Before You Go
Chilko, Chilcotin & Fraser Rivers Rafting Adventure
We pride ourselves in running a relaxed and flexible schedule. Every trip is different depending upon the group, other trips on the water, and sometimes the weather. Please refer to your confirmation letter for the exact dates of your trip.
|MEETING PLACE:||Vancouver’s Airport South regional airfield (terminal TBD)|
|MEETING TIME:||For our flight to Williams Lake (time TBD)|
|RETURN TIME:||Approximately 3-4 PM to Airport South|
|RIVER RATING:||Class IV|
|PUT-IN:||Chilko River Headwaters|
|TRIP LENGTH:||8 days / 7 nights|
|BOAT OPTIONS:||Oar Raft with Paddle Assist, Inflatable Kayak|
Meet at Airport South, Vancouver’s regional airfield, for the group flight to Williams Lake in the morning. The details of our flight will be confirmed closer to the date. See the Travel Arrangements section below for more detailed information.
Transfer to Chilko Lake, and once at Bear Camp, settle into our luxury safari-style platform tents and enjoy a gourmet welcome dinner.
Today will be spent at Bear Camp. You can choose to mountain bike, inflatable kayak on the friendly waters of the upper Chilko River, cast a line for trout, sea kayak, SUP, or simply hang out and relax by the lake.
Days 3 – 7
Travel downriver. Refer to the trip page for a more detailed sample itinerary.
The Last Day of Your Trip
After lunch on Day 8, we’ll arrive at our take-out point by the historic Gang Ranch. Here, we’ll board our vehicle for the shuttle to Williams Lake Airport to meet our plane for the spectacular flight over the Coast Mountains and back to Vancouver.
We typically arrive back at Airport South by 4 PM. This should allow time to make a flight departing Vancouver after 7 PM, but we highly recommend you overnight in Vancouver and depart the next day.
Included in Your Trip Cost
- Skilled, professional guide service provided by our affiliate operator
- Roundtrip air & ground transport package: Vancouver to Chilko Lake and Williams Lake to Vancouver
- Catered camping: All meals from dinner on day 1 through lunch on day 8
- Quality beer, wine, and some liqueurs in camp
- One large expedition-sized dry bag to hold your gear for the river trip
- One small waterproof dry bag for camera and other small items you’ll want during the day
- Camp tent based on double or single occupancy
- Sleep kit—consisting of a sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and pillow
- Personal flotation device (PFD), which must be worn at all times on the river in compliance with safety regulations
- Camp chairs
- Eating utensils, cups, and plates
- High-quality inflatable rafts and related equipment
- Wetsuit and spray jacket
- All park fees and necessary permits
- All activities and equipment as outlined in the itinerary
- 27-oz Klean Kanteen water bottle
Not Included in Your Trip Cost
- Transportation to and from Vancouver
- Optional floatplane flight directly to Chilko Lake (contact OARS for details)
- Pre- and post-trip accommodations and meals
- Excess baggage charges (on the flights)
- Single supplement fee (for the two nights at Bear Camp)
- Insurance of any kind, including a travel protection plan or mandatory emergency medical & evacuation coverage
- Fishing gear and license
- Items of a personal nature (see suggested packing list below)
☐ Purchase Travel Protection: In order to take part in this trip, each participant must have a minimum of Emergency Medical Evacuation coverage in place for the dates of the trip. This can be purchased as stand-alone coverage, independent of a comprehensive travel protection plan. You can learn more about the plan we highly recommend and get a quote for this type of policy by entering a Trip Cost amount of $0.
Please note: By entering a Trip Cost amount of $0, the plan will not include Trip Cancellation coverage, and you may not be eligible for Emergency Medical Expense benefits relating to any pre-existing conditions.
☐ Trip Forms: Each participant will need to complete the required trip forms within two weeks of making a booking. Refer to your confirmation email for the link to the online forms. If you prefer to fill out paper forms, please let us know right away. If you are reserving within 90 days of departure, your forms must be completed immediately to ensure we can properly plan for your trip.
☐ Reserve flights, shuttles, and lodging: Verify with your adventure consultant that your trip has met minimum numbers prior to booking flights and/or reserving overnight lodging for the night before and after your trip, if applicable. It is important to make reservations early as rooms may be limited during peak travel periods.
☐ Whitewater Orientation: To increase your safety, we expect everyone to watch our Whitewater Orientation video before joining us.
☐ Physical Requirements: Your outdoor adventure will be an active participatory trip. Please inform us of any physical limitations you may have as soon as possible. If you exceed 260 pounds, please give us a call. Make sure you are exercising frequently in the months leading up to your trip and can meet our Essential Eligibility Criteria.
☐ Payments: Final payment is due in our office 90 days prior to your trip (refer to your invoice for final payment date). Please let us know if you would like us to automatically charge your credit card on file when final payment is due.
River Runners’ Responsibility Code
1. Read the pre-trip literature and arrive at the meeting place on time.
2. Understand the risks: your safety is ultimately your responsibility.
3. Treat your fellow guests and guides with respect and courtesy; harassment of any kind will not be tolerated.
4. Wear clothing and personal protective equipment suitable for the current conditions.
5. Listen to and follow the guides’ instructions.
6. Abide by the managing agency’s rules.
7. No drugs or alcohol prior to, or during, your trip.; alcohol is allowed in moderation in camp on overnight trips.
8. Minimize your impact on the environment.
9. Wear the issued and properly–fitted Personal Flotation Device (PFD) at all times when in the boats or swimming. Wear a helmet when required.
10. Your children are your responsibility!
Essential Travel Documents
If you don’t have a passport, apply for one immediately because the process can be lengthy. If you do have a passport, find it and check the expiration date to see that it is valid for at least 6 months from your planned entry into Canada. US passport cards are NOT accepted as a valid form of identification for Canadian domestic flights, so please travel with actual passport. Make a photocopy of the photo page of your passport and carry it separately from your passport. It is also a good idea to leave a copy with your emergency contact at home.
We request that you send us a copy to keep on file for emergencies during your trip. If your passport is lost or stolen, a photocopy will help the local consulate speed up authorization for replacement. Also, check your passport for blank pages. If you do not have at least two blank pages in your passport, we recommend that you apply to have extra pages added.
Do not pack your passport in your checked luggage. If you are carrying a customs form, please keep it in a safe place at all times (we do not recommend carrying it in the passport because you often must submit the passport at hotels, where reception clerks can easily lose the form.) While on the river, we recommend you pack your passport in a zip-lock bag that you can store in the bottom of your waterproof dry bag.
Visas are not required for U.S. citizens to enter Canada. For non-U.S. citizens, please check with the consulate.
GETTING TO VANCOUVER, CANADA
Vancouver International Airport is served by numerous air carriers and unless you have pre-trip plans elsewhere in Canada, this will be your point of arrival in Canada.
Let us know if you’d like assistance with arranging your international flight logistics. Our partners at Exito Travel specialize in international destinations and we’d be happy to obtain a quote from them on your behalf.
Please do not purchase airfare until your departure has been confirmed by the minimum number of required guests.
Vancouver is 140 miles from Seattle and the drive takes approximately 3 hours. Keep in mind you will have to cross the border and there may be traffic delays.
MEETING PLACE & TIME
We highly recommend that you arrive in Vancouver the day before your trip begins.
If you plan to arrive at Vancouver International Airport on the day of your trip, it is essential you arrive a minimum of three hours before our charter flight. You need to allow enough time for possible flight delays, time to clear customs, and time to transfer from the Vancouver International Airport to Airport South.
Any taxi can take you to Airport South from the main airport (a 10-15 minute drive) or from your hotel. For those driving, there is long-term parking available for a daily charge.
Getting to Chilko Lake: Flight Details
The details of the one-hour commercial flight from Airport South to Williams Lake will be confirmed closer to the trip date. It’s likely the departure time will be as early as 8 AM and no later than Noon and will depart from Airport South, Vancouver’s regional airfield. Check-in for commercial flights begins one hour before departure
You will not be met by an OARS representative in Vancouver; instead, you’ll be met upon arrival at Williams Lake by Bear Camp staff for a 4-hour scenic drive across the Chilcotin Plateau to Chilko Lake (water, snacks, and stops provided along the route).
If you are going to be late for our flight, please call us as soon as possible (800-346-6277) to see if we can hold the plane. This may not be possible and participants missing our flight will be responsible for their own airfare and expenses to Chilko Lake.
The planes used for these regional flights are small. If you’re not comfortable flying in small planes, please let us know so we can advise you of your options.
On the final day of your adventure, we typically arrive back at Airport South, Vancouver’s regional airfield, by 4:00 PM. This should allow time to make a flight departing Vancouver after 7:00 PM, but we recommend you overnight in Vancouver and depart the next day.
PRE- & POST-TRIP ACCOMMODATIONS
If you plan to arrive early or stay late, we recommend that you make reservations well in advance in order to guarantee lodging (pre- and post-trip lodging is not included in the trip cost).
Recommended (near the airport):
- Sandman Signature Vancouver Airport (800) 726-3626
- Fairmont Vancouver Airport (866) 540-4441
- Radisson Airport Hotel (800) 967-9033
Chilko Lake is located in the same international time zone as the U.S. West Coast, Pacific Standard Time.
The Canadian monetary unit is the Canadian dollar (CDN). Like U.S. currency, coins are the penny, nickel, quarter, and the dollar or “Loonie” piece. More recently, a two-dollar coin has come into circulation to replace two-dollar bills. Avoid carrying large sums of cash at any time during your holiday. Credit cards are widely accepted.
American dollars are accepted in most establishments. If converting American to Canadian dollars, you’ll get the most favorable rates at banks. Most banks are open from 9 AM to 4 PM Monday to Friday, though some branches stay open later and on Saturday mornings. ATMs are everywhere.
Canada’s Goods & Services Tax (GST)
Canada has a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 5% and the province of British Columbia has a 7% Provincial Sales Tax (PST), as well as a liquor tax and hotel tax. For non-residents of Canada, a portion of the GST taxes (including those paid for your river trip) can be recuperated. Be sure to keep receipts and ask customs officials on your departure from the country for the necessary forms and information.
Health & Medical Info
Although we do not require any immunizations to participate in this trip, it is important that you be up-to-date on several standard immunizations and that you check with your physician prior to departure. The CDC is a good resource for recommendations pertaining to international travel immunizations.
If you require the use of a CPAP machine and intend to bring one with you, be sure to alert your OARS Adventure Consultant prior to your trip to let us know the dimensions of the machine, description of battery(s), and any protective case(s). Travel-sized CPAPs are readily available and often come with a battery kit. You must assess the power needs of your CPAP and bring the battery(s) needed to operate it for each night of your travels. We’re typically able to accommodate the transportation of your machine and accessories on the trip; however, please understand that despite efforts to protect your equipment we can’t guarantee your machine and accessories won’t suffer water or impact damage and therefore we recommend additional protective case(s) for your machine & accessories.
We need to know as soon as possible about any dietary restrictions we should consider in planning your trip. If you have food allergies or restrictions, we will do our best to accommodate your needs.
Beyond our standard menu, we can provide options for vegetarian, vegan, and many allergy-restricted diets without applying a fee. However, we cannot always provide the same diversity or sophistication for restricted diets as we do for our regular menu. Similarly, certain allergen-free snack foods are difficult or impossible to source in our locations, so feel free to bring your own favorite snacks to supplement our provisions. Please let your Adventure Consultant know if you intend to do so.
We cannot guarantee that cross-contamination from allergens will not occur during meal prep, and reserve the right to refuse service to anyone as it relates to safety, including the potential for a medical emergency caused by a severe food allergy. Also, due to the constraints of cooking for a large group in a wilderness setting, the availability of ingredients or specialty items in remote locations, and limited packing space, we are unable to cater to dietary preferences (likes or dislikes).
We provide a selection of beer, wine, and some liqueurs in the evening. For your safety and the safety of others, alcoholic beverages are limited to camp.
We also supply a selection of appropriate non-alcoholic beverages with meals and plenty of fresh drinking water throughout the day. Our drinking water is carried with us from Bear Camp or comes from the river and is filtered for consumption (no iodine is used in the purification process). We store the purified water in large containers that are accessible in camp, at lunchtime, and before hikes for filling personal water bottles.
Bathing is allowed in the rivers here and many people enjoy a swim. We recommend using a liquid, eco-friendly soap such as Campsuds or Dr. Bronner’s which can be purchased in most stores that have a camping section and can also be used to wash clothes (although drying clothes can be a challenge). Bathing wipes (pre-moistened cleansing towels, preferably biodegradable) are also good alternatives to submersion in the river and are especially convenient during cooler weather trips.
Please bring a small bag or carrying case, preferably waterproof, to hold your camera and other items you might want during each day. To further protect your camera you may wish to place it in a zip-loc plastic bag, or a special waterproof camera case. We also recommend padding it with a towel or clothing. Sand can be a problem – so clean your camera every night with tissue, a brush, and lens paper. We also strongly recommend you take out a rider on your homeowner’s policy to cover your camera – especially if it’s fine equipment. If you are planning on bringing a digital camera make sure to bring additional memory cards, batteries, and any other extras you will need.
Electronics & Technology
The use of electronic devices, especially music players and flying drones, on your trip may represent an intrusion into the wilderness experience of your fellow guests. We ask that you please be mindful of the impacts on others and respect the wilderness nature of the trip. Please bring headphones if you intend to listen to music during the trip and leave your drone at home.
Many of our guests travel with their smartphone although cell service may be limited once you leave Vancouver. On a trip like this, there is always the risk of water damage to smartphones and other electronic devices, even when they are stowed in a dry case. If you intend to take your phone or other electronic device with you on the water, consider investing in a small, waterproof case just for your phone.
We are not able to provide a power source for powering or recharging devices. To keep cameras, phones, GPS, a CPAP and other devices working you may need spare batteries or portable power. Options include compact portable solar panels that can recharge devices directly, portable power banks that store power, or a combo unit that can be charged before the trip and recharged with a built-in solar panel. Solar panels must be designed to withstand outdoor elements and fit in your dry bag (roll-up or no larger than 12” x 12”). Keep in mind direct sunlight in a river canyon may be limited and even non-existent at camp (mornings and evenings).
Once you are on the river there is limited communication with the “outside world.” Cell phone service is not available for most of the trip. Our guides carry a satellite communication device for emergency use. If you have someone that needs to contact you about an emergency at home, they should call our office (800-346-6277). If possible, we will relay the message to you. Keep in mind it could be several days or longer before the message actually reaches you. For your family at home, you should define for them what you consider an emergency and provide them with instructions to call our office in the event one occurs during your vacation.
Wildfires & Smoke
Fire activity can impact the air quality on our trips, and occasionally wildfires may be present in the immediate vicinity of where we’re traveling. In general, we will not cancel a trip on account of smoky conditions, except in cases of clear danger to life or property.
Learn more about rafting during wildfire season with OARS, including info about some of our protocols and travel protection recommendations.
Each day on the river varies, but on average, you’ll spend 4-6 hours a day on the boats. The rest of the time will be spent exploring, relaxing in camp, or eating. While we generally plan a few guided hikes on each trip, there is ample opportunity for the curious to explore the area at length. Please let your trip leader know if you are an avid hiker and remember to bring a water bottle and good shoes. All hikes are optional, and you can choose to lie on the beach, sit by the river and take in a few tanning rays or read a book instead.
The Chilko River watershed is a world-class fishing destination. For fly fishermen, there are plenty of rainbow trout and dolly varden. It has the third largest sockeye salmon run in the province (over 2 million return annually) and is a spawning ground for spring and coho salmon, as well as steelhead. Opportunities to fish are limited to camp and our one layover day at Big Creek.
If you plan to fish you must have a fishing license, which can be purchased online or in Vancouver if you have time. U.S. citizens fall under the Non-Resident Alien category. A Basic License is good for Chilko Lake and everything downstream of the upper 17 miles of the Chilko River. Fishing the classified waters section of the Chilko River (17-mile section from the headwaters; fly fish only) requires a “Class II” license (plus the basic license if fishing further downstream).
You will need to bring your own gear. We suggest you bring a rod with a case and the smallest of tackle boxes with the appropriate lures or flies. Many sections of the Chilko are restricted to fly fishing only (spin rods aren’t permitted).
We recommend checking for an up-to-date weather forecast for Chilko Lake, BC one week before your trip.
The weather is one of the few details we can’t control. During late June through early August, the Chilko-Chilcotin region tends to be dry in climate and warmer than the coast. In mid-summer, daytime highs in the interior can reach the high 80’s° F, while temperatures can drop significantly overnight. Rain is always a possibility in British Columbia. Be sure to follow our recommended equipment list, as our experience suggests a multi-layering approach with a range of temperatures and conditions in mind.
Average Air Temperatures & Rainfall at Chilko Lake
|Air (Day)°F||Air (Night)°F||Rainfall|
For more helpful information about what to wear and how to pack for a river expedition or to view our packing video, please visit our packing essentials page.
We want you to be prepared and comfortable for your trip. Below you’ll find some general tips for how to dress and what to pack and a comprehensive packing checklist. The need for warm weather or cold weather items should be based on a reliable weather forecast leading up to your trip.
Clothing for physical activity should be quick-drying and made of synthetics or merino wool. Warmth and comfort are the main objectives of this outline. Weather conditions can vary considerably. It’s important to dress in layers so that you can maintain a comfortable body temperature no matter what Mother Nature may have in store. The inner base layer should move perspiration outside, where it can evaporate. The intermediate layer should insulate while the outside layer should act as a barrier to wind and rain.
During the day—Start with a swimsuit and/or swim trunks and a synthetic or Merino wool shirt as a base layer. Additional layers for sun protection or insulation can be added and subtracted depending on the weather, temperature, and how wet you’re getting in the rapids.
In camp—When the weather is warm, lightweight pants/skirts or shorts and shirts make great camp wear. Anytime the forecast calls for cool evenings and cold nights, a dry set of long underwear is the perfect base layer under long pants and a fleece sweater.
During the day—The best choice on the river is an amphibious shoe that drains water, protects your toes, and won’t come off in swirling currents. A retired pair of athletic shoes can work well. Sport sandals with a heel strap are a good option, especially on rivers with sandy beaches. Neoprene, wool, or fleece socks are recommended to help keep your feet warm while rafting. Find professional-grade options made by Chaco®, the official footwear sponsor of OARS guides.
Hiking—Hikes along the river are short and can likely be done wearing your river shoes. If you prefer better support and comfort, lightweight hikers or running shoes should be sufficient for any hikes.
In camp—We recommend wearing shoes in camp due to the risk of kicking a rock buried in the sand or stepping on a sharp stick. The athletic shoes or light hikers you bring for hiking can double as your camp shoes. It’s nice to put on dry socks and shoes after a day on the water. Flip-flops or slip-on sandals are OK for wearing in camp only.
If you buy new shoes or sandals for the trip, make sure you break them in first!
During the day—Wide-brimmed hats are a good choice for sun protection. Ball caps are useful since they fit under helmets, which are required attire when paddling our whitewater rivers.
In camp—When the weather is cool or cold, you’ll want a beanie-style hat to wear in camp. It is the perfect remedy for bed-head as you rise from your sleeping bag to secure your morning cup of coffee or tea, or for retaining warmth in the evening hours after the sun sets.
To Avoid Being Cold
Synthetic or Merino wool long underwear is a must-have on river trips. It can be worn under shorts, rain gear, T-shirts, etc., then stripped off when the chill of the morning has worn off. It keeps you warm even if it’s wet (which can happen easily), dries quickly, and it’s compact enough to be stuffed into your small waterproof bag or daypack after you take it off. It can be layered under your waterproof rain jacket and pants. In cooler weather, a rain jacket and pants work better than a wetsuit because the jacket and pants can be put on when it’s cold or when you’re going through whitewater, then easily taken off when the sun comes out and it’s hot. Be aware that cotton items, once wet, do not insulate; only synthetic and wool materials will keep you warm during cool, wet weather. Something warm for your top & bottom: You need to be prepared for inclement weather. Bring a good fleece or wool top and bottom, along with a warm hat and gloves. You’ll want to double up on your base layers so that you’ll have a set to wear in the boat and a set for camp.
Rain gear protects you from rain, wind, and the splash of the rapids. It is one of the essential items that all passengers should have no matter what time of year they are traveling. Look for a jacket and pants that are 100% waterproof, not just water resistant. A hooded jacket is recommended as well as good secure closures around your head, neck, wrists, and ankles. Do not bring a rain poncho as it cannot be worn under your PFD.
Protecting yourself from the sun should be taken very seriously! In many cases, a long-sleeve shirt is the best method for preventing sunburn on your upper body. Lightweight long pants may also be appropriate to protect your legs. A hat, sunscreen, lip balm, and sunglasses are also a must.
Bugs & Mosquitoes
Bugs and mosquitoes vary depending on location and time of year. It’s a good idea to come prepared with insect repellent. Long-sleeved shirts and pants may be desirable at times.
Even if you aren’t anticipating your menstrual period, come prepared for it. We recommend you bring some sandwich-size Ziploc™ bags. These bags can store products during the day while you are on the river. Used pads or tampons can be disposed of in the trash at lunch or at camp. We provide some menstrual products on most trips for emergencies.
Equipment and Personal Items
☐ At least one 1-liter water bottle: durable and reusable
☐ Locking carabiner (for clipping a water bottle or personal dry bag into a raft or inflatable kayak)
☐ Daypack for short hikes (to carry a water bottle, camera, rain gear, and more)
☐ Headlamp or flashlight (consider bringing extra batteries)
☐ Polarized sunglasses with securing strap (consider bringing a spare)
☐ Small, quick-drying towel
☐ Toiletries including biodegradable soap (such as Campsuds or Dr. Bronner’s)
☐ Sunscreen and lip protection: waterproof & SPF 30 or higher (aerosol sprays not recommended)
☐ Moisturizing lotion or cream
☐ Insect repellent
☐ Personal first-aid kit (medications, Band-Aids, antibiotic ointment, ibuprofen, moleskin, eye drops, etc.)
☐ Spare pair of glasses and/or contacts (wind and blowing sand can cause problems for contact wearers)
☐ Cash for gratuities and incidentals
☐ River shoes or sandals with a heel strap (such as those made by Chaco®). “Aqua socks” strongly discouraged
☐ Athletic shoes or lightweight hiking boots: 1 pair, comfortable and with good tread
☐ Socks: 2-3 pair of neoprene, wool, or fleece socks for the river
☐ Socks: 2-3 pair lightweight for hiking
☐ Long-sleeved shirt: 2-3 lightweight and light color for sun protection (UPF-rated shirts are great)
☐ Long pants: 1-2 pair lightweight and quick-drying
☐ Shade hat, ball cap, or visor with securing strap and a spare
☐ Rain jacket & pants: waterproof (not water resistant) A hooded jacket with secure closures is recommended
☐ Swimwear: tankinis and board shorts are a great option
☐ Shorts: 2 pair
☐ T-shirts/tops: 2-3
☐ Synthetic or merino wool long underwear: 1 set top & bottom (light-, mid-, or expedition-weight depending on the time of year, weather, location)
☐ Down or synthetic insulated jacket or fleece jacket
☐ Warm hat and gloves
☐ Camera and accessories
☐ Bathing wipes: pre-moistened disposable towels
☐ Binoculars: small
☐ Paddling gloves
☐ Fishing rod with case and tackle
☐ Sarong: useful for sun protection, evaporative cooling, changing clothes, etc.
☐ Small bags: stuff sacks, zip locks, or similar for organizing items in your dry bag
☐ Sketchbook, notebook and pen, paperback book
☐ Stand-up urination device
Packing Your Gear
Our flights to/from Williams Lake will be on small regional aircraft, and there is a checked bag weight restriction of 50 lbs per person with a maximum linear dimension of 62 inches calculated by adding together the bag’s height, width, and length, including the wheels and handles. You can bring one stowable carry-on bag weighing less than 22 lbs. Soft-sided bags are more convenient for loading aircraft and vans.
While we encourage you to travel light, you’ll also want to be sure you pack all the essentials and are prepared for both land and water environments. The personal equipment list addresses what you will need to wear in conjunction with our gear. Weight restrictions come into play with our flights, so please follow our recommendations closely.
We recommend you take on the river only what’s absolutely necessary. Keeping gear to a minimum ensures it will fit into the waterproof bags we supply and reduces unnecessary packing and unpacking in camp.
If you have extra luggage, you may be able to store it at the hotel where you are staying prior to the river trip if you are planning to return there. You can also leave items at Bear Camp and we will return your luggage to you at take-out (on day 8) before our flight back to Vancouver.
Leave your valuables at home. For personal items like wallets, purses, and cell phones, we recommend putting them in a zip-lock bag at the bottom of your waterproof bag with your clothing.
- Find all the gear you need for your trip online in the OARStore and 15% of your purchase helps provide under-resourced youth with outdoor adventure experiences.
- Shop for the latest in top-quality clothing, footwear & outdoor gear at REI.
- Recommended Reading: Discover the Pacific Northwest: Best British Columbia Books
Tipping is appreciated by our staff. If you are wondering how much to tip, you may consider that we operate in a service industry with a host of behind-the-scenes contributors in addition to the guides on your trip. In general, we suggest a gratuity based on 10 – 15% of the trip cost. It is customary on OARS trips for gratuities to be given to the Trip Leader, in the form of cash or a personal check, who will then distribute appropriately amongst all the guides and support staff.
In reviewing your statement, you’ll note a $1 per person per day donation to the Fraser Basin Council, a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to ensuring that the Fraser River Basin in British Columbia – a mighty salmon-producing watershed almost the size of California – continues to support the healthy ecosystems upon which sustainable communities depend. One hundred percent of these funds go directly to fostering collaborative solutions to improving water quality, raising awareness on the importance of a healthy Fraser Basin, and inspiring youth to become actively engaged in shaping a sustainable future. Please notify our office if you would prefer to delete the donation from your balance.
Reservations and Deposits
A $1000/person non-refundable deposit is required at the time of reservation. Deposits may be made by check, money order, or Visa/Mastercard (American Express and Discover incur a 3% processing fee). Prices are in US Dollars, and all payments must be made in US Dollars. Payment of the deposit establishes your acceptance of our complete Terms and Conditions. Individual departures and trip capacity are strictly limited by the managing agency.
Canceling your trip after your deposit is processed will incur cancellation fees because OARS has absorbed costs on your behalf and will turn others away who would like to book the spaces we’re holding for you. Final payment is due 90 days before departure. Accounts on which final payment has not been received 80 days before the departure date will be canceled without exception.
Cancellations and Refunds
Your deposit is fully refundable, less a 3% processing fee, for 7 days after you book when you submit a deposit 7 days or more before the final payment due date.
If you must cancel your reservation after the rescission period described above, your cancellation fee will be determined according to the schedule below. We regret we cannot make exceptions to the cancellation policy for any reason, including foul weather, poor air quality, wildfire activity, acts of terrorism, civil unrest, or personal emergencies. There is no refund for arriving late or leaving a trip early. For these reasons, we strongly urge you to consider purchasing a travel protection plan.
|DATE OF CANCELLATION||CANCELLATION FEE|
|90 or more days before your trip||Full deposit|
|89 to 0 days before your trip||100% of the trip price/person|
Requests to transfer a date will be treated as a cancellation, per the terms above.
OARS International and the outfitter R.O.A.M. Adventures, Inc. reserve the right to cancel any trip due to insufficient registration or other factors that make the trip impractical to operate. Do not make nonrefundable travel arrangements unless you have spoken to your Adventure Consultant regarding the status of your trip.
If a trip must be canceled or postponed due to force majeure (factors outside the control of OARS), OARS will provide full credit for payments made toward future travel, or a refund less a 5% service fee plus any nonrefundable payments made on your behalf to 3rd-party suppliers. OARS will make good faith efforts to recover deposits made on your behalf to 3rd-party suppliers, however, we can’t guarantee recovery of any or all of the advance payments made. OARS is not responsible for expenses incurred by participants in preparation for a canceled trip.
Under most circumstances, if you are of an adventurous spirit and in reasonably good health, you should have no problem enjoying an OARS International trip. People with medical conditions, including pregnancy, should have a physician’s approval before taking an adventure travel trip.
Because there are costs that you will incur if you cancel the spaces on this trip that we’re now holding for you, or in the event you need to be evacuated during the trip due to an unforeseen illness or injury, we strongly encourage our guests to purchase an optional travel protection plan. A travel protection plan may help reimburse the cost of your pre-paid, non-refundable payments in the event you are prevented from taking your trip for a covered reason. Trip participants must understand that in the event of an illness or injury on a wilderness trip, evacuation can be prolonged, difficult, and expensive. Learn more about the plan we recommend.
Please note: To be eligible for coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, you must purchase the plan within 21 days of your initial trip payment and you must be medically fit to travel at the time you pay for the plan.
In order to take part in this trip, each participant must have a minimum of Emergency Medical Evacuation coverage in place for the dates of the trip. This can be purchased as stand-alone coverage, independent of a comprehensive travel protection plan. You can get a quote for this type of policy by entering a Trip Cost amount of $0 when getting a quote.
Please note: By entering a Trip Cost amount of $0, the plan will not include Trip Cancellation coverage and you may not be eligible for Emergency Medical Expense benefits relating to any pre-existing conditions.
Liability Release / Assumption of Risk
Everyone is required to sign a standard liability release/assumption of risk form before the trip, confirming awareness that there are inherent risks associated with the trip. Due to the nature of the activities, a condition of your participation is that you will sign this form and return it to our office before the trip begins. Anyone who refuses to sign the form will not be allowed to participate, and consistent with OARS International’s cancellation policy, there will be no refund of the trip fees at that time.
Responsibility – An Important Notice
O.A.R.S. International, Inc., ROAM Adventures, Inc., and cooperating agencies act only in the capacity of agent for the participants in all matters relating to transportation and/or all other related travel services and assume no responsibility however caused for injury, loss or damage to person or property in connection with any service, including but not limited to that resulting directly or indirectly from acts of God, detention, annoyance, delays and expenses arising from quarantine, pandemics, strikes, theft, pilferage, force majeure, failure of any means of conveyance to arrive or depart as scheduled, civil disturbances, government restrictions or regulations, and discrepancies or change in transit over which it has no control. Reasonable changes in the itinerary may be made where deemed advisable for the comfort and well-being of the participants, including cancellation due to water fluctuation, insufficient bookings (this trip requires a minimum of 4 guests), and other factors. There is risk in whitewater rafting, particularly during high-water conditions. Rafts, dories, and kayaks do capsize. You could be swept overboard. Your guide will make every attempt to assist, but you must be strong and agile enough to “self-help” and “float-it-out” without further endangering yourself or others. We reserve the right not to accept passengers weighing more than 260 pounds or with a waist/chest size exceeding 56 inches. We may decide, at any time, to exclude any person or group for any reason we feel is related to the safety of our trips. We are experienced in accommodating people with various disabilities. Please give us an opportunity to make you feel welcome. We need to discuss any special requirements ahead of time.
OARS trips occur in areas where unpredictable environmental conditions are to be expected. To moderate dangerous situations for our guests and guides, all travelers must obey the rules and regulations as determined by the managing agencies and the Trip Leader and demonstrate reasonable consideration for other guests and OARS employees. We reserve the right to remove any guest from a trip if, in our opinion, that guest’s actions or behaviors pose a threat to the safety of her/himself or others, or if those actions or behaviors compromise the enjoyment of the trip for others. Should a guest be asked to leave a trip, there will be no refund for the unused portion, nor will OARS be responsible for additional expenses incurred by the guest for accommodations, return transport, change fees, etc. Prices subject to change without notice. Upon advancement of deposit the depositor agrees to be bound by the above recited terms and conditions. OARS is an equal opportunity provider.
R.O.A.M. Adventures, Inc.
R.O.A.M. Adventures, Inc., a travel partner of OARS International, is the operator of this trip. A representative will escort you throughout the program. These staff members are the very best and will strive to ensure your complete satisfaction.