Rafting with kids: Your family CAN raft with you this summer. Here’s how.by Ryan Fliss on April 3rd, 2017
Rafting was your first love. Your family was your second. But you don’t have to give up one for the other. Take your family rafting this season with just a few changes to your routine.
The rush of water and adrenaline, the time on the river, the summer heat… it’s impossible to beat a great season of rafting.
But if you have a family, it’s not the same thrill as it used to be. You might feel guilty if you spend too much time away from them doing your own thing, but if you take them with you may be afraid they’ll get hurt. Here are a couple tips to have you cake and eat it too; to get your family out on the river this season — and actually have a carefree good time.
Safety and communication will put your mind at ease
Companies who champion safety (such as yours truly) are the ones you want to be talking to. Every rafting company talks about safety. It’s a requirement. Some talk about safety only so much as they’re required to, while others are as passionate about a safe experience as they are about a wild one.
If you’re going to take your family out on the river, the only way you can have a good time is if you truly trust your guides. And trust starts with communication. Does the rafting company champion safety as a primary benefit of rafting with them? Or is it buried on their website behind the jeep rentals?
When you find a company that checks out, get on the phone or talk in person. Again, trust comes from communication. Talk to the company you’re going to raft with, learn how they would handle children of different ages, and learn what their education process is like to make sure the kids feel safe as well.
Recognize you’re not going to rip Class V
In your past, the thought of rafting a Class V rapid would have set your heart thumping. Today, the thought of rafting a Class V with your kids will likely give you a heart attack. And for good reason: your kids are probably not suited for a Class V. Not yet.
Safety and peace of mind also require you to lower your threshold slightly. You’ll still have a great time with your family on a Class II or III, especially with the knowledge you’re building the future generation of rafters! You’ll find that even a lower-class rapid can be just as fun when you’re sharing it with your family.
The bottom line
At the end of the day, you want to feel a rush, but a rush of excitement rather than one of fear. You can ensure you’re going to have the right kind of rush beforehand, and it all starts with communication. Talk to your kids so they know what to expect. Talk to yourself so you know it’s OK that you’re not going to hit a Class V. Talk to us so you can feel assured that we know how to work with kids of different ages and we know which rapids are best for yours.
You’ll be glad you did, and just those few conversations will set up summer after summer of incredible rafting experiences with your whole squad.