The trend of traveling has taken the world by storm, and more and more people are looking to not just travel, but travel differently. Along the same lines, there’s one particular adventure sport that has gained massive popularity in recent years: whitewater rafting. Rafting in itself has been considered a dangerous sport for the longest time, which isn’t entirely baseless. There is a safety protocol that has to be kept in mind, without which rafting could be potentially dangerous for anyone.
However, with technology making safety a lot more accessible, and professional companies arranging trips with all the necessary factors put in place, rafting trips have become not so uncommon anymore. We have access to better equipment, better safety protocol
Here’s a quick list of reasons why whitewater rafting trips have quickly become so popular:
- A fun-filled adventure for the whole family
- A combination of adventure, activity, and exercise
- An opportunity to get closer to nature and away from the city life
- Also an opportunity to learn new skills
- Perfect trip for camping and also trying other activities like biking, trekking, hiking, swimming, wildlife watching and much more
- Great way to spend time with loved ones or to find like-minded people
Of course, this is only a gist of it. There are many other reasons why whitewater rafting trips are such an interesting holiday option. However, here we’re going to focus more on how to stay safe during such a trip.
The Dos and Don’ts of Whitewater Rafting
- Always listen to your river guide, because he/she surely knows best and has been doing this for a long time.
- If you’re doubtful of any instruction that has been given out, do ask questions and get all your doubts cleared before you get on the raft.
- Double check to ensure that you have all your safety gear on, especially your life jacket and PFD or Personal Floatation Device.
- Remember to notify your rafting guides if there are any medical conditions you have that needs to be taken care of or kept in mind in case of an emergency.
- Wear the right footwear and do not expose your bare feet.
- Create a rapport with your fellow rafters and stay alert enough to help another person if they require it.
- Understand all the different commands that your guide mentions.
- Wear the right attire and cover yourself properly so as to avoid any serious repercussions of injury.
- Standing up during your rafting expedition is unnecessary and also dangerous. If you do fall overboard, your PFD and life jacket will come to your rescue and so will your guide.
- Avoid wearing thin materials like cotton and instead opt for materials like neoprene and wetsuits.
- Any type of intoxicating substance like alcohol should strictly be kept off the raft because consuming it during the trip is reckless and could harm both you and your fellow rafters.
- Don’t try to play or be reckless with your paddle and keep it steady and in motion. The top section of the paddle which is called the ‘T-grip’ needs to be held onto at all times.
- In case you do fall overboard, don’t panic. Remember the protocol advised by your guide in such a situation and try to stay on your back while you’re in the water. Stay calm and trust your guide to help you back on board.
Other Types of Whitewater Sports
Apart from rafting, there are other types of popular whitewater sports like Whitewater Canoeing and Whitewater Kayaking. Both these sports offer the same range of excitement and adventure, however, they do differ from rafting in a few aspects. For a larger group of people, rafting and canoeing are more suitable, especially for beginners. Kayaking, on the other hand, is the more challenging of the three.
While planning your whitewater rafting trip, remember to keep the pros and cons in mind, and safety has to be your number one priority! With all these factors falling into place, we hope your upcoming trip is an adventure that you will cherish for years to come!