Doing something adventurous or extreme for the first time is usually both exciting and worrisome. No matter the fact you know nothing about the activity, you should be looking forward to it and not dread it until the very moment it begins. You will probably not be going alone either so fun times with your family or friends is guaranteed but only if you relax and enjoy the moment.
One of the things most people want to try is whitewater rafting. Riding and rowing in an inflatable rubber boat down a fast river and wearing helmets and life vests is hardly everyone’s idea of a good time, but it is nowhere near as dangerous or difficult as it sounds. It is something people look forward to and enjoy to the fullest, and then become sad it was over so quickly. Around the world, this fun watersport is popular, highly sought after, and recommended.
If you have never been on a rafting trip and the upcoming adventure is your first taste at something as daring and adventurous, worry not. While it may be a little bit scary at first, you will soon realize that you have nothing to worry about. Best of all, you can prepare for it and make sure you have the best time possible. In order to help you do so we wanted to give you some useful tips for planning your very first rafting trip. Read on to learn everything about it and make sure to check out Echo Canyon River Expeditions to find out even more on the topic.
Before you Go
1. Pick a Location
The general approach to whitewater rafting is very much the same no matter the location. The only difference would be the speed of the water and the amount of rocks in it, but amateur and tourist rafting are generally not held in such dangerous waters. Therefore, it does not really matter where you go in terms of sheer rafting experience. You could have trouble making your mind if there are multiple dream destinations where you live and you have never been to any. Before you decide, make sure to do some research and check out how far away each is, what is in the immediate surrounding of the rafting center, and what the accommodation is like. It is a trip like any other if you deduct the rafting, so you will have some extra time to enjoy yourself and it should be filled out in a smart and productive way.
Packing for a rafting trip is actually easier than most people expect it to be. This activity is usually done between the end of spring and the middle of fall, with slight variations based on the region. It is something you do when the weather is nice so there is no need to pack a lot of clothes. The most crucial thing to bring is waterproof bags because everything will be wet once the rafting session is over and you will want your belongings to remain dry and operational. Rafting centers tend to have packing lists and recommendations and it is smart to stick to them. Your outfit for the day should be comfortable enough. Remember that you will have a life vest on at least, and possibly a wetsuit too. Sunglasses are a neat and useful addition. Some sunscreen, and comfy footwear, and at least one change of clothing, and you will be all set. Other than that, you do not actually need anything special. Just pack like you would for a light and short trip.
During the Trip
3. Ask Questions
When you finally arrive to your destination, you should not hesitate to ask questions about anything that you want to know. It is natural to have questions even after the rafting instructor has explained everything. You are doing something for the first time and you of course want it to go as smoothly and safely as possible. Furthermore, you can ask general questions about rafting, the gear, or the environment you are in. Nature, animals living in it, the statistical data regarding the river, hidden spots worth visiting, these are all things you should absolutely ask your instructor, the guide, or anyone else working there. Tourists usually focus too much on the rapids and the safety of it all and forget that the whole trip could be a giant learning experience.
4. Try Different Boats
Although the original plan was probably to go down the river in a rubber boat large enough for half a dozen people, it would be best if you could do it a couple of times in different boats. Every vessel is an experience for itself. There are dories, oar rafts, paddle boats, and inflatable kayaks to try. Each of them changes your whole experience, from the skill you need in order to successfully complete the session to the speed, comfort, and nerves involved in the experience. You will be free to choose your own adventure so make sure to switch things up a bit and have as much fun as you can.
5. Embrace the Feeling
Here we do not just mean the rafting itself. You will be surrounded by untouched nature and far removed from the busy city life. During the night and early in the morning, you will not hear any familiar sound and it may even get early silent. Such beauty is not present everywhere, and if it were you would not have to travel far away from your home just to experience it. Therefore, while you are thinking about how well the rafting will go, do not forget to watch, listen, smell, and feel. Take a slow walk around the camp and take it all in. We promise you will feel exactly what we mean. There is no one way in which people connect with nature and embrace it all at once, but you will surely know when that happens. Take a step back, pause, breath in and then out, and reflect on all those simple pleasures you usually take for granted.
Before we finish things off, we have to remind you that it is crucial that you follow all the instructions you get and that you never remove your life jacket or your helmet. Keep your hands on the T-grip, which is the end of your paddle, so as not to drop it or hit another rafter with it. Do not panic and listen to what the instructor is saying, and have fun!