Thursday, May 28, 2009

What to bring on your Whitewater Rafting trip


Whitewater rafting is a hugely popular sport, and it should come as no surprise to anyone who has felt the addiction that the rapids holds that there are more people discovering the thrill of whitewater every year. There are many companies that provide excursions down rivers across the world, and the United States and Canada are no exception.

The number of river rafting outfitters out there means that rafters have a lot of option when it comes to what they would like to do for their trip. A casual float down Class III rapids or a wild contest with Class Vs are available in almost every state and province. Every outfitter offers at least a five hour trip, with many offering anywhere up to week-long excursions to really explore the rivers across this continent. No matter how long a trip you are planning for, there are some essential items that you need to bring along in order to have the best experience possible.

Protection from the sun
Whether you are embarking on a trip that can be measured in hours or in days, the most important equipment to bring along are items that can protect you from the sun’s rays. Remember, you will be out on open water, and even though you may not feel the heat, there is little protection out there from the sun.

"Most of your efforts go into protecting yourself from the sun," states Michael, a guide with Holiday Expeditions, which runs rafting trips in Idaho on the Colorado, Green, Yampa, and San Juan Rivers and the Snake and Salmon Rivers . To that extent, he always tells rafters to make sure to bring along good sunscreen, a water bottle, and sunglasses.

Virtually every company we talked to agreed that the battle with the sun was the most crucial in deciding what to bring along. Jeff Proctor, of Jeff Proctor Class VI River Runners (which runs river trips down the New and Gauley Rivers of West Virginia, concurs with the basic list set out by Michael, and also adds that other weather considerations are crucial.

"For the shoulder season (when the weather begins to turn), bring a wet suit or paddling jacket."

Longer Trips
Both outfitters provide trips that will last for longer than one day, and for these trips some additional thought is needed when preparing your gear.

Proctor points out that foot gear is important. "Folks should come dressed for the river, with a shoe or sandal that can get wet and stay on your feet. You should still feel comfortable walking around on a sandy beach."

Sandy beaches are part of what makes packing for a two-day trip down the Holiday runs a lot easier; "With warm sandy beaches to camp on, you don't need much gear. A light weight tent, a basic sleeping bag and pad is all that you need," states Michael.

As for other equipment, well, both outfitters want to make sure that you always remember the trip, so in the words of Michael “Don’t forget your camera!”

What if you forget?
If you forget something on your checklist, or fail to make a checklist at all, there is no need to panic. Most rafting outfitters have stores at their expedition start-outs where they sell or rent out any equipment that rafters may need.

There is nothing quite like getting out and taking on nature in one of its most powerful forms, so make sure that before you hit the river you prepare for the trip. It’s guaranteed that your first time will not be your last!

MORE Rafting Info: Colorado River Rafting Outfitters | Whitewater Rafting Termonology | Home

Explore Colorado's most beautiful areas in a Raft!

Whitewater rafting on the Arkansas River through the Bighorn Sheep Canyon offers a unique view of one of the most popular natural wonders of the world. We invite you to "Take the Scenic Route" for a virtual rafting tour of the Royal Gorge and get a feel for the Arkansas River raft trip of a lifetime through one of Colorado's most beautiful areas.

Colorado river rafting offers fun and excitment for all ages.  Not only do river rafting outfitters offer multiple rafting trips for all ages, they also offer the trips in conjuction with other events like wine tasting, train rides and overnight camping.  If you have not gone river rafting in Colorado make sure you give it a try.  My guess is you will be upset when you are done.  

It is important to remember the Colorado Rafting Outfitters fill their schedule in advance.  Make sure you call at least a few weeks ahead of time to ensure your group has the chance to share a raft.  It is also important to know what to bring whitewater rafting.  Water crashes over the raft numerous times regardless what difficulty rapids you are rafting on.  Do not bring cameras or any other electronics that could get ruined if wet. 

More articles on: Royal Gorge Rafting | Breckenridge Rafting | Home

Colorado River Rafting

We are the thrill providers. If you enjoy the rush of fear from a horror movie! If you enjoy the thrill of mountain biking or running... that rush of exhilaration, whitewater rafting is another way to get it. If you enjoy mountain climbing it has a rush of adrenaline. If you enjoy skiing your getting adrenaline rushes. With Colorado River rafting you are getting those rushes every second as the water changes your movement and your mind adjusts to the roller coaster ride sliding you through the water's path.

Have you ever experienced whitewater rafting anywhere? If you have experienced Colorado River Rafting or whitewater rafting anywhere in the world we are looking for your stories to publish in blogs. We want the raw experience that can only be told by you from you and your group. How long you were in the water. Where you were. Who you were outfitting with. What was the memory of thrill after thrill.

I can remember my first time experiencing the ride that seems like yesterday as we were a raft of 4 thrown down the whitewater blasting against rocks, over rocks, past rocks... through waterfalls. At points it was like looking over the top of nothing like on a roller coaster looking out as you are on top of the climb before you can see the track and all you can see is open sky and you know you are about to drop. That feeling of adrenaline in your mind flowing into your head, throat, chest, and stomach reacting with your whole body of controlled bottled fear about to explode into an experience of exhilaration. You start going down the drop and you finally see a track of water and your gushing down shot fast as you free-fall with the water running into a flat plane of water dropping fifty feet ... what a rush and experience! Reply your experience to this article about your memories of exhilaration in Colorado River rafting or any whitewater trip around the world you have experienced. You may win a trip for your entry of your memorable ride!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Colorado Whitewater Rafting on the Royal Gorge

Make sure to include whitewater rafting Royal Gorge in your next trip to Colorado! Echo Canyon River Expeditions offers a number of Royal Gorge rafting trips all of which take you deep in the heart of this incredible gorge over 1200 feet deep and under the famous Royal Gorge Bridge. You'll take on the big rapids of Sunshine Falls, Wall Slammer and Sledgehammer and many more on your Royal Gorge whitewater rafting experience.
This channel is a compilation of video highlights from the multiple Colorado whitewater rafting trips offered by Echo Canyon River Expeditions.

Echo Canyon has trips departing daily throughout the summer for Royal Gorge rafting. Choose half day or full day rafting trips, or for the adventure seekers we offer a double dose of Royal Gorge whitewater rafting on our Double Dip trip. Or try our smaller and more maneuverable Adrenaline Rafts; rafts exclusive to your party that make the big hits even bigger!

Whichever rafting trip you choose, your thirst for adventure is sure to be quenched. Your guides will also tell you about the rich history of the Royal Gorge train wars and help you spot the abundant animal life that call this rugged terrain home.

Whitewater rafting the Royal Gorge offers some of the most continuous rapids in the state of Colorado. It's important to determine if Royal Gorge rafting is the best option for you as we offer many trips on the Arkansas River and on other rivers throughout Colorado. Our reservationists are all whitewater enthusiasts who will help guide you to the perfect rafting trip for your family or group.

Learn more about Royal Gorge Rafting, and the many whitewater rafting packages available. Raft Royal Gorge with Echo Canyon River Expeditions for lasting memories to complete your next trip to Colorado! (800) 755-ECHO

(Source: Whitewater rafting royal gorge)

More Articles on : Royal Gorge Rafting | Raft Echo | Rafting Termonology

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Raft the Royal Gorge w/ RaftEcho

If you are looking for the best whitewater rafting experience in Colorado, look no further. At RaftEcho we have been operating in the Royal Gorge section of the Arkansas River for several years. We run rafting trips in the Royal Gorge daily, all through our season from mid-April to September. Our reservation lines are staffed from 8 AM to 8 PM Mountain Time, year round, in an effort to provide you with superior customer service.

Our whitewater rafting trips in the Royal Gorge promise to leave you in awe of not just the best white water you will find in Colorado, but also some of the most spectacular scenery you can find anywhere. The Gorge itself is a ten mile stretch with a nearly continuous seven mile section of the most exciting intermediate to advanced white water rapids that will leave you exhilarated! The river passes through 1100 foot canyon walls and right under the world famous Royal Gorge Bridge. Check out our Combos page for opportunities to package this exciting rafting adventure with tickets to the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park, the most popular attraction in the region, or the Royal Gorge Route railway, noted as the “most arresting train trip in all of American railroading”!

Experience You Can Trust!
At RaftEcho we have some of the most, if not the most, experienced guides on the river. Our dedicated guide staff is the reason we continue to boast of an outstanding safety record. Your comfort level with us is of paramount importance in the office, on the road and on the water. Our commitment to you and to the safety of your friends and family has always been our primary focus. You will find our reputation in the industry is simply second to none.

You can contact RaftEcho as 1-800-755-ECHO [3246] or make a Rafting Reservation

How to Prepare for your Breckenridge Rafting Trip

Here are some important tips when preparing for your breckenridge rafting trip. Remember because it can be such an intense sport, being prepared is key to ensuring a safe whitewater rafting experience.

Step 1

Plan early for your Breckenridge rafting trip. Make sure you have maps of your destination and know exactly where you'll enter and exit the river. You may not have transportation back to your vehicle after you exit the river, so plan ahead.

Step 2

Know the ratings on the rapids you'll encounter along your course. If any rapids are too difficult for your crew to negotiate, make sure there's a means of getting around them. Ask rangers in the area or call the phone numbers on your river map for information.

Step 3

Pack properly for your trip and make sure everyone going knows exactly what they'll need and what they won't. Make sure people don't bring a lot of excess baggage, since room in the raft will be limited.

Step 4

Explain to people coming that they'll need very little clothing: a set of clothes for the day and a warm, dry set for the night. Each person needs a sleeping bag, personal gear (sunglasses, camera, toothbrush, etc.), a flashlight and very little else.

Step 5

Make sure you have enough tent space for everyone. Having an over packed raft is dangerous and should not be tolerated. The weight and balance of a raft is very important when going down the river. Do not jam too many people into your raft while breckenridge rafting.

Step 6

Plan out meals: a simple, light breakfast; snacks for the daytime and a good, warm meal for the night. Make sure your camping stove is in working order and has plenty of fuel.

Step 7

Make sure your raft is in good working order and that it has a first aid kit, enough life vests, a repair kit, an emergency signaling kit, extra rope and enough working oars and paddles.

Step 8
Develop checklists you can use every trip and then add things you forget. Have a personal gear checklist and distribute it to every member to ensure they bring all they need.

Hopefully these 8 tips will help you prepare for your breckenridge rafting trip. Remember to make sure you have a blast on your rafting trip, always be prepared!

Benefits of Heart Rate Training

recently I reverted to some training strategies that I used while racing slalom.
While I am no longer striving to be the best slalom boater that I can possibly be,
I remember the overall benefits that training gave my creeking and freestyle boating.
A large part of it was using a heart rate monitor to train within certain ranges.
It's something that applies to every sport, and every level of fitness, with incredible benefits.

The main idea is to build a strong aerobic base, upon which you can build a larger capacity for work.
In whitewater, that means that you have the strenght to pull off the more difficult moves and the health to keep doing it.
There is in incredible amount of information on the internet and in books about his subject, so worth doing your own research. But, as a very quick introduction, consider these links.

Start with 220, then subtract your age, you'll get a good estimate of your max heart rate, which is how you then calculate your exercise zones

after you have copied your excercise zones down, you are ready to compare them to the chart that will help you figure out your exercise targets, which include ways to gain general fitness or peak conditioning.

if all that is too much, and you have never done any kind of focused training, try a couple of weeks training in the "moderate daily activity" and "weight management" zones. That will give you a healthy base upon which to build.

If you are an athlete, but have not paid attention to your HR, consider alternating days of Aerobic Training and the Anearobic Threshold training.

In addition to following doctors' advice, I have found that the best trick to making sure that I was not over working, and ready for more intense workouts, is by taking my heart rate every morning when I first woke. If it's faster than normal, then I need more rest and will modify my workout. If it's normal or getting a little bit slower, then I can keep working hard.

disclaimer: this is all based on my own experience. Everyone is different. Talk to a doctor before you go and workout.
(Source: Total Whitewater Fun)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Rafting Basics & Tips

By Eugene Buchanan

Can You Handle It?
Rafting’s a sport accomplished while sitting down. But don’t confuse it with couch surfing. If you’re in a paddleboat, the guide relies on you for power, meaning forward and reverse strokes on a moment’s notice. And the strokes have to count--you can’t be lazy when things get rough. Since rafts don’t have guardrails (or the ability to right themselves), swimming--while restricted with lifejacket and in current--is also a real possibility.

Essential Skills
Under the guidance of professionals, you’ll learn the difference between paddle and oar rafts, and such techniques as highsiding (jumping to the high side of the raft to avoid flipping), keeping the boat straight and rigging flip lines to right the boat in the event of a capsize. Your best bet: Sign up for a multiday trip, where you'll also learn the basics of river camping, including the age-old art of setting up the river toilet.

Gear Up 
Tour operators usually provide everything you need, including wetsuits, lifejackets, paddles, and rafts. Don’t become a private river runner unless you have ample space to store your gear and the towing capacity (truck and/or trailer) to get it to the river. Aside from the raft and paddles (or frame and oars), other essentials include a pump, patch kit, and a throw rope and lifejackets for every participants. Other frills include coolers, cargo nets, and drybags.

Speak the Language
Class I-VI: An international scale of difficulty for rating rapids, with I being the easiest and VI being technically unrunnable. 
Highside: Jumping to the "high" side of the raft to level it out and prevent capsizing when it's pinned against a rock or stuck in a hydraulic.
Self-bailer: A modern line of raft with an inflatable floor, allowing water that comes in to flow back out without the need for bailing.

Can You Handle It?
You don’t have to be in top-notch shape to kayak. After all, it’s a sport you do while sitting down. But you should have adequate upper-arm and shoulder strength (best accomplished with pull- and push-ups) and be able to hold your breath for the time it takes you to either roll or bail out. Other muscle groups to develop include the abdomen and lower back; during an average day, you’ll lean forward and backward more than you ever did as a kid on a seesaw.

Essential Skills
Few sports subject newcomers to the school of hard knocks more than whitewater kayaking. Unless you want to spend most of the day swimming, sign up for a lesson. The first day or two should be spent in a lake or pool, without any current, to introduce you to the underworld. Here you’ll learn such concepts as bracing, rolling, and most important, wet exiting. Once you have these basics under your belt, you graduate to moving water, where you’ll learn such techniques as eddy turns, peel outs, ferrying, and surfing.

Gear Up
Whitewater kayaking is gear intensive. The basic checklist reads: boat, paddle, sprayskirt, helmet and lifejacket. Then come the frills, including wetsuit, drytop, booties, pogies (gloves for cold weather), float bags (to displace water in case of a swim), throw ropes, and finally, a large net bag to store it all. Once you’ve acquired this mound of gear, it should last for years without the need for repairs or upgrades.

Speak the Language
Cartwheel: A new-school freestyle maneuver in which your boat rotates end-over-end while remaining in a hydraulic. 
Eddy turn: Finding momentary sanctuary in the river’s slack water (usually found behind an obstacle). 
Eskimo roll: Combining leverage from your paddle with a strong hip-snap to right yourself after capsizing. 
Ferry: Making your way across the river while facing upstream, without losing any ground (often used for catching waves). 
Peel-out: Coming out of an eddy back into the main current.

More Articles on: Whitewater Rafting Termonology | 10 Places to Whitewater Raft

Thursday, May 7, 2009

An Overview of River Rafting

Whitewater rafting can be one of the most exhilarating experiences of a lifetime. River rafters see breathtaking scenery, get great exercise, and experience terrific adventure. There are great places to go river rafting all over the world, but many of the best rivers for white-water rafting are here in the United States.

It’s a good idea to contact a licensed river rafting agency to plan a rafting trip. These agencies, found near most major rivers, provide trained guides and planned routes for rafting rides. Many agencies also provide training for novice river rafters. These services are especially good for people rafting for the first time.

River rafting has been a sport for decades. The person generally credited with inventing river rafting is Bill Dvorak. In 1969, Dvorak was the first person issued a river recreation outfitters license when he formed Dvorak Expeditions in Salida, Colorado. Dvorak created many of the safety guidelines and license requirements for equipment used in whitewater rafting. He came up with the idea of having guides lead rafting tours.

There are many great places to go white-water rafting in the United States. One of the most popular is the American River, which starts in the Sierra Nevada and splits into the North Fork, Middle Fork, and South Fork before converging near Sacramento, CA. The American River provides a wide variety of river rafting experiences, from easy rapids for beginners to difficult stretches navigated by expert rafters.

Whitewater rapids are rated based on their level of difficulty. Water speed, currents, the amount of rocks, and other factors influence the river's rating. The easiest rivers to navigate are Class I; Class VI rivers are considered impossible to run. As equipment has become more advanced, many rivers previously defined as Class IV became Class V, and extremely skilled rafters have begun navigating them safely.

River rafting is a fun and challenging sport. A river rafting vacation is perfect for people who love challenges and being in the great outdoors.