Checklist and Frequently Asked River Rafting Questions
1. What do we wear?
In warmer weather, a swim suit or shorts and T-shirt are best. A baseball cap, visor, or sunglasses are helpful in bright, sunny weather. Old sneakers or shoes that lace-up offer the best foot protection. Flip flops, loose-fitting sandals, “crocs” and bare feet are not permitted. Snug fitting sandals (like Tevas) that attach firmly at the toe and heel are acceptable, but don’t offer the same foot protection against sharp rocks as old sneakers do. Wet suit booties are available in our rental shop. In cooler conditions, a wool sweater or windbreaker is ideal. In cool or cold conditions avoid wearing cotton, either on its own, or under a wet suit or windbreaker. (Wet suits and waterproof paddling gear can be rented at the rafting center.) Cotton, when wet, loses all insulation value and will make you colder, not warmer. A ski-type cap is helpful in colder weather, such as in early April or late October.
2. What can we bring?
In the raft, bring as little as possible. On the Lehigh River, a light lunch. On our other rivers, a candy bar or light snack. If there is medication you might require, keep it with you on the river. Towels, dry clothes, valuables, and other than waterproof cameras should be left locked in your car.
3. How do we get back at the end of the day?
Your vehicle will remain at our rafting center, and our free shuttle buses will take you to and from the river.
4. How deep is the water?
River depths vary. Slow, calmer stretches of water tend to be those that are deeper. Faster, choppy water tends to be shallow, often 4 feet deep or less. Regardless of the depth, however, if you should find yourself overboard (this is rare, indeed) in fast moving water, the proper procedure is to float on your back, feet pointed downstream. Don’t attempt to stand until the water is less than 18 inches deep. When you reach calmer water, swim toward a guide or nearby raft, or swim to shore.
5. Do I have to know how to swim?
Swimming ability is not required. Nevertheless, if you are especially apprehensive in or around water, you may want to consider one of our land-based adventures. Rafting, by its nature, places you on, in or around water most of the day. On all of our trips a PFD is worn at all times. Safety equipment will not fit all shapes and sizes, so please consider this in planning your reservations. Also, please remember that whitewater rafting is an active sport that requires some exertion on your part. The larger the rapids, the better your physical conditioning should be.
6. How big are the rapids?
Rapids are rated from Class I (easiest) to Class V (most challenging). Class VI is considered to be not navigable without unreasonable risk of injury. Our easiest trips feature Class I or II rapids. At the Lehigh River, the Salmon River and the Moose River, it’s not uncommon to see Class III whitewater. At the Hudson and Black Rivers in New York, you’ll usually find Class IV rapids.
7. what do i do if i fall out of the raft?
Your first priority is to get back into the raft as quickly as possible. Grab onto the raft, or its carrying rope. Your raftmates should reach under your armpits and then lean backwards, helping pull you up and ofer the raft tube. You can help by kicking, just as if you were swimming.
8. what do i do if i fall out into the rapids and get separated from my raft?
Whatever you do, DO NOT STAND UP in moving water. The force of the water is powerful, even if only knee-deep. Instead, lie on your back, feet pointed downstrem, and float through the rest of the rapids. Then in the next calm spot, you can swim back to your raft, or to whatever raft is closest.
9. Do I need experience?
No. All of our trips are guided and are appropriate for first timers. Be sure to check minimum age requirements, though.
Originally posted 2012-02-16 17:04:25.