Rafting is an exciting way to travel through some the earths
most beautiful places. Rafting through the mists of deep canyons
in the far flung corners of the earth where waterfalls pour off
canyon walls is a once in a lifetime experience for many travelers.
But you can spend many long weekends close to home or on family
vacations in the America’s, enjoying the thrills and companionship
that can only be found on a river trip. Kenneth Grahame said it
best in his classic Wind in Willows: “Believe me, my young
friend, there is NOTHING--absolute nothing--half so much worth doing
as simply messing about in boats.”
America Outdoors’ members provide whitewater rafting trips
across the United States and around the world for all levels of
adventure travel. From world-renowned whitewater rivers that flow
through four climate zones to the many one-day whitewater rafting
trips that are “off the beaten path”, America Outdoors
members provide rafting on most whitewater rivers in the U.S, Canada
and in many foreign countries. Depending on your level of experience,
whitewater rafting outfitters help families, groups and individuals
choose which rafting option is best suited for them.
The length of a whitewater rafting trip varies; some trips may
only last a few hours, while some may take up to two weeks, with
camping and meals provided. There are even trips with rustic riverside
wilderness lodges to sleep in at night with sumptuous meals and
hot showers at night. You’ll be surprised at the quality of
the cuisine found on multi-day trips, where the guides pride themselves
in the skills of dutch oven cooking and grilled cuisine from casseroles,
to salmon and hearty steaks.
Many beginners wonder if whitewater rafting is safe. There are
risks involved in any outdoor recreation activity, not to mention
driving. The safety of whitewater rafting depends on several factors,
including the health of the individual and how well they can tolerate
a swim and assist in their retrieval if they fall out of the raft.
The difficulty of the river, its natural features, and the experience
of the guide are other factors. Many whitewater rafting rivers have
a few bouncy rapids that are great family adventures, while other
rivers offer challenge and thrill.
Rivers are rated from Class I to Class VI. Outfitters generally
do not run Class VI rivers. Family trips and beginners are most
often found on Class I, II, III and an occasional Class IV river.
You should make the decision based on your own comfort level and
how you feel on your own in and around water.
More adventuresome whitewater rafting enthusiasts may choose Class
IV and Class V rivers. River conditions change with the water level
and changes in weather. Your outfitter will help you understand
what to wear for your whitewater rafting experience.
On some rivers with mild whitewater, you may be able to rent a
raft and take the trip on your own, but beware of engaging in higher
levels of whitewater rafting without a professional guide. Always,
always wear a life jacket when involved in whitewater rafting, kayaking