!
Rafting is always more fun with friends. Be sure that you and yours know how to stay safe on the river and enjoy your trip. We’ll see you on the rapids!