What Not to Bring on a Rafting Trip (Ever)

Jun 3, 2013

What Not to Bring on a Rafting Trip (Ever)

River Guide Codye Reynolds Helps You Leave Your Extra Baggage at Home.  Don’t Bring…

Your cell phone.

Yes, I’m serious. Really, you can’t get service here. No bars, not even on that tallish mountain above the put-in. No, I’m not kidding. Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile are powerless here. And no, you can’t borrow the satellite phone for just a minute. That super-important deal at your office will just have to wait for your input until you get home next Tuesday.

Trust issues.

Trust us. We’ve done this before. We will explain to you how the groover/bathroom works; it’s not a big deal. Amber knows how to cook barbecue chicken over charcoal in a wind storm, don’t stress on it. I’ve done this rapid a few times, don’t think because I’m not as big as fellow guides Steve Kenney or Ned Perry that I can’t throw my weight around and get to the left side of that rock in time. When I tell you to put your nose in the furrow of a giant Yellow Pine (Ponderosa for those of you not in Idaho) know that I’m not messing with you. It really does smell like butterscotch.

Your kid’s handheld game console.

I know. It’s a fail-safe, just in case. You might think it cruel to deprive him cold-turkey from ninjas, zombies, and dragons. What if he revolts and runs off into the forest? But rest assured we have ways of making your kid forget the all-important A-X-side-button-B-B-A console move. The solution is called paddle boat slip-and-slide, beach volleyball, sand horseshoes, and all-terrain bocce ball. There’s also my personal favorite, ammo-can and throw rope tug-of-war.

Sand horseshoes

Your crippling fear of wild animals, high water, and giant heights.

This vacation could be the perfect opportunity to challenge those misconceptions, phobias, and reservations. I know a few boatmen who’ve got some tall tales to bring you comfort. John Hillman will tell you a great Middle Fork bear-and-shotgun story. Bronco can enthrall you with a much-higher-than-this-trip Salmon River adventure. Ashley can tell you about that time she and I faced certain doom on a harrowing side-hike upstream of Duebendorf Rapid. We’ve got your back, so don’t fret about that cracking branch outside your tent later or that steep-but-worth-it hike before dinner. We are looking out for you.

$2 flip flops

Cheap sandals are…cheap. You may think it won’t matter if they break or fall apart, it’s only a week and you don’t wear flip flops that much at home, anyway. But with wind, water, and sand, the environment can be harsh on gear and clothing. If you bring dollar store footwear, it will likely be uncomfortable and fall apart within the first two days. Then you’ll throw them away and have no camp/casual footwear for the rest of the trip. As stewards of the environment, we guides are saddened by excess waste and unsustainable practices. Please bring quality comfort wear that won’t be garbage by day two.

 

Related Articles:

5 Things Everyone Should Bring on a Rafting Trip

6 Must-haves for your Adventure Vacation

Ask a River God: Thougts on Packing

 

Codye Reynolds
Codye is a river guide of 13 years and freelance writer. She revels in starry skies, wild rivers, water ouzel watching, and working in canyon country. She hails from Durango, Colorado, rows Idaho rivers in the summer, and spends the winter months in Madison, Wisconsin. Yes, her old car has a lot of miles on its speedometer.