Safety Importance of Going Rafting with Professional Tour Guides

Whitewater Rafting is a stimulating outdoor experience and one of the best ways to enjoy nature. The sport started riskily but is now no longer confined to only the rugged mountaineers. This is a routine, safe and straightforward activity enjoyed by the masses.

If followed, there are a few instructions that can make your family white water trip worth remembering positively forever. Keep this checklist of 7 safety rules in mind as you enjoy your outdoor whitewater rafting adventure.

Safety Importance of Going Rafting with Professional Tour Guides

7 Whitewater River Rafting Safety Tips

Here are a few tips every person who takes their safety very seriously should follow while going on a day white water rafting trip:

Choose a professional rafting outfitter with a license

While doing something as crazy as a river rafting adventure, you want to be with someone you can trust your life with. Going rafting with a buddy may seem fun, but it isn't. It's, in fact, a risky and bad idea.

It would be best to go rafting with a professional and licensed outfitter. With so many around, you need to ask questions to find the proper person. Find out how much experience they have as an outfitter and how much training they have undergone. Check their reviews and testimonials to determine what other rafters have to say about their experiences.

Most professional outfitters also rent out safety and protective gear.

Know the commands

There are a few commands you should know while going on a whitewater rafting trip. The guide will issue these commands, which are essential in an emergency. They usually explain the terms before the trip. So be attentive and learn them.

For example, if the vessel runs into a rock, the raft generally stands sideways in the river. The river pressure tends to increase on the boat's upstream side, knocking it out. This, however, is not the time to panic- it is only a waste of time.

On the contrary, your outfitter will call out “High Side!” as a last effort to prevent the boat from capsizing. This is when you must lift yourself and drop your weight into the raft's downstream tubes. Remember that you always have to take the direction you are moving in the river, which is downstream.

Know how to swim in the river

Swimming in the river is much different from swimming in pools. The pool is a controlled environment, so there's not much you need to worry about. However there is some pressure in rivers, lakes and the oceans which you need to take into account while swimming.

The first river swimming technique is the 'Down River Swimmers Position,' where you lie on your back with your head up. Keep your arms close to your side for better self-control, with slightly bent knees and feet downstream. This way, your legs, and feet will absorb the shock if you come in contact with a rock.

The second of the techniques is popularly used in rescue situations. You here lie on your stomach and head in the direction to safely get out of the river.

Take Along Safety Equipment – Stuff that keeps you safe

Before setting sail, make sure you inform your guide about any medical conditions you have.

Your guide will first distribute and ensure you properly wear their personal flotation device. Leave the life jacket on at all times, with buckles clipped and snug to your body. It should fit tight so that there's no risk of it pulling over your head, but be loose and free enough to breathe. Your guide can fit it correctly for you so that you are safe and comfortable.

Wetsuits, boots, thermals, and raincoats keep you warm in early springtime.

Helmets are required because there's always the risk of smacking rocks while rafting and hurting your head.

The paddles should be the right size on each rafter and be held properly before setting sail. There is a particular method to hold it, which your guide will show you. You may end up hitting other rafters in the boat if you hold the paddle in the wrong manner.

A waterproof camera attached to the PFD can document your thrilling rafting trip adventure.

Taking along drinking water is also very important as it keeps you well hydrated.

Wearing high-quality short clothing and protecting against UV light help prevent sunburn or hypothermia. Don't forget sunscreen because sunburn is quick at high elevations. The sun mirrors light on the water, and it can cause you the worst sunburn.

Wear protective gear like a helmet no matter how much rafting you plan on doing.

You can even buy sunglasses along with straps which help ensure you don't lose your sunglasses.

How to not drown – Whitewater Rafting Safety Practices

NEVER remove your life jacket. Remember that you are wearing it to keep safe and prevent drowning. The rapids are tricky, where even strong swimmers face the possible risk of getting pulled down under.

Most professionals also require wearing a helmet for safety reasons.

And last but not least, never go on a raft alone, after dark, or with drunk people. Alcohol and any form of drugs impair a person's physical capabilities and reasoning skills.

You need to remain in the boat

This is quite obvious, but you never know when you may fall and end up out of the raft, swimming in the waters. The rocks that come from downstream are the most dangerous as there is the risk of hitting them.

Your boat driver will keep looking out for them, and will warn you by shouting "bump" if he sees one that the boat may hit. If this happens, you need to position your paddle 'T' grip on the boat floor while leaning in. This helps ensure you remain in the boat.

You next need to get on your seat and start paddling even if the raft hits the rock.

There's always a high chance of your falling into the river while river rafting. If this happens, you need to stay calm and not panic. Instead, look around. Your boat may be right next to you, or maybe at a slight distance. Just swim to it, and grab hold onto it so as to prevent your floating away.

If you are quite a distance from the boat, look around you in the water. There will be other things you can anchor yourself to for support like a boat or the riverbank.

Always follow your guide.

All river rafting trips start with a safety orientation, so make sure you listen to it properly. Your guide covers everything you need to do if things go wrong. Pay attention even if you have been river rafting before.

Each outfitter has its own recommended rafting safety tips to fit each raft and river. Most importantly, listen to your guide because they are well trained to face any scenario you may encounter on the trip.

Equal opportunity for a memorable trip

Following these safety tips provide you with an equal opportunity to experience the trip of your lifetime. The important thing you need to remember is to wear your protective gear, listen to your guide at all times, and most importantly, do not panic. A little preventive measure on your side lets you enjoy nature's beauty and the thrill of whitewater river rafting tours.