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Rafting can be a fun adventure for the entire family. This outdoor activity is refreshing, invigorating… and dangerous.
There are a few steps that you and your family can take to ensure that your rafting experience is a positive one. That way, you can all come home safely, remembering the great times you had together.
5 Best Safety Tips for Family River Rafting
Always choose a rafting provider who is licensed to provide the experiences you want with your family. Ask the outfitter questions about how long they’ve been in business and the training program they use. If you’re unsure about their professionalism, you can ask to see their license, insurance policy, and other documents.
If your outfitter can’t or won’t produce that information, then it is time to find a different provider.
Once you settle on a company, you’ll want to implement these additional family river rafting safety tips.
Always Wear a Personal Floatation Device
There is always a risk of falling overboard during a family river rafting trip. That means everyone should be wearing a life jacket. Make sure you have all of the buckles clipped, and that the device fits snugly around the chest. You should be able to breathe easily and the item should not slip over your head.
Wear Protective Gear While on the River
Everyone in the raft should wear a helmet. You might also consider protection for your elbows and knees based on the conditions of the river and what you expect to encounter during the trip.
Dress Appropriately for Your Family River Rafting Experience
It helps to wear a wetsuit when rafting, even if your trip happens during the summer. A splash jacket, river shoes, and quick-drying items are essentials to consider. Remember to put on some sunscreen, even if the day isn’t hot, and UVA/UVB sunglasses will reduce glare while in the raft.
Know How to Handle the Paddle Correctly.
You should always have one hand at the end of the paddle over the T-grip on the shaft. The other hand should be at the base of the paddle. This grip makes it easier to stay in control while cushioning any blows that might happen while going down the river. Your outfitter will show you specific techniques to use so that you’re following the correct safety protocols.
Work Hard to Stay in the Boat.
A family river rafting trip can turn scary in an instant when someone gets swept overboard. You’ll want to pay attention to any potential rocks that might be in your way as you go down the river. Listen to your guide to know when you’ll need to lean in while placing the paddle grip to the floor of the boat. If your children aren’t strong swimmers, then you’ll want to take that fact into account when evaluating the difficulty of the journey you wish to attempt.
A little extra planning will help your family river rafting trip be a safe, rewarding experience. Implement these tips with your outfitter to ensure that the experience is positive for everyone.