Rafting Safety Tips
River rafting presents numerous potential hazards; therefore it is vital that you are informed on them to remain safe.
One of the most likely situations to arise is falling out of a raft, so always wear your Personal Floatation Device.
Wear Your Personal Floatation Device
PFD (or personal flotation device or vest), also referred to as a life jacket or vest is one of the most essential pieces of gear when it comes to whitewater rafting. It will keep you afloat if you fall out or your boat flips, thus necessitating every rafter to wear one during their trip. In addition to PFDs, helmets should also be worn – similar to bike rides – to provide added protection in case something hits your head as well as prevent further injuries from other sources.
As part of your trip, it is crucial that you heed the advice of your guide. They have been trained and have experience in this area so they will know what actions are appropriate in different scenarios; failure to do so could put both you and your group in jeopardy.
If you do fall off the raft, it is essential that you understand how best to respond. If you find yourself going underwater, grab both feet out quickly and curl into a fetal position immediately – this will reduce surface area that the current can grab onto, helping you float to safety more quickly.
Another tip when rafting is to wear closed shoes; sharp rocks lying beneath the water could potentially injure or maim you, so protected feet from these objects under water is key for enjoying rafting safely. Closed shoes will help provide this essential safety measure.
As you prepare to raft, take extra precaution to check that the straps of your PFD fit correctly, as well as to check that your helmet does not obstruct vision or cause neck discomfort when shifting your head. Also remember sunscreen and insect repellent so you stay safe on your whitewater rafting adventure without worry. These helpful rafting safety tips will enable you to have an unforgettable whitewater rafting adventure without worry!
Don’t Drink Too Much Water
While drinking too much water may seem harmless when rafting, it can actually be quite risky. Drinking too much can deplete essential fluids and salts from your system and lead to dehydration, making you susceptible to hypothermia if in cold waters.
As such, it’s crucial that you stay hydrated well ahead of your river trip and throughout the day on the river. Alcohol should only be enjoyed moderately, while non-alcoholic drinks like water or Gatorade should be used to replenish lost hydration to avoid dehydration’s detrimental effects on your body.
At all times while not actively paddling, it is vitally important to keep an eye on the river and remain aware of what’s coming ahead. By keeping your eyes wide open you will be able to anticipate any rapids or riffles ahead and prepare accordingly.
When rafting, it is also essential that you wear closed shoes so you can navigate safely on any slippery rocks or debris should the need arise to disembark at an end of day stop. This is particularly important if traveling with younger children who might find difficulty staying on board when making stopovers.
Make sure that you secure a strong grip on your paddle in order to prevent slipperiness and falling off. A solid overhand grip should secure one hand to the base while another gripping tightly onto its shaft – this will give you better control and help prevent accidental hits with other rafters in your group! Additionally, having an effective hold can prevent having to swim if your raft flips over unexpectedly or you become separated from it for some reason.
Know Your Limits
No matter if you are an experienced or beginner rafter, it is crucial that you are aware of your limitations. Your body has limits, and rafting can be very physically straining on it; listen to what your body tells you if you become tired – pushing through tiredness can result in serious injury and death! Furthermore, keep in mind that it takes a team to raft safely; should someone in your raft experience difficulties it is essential that others support them.
If you end up in the water (it happens to everyone, including guides) make sure that as soon as you can grab onto an outside safety line and wait for someone to throw you a rope. If this is impossible take an “defensive swimming position”, whereby floating on your back with feet in the air with hands over grip of paddle in defensive swimming position – this helps avoid fast moving river water smashing against your head and making breathing difficult.
Once repositioned in your raft, be sure to follow all instructions from your guide. They have years of experience ensuring your safety – listen carefully for their directions and you will have an unforgettable experience!
There are certain things you should never do while rafting, such as standing up out of the raft while paddling – this can be extremely dangerous and lead to severe injuries. Furthermore, never leave without first donning a life jacket as this is simply common sense.
Staying safe when whitewater rafting requires following these safety tips, to make the experience enjoyable and fun! Although it’s common for rafters to fall out or turn over the boat in rapids, these measures will make your trip much safer and more enjoyable – so go out and experience this thrilling ride for yourself – it is truly unforgettable! So go out there and experience white water rafting – an adventure worth having once in your lifetime.
Follow Your Guide
No matter the type of rafting trip, your guide has unrivalled knowledge of the river and route. He or she will discuss various rapids and how best to tackle them safely, while always listening and following his/her instructions; your safety must always come first! Do not attempt any shortcuts that could compromise this crucial aspect.
Rafting can be an exciting and adrenaline-pumping activity, but it can be dangerous. Therefore, it is crucial that you learn what to do should you fall out of the boat, and your guide will discuss this matter at length during a safety talk prior to setting sail on your raft.
Immediately upon falling out of a raft, if you find yourself exposed to currents it’s crucial that you transition into swimmer’s position as quickly as possible. This involves lying flat with feet up front of you with head facing downstream – this reduces how much of your body is exposed and will prevent feet getting caught on rocks.
Another great tip is to use your hands to cling tightly onto the sides of the raft, using this position to keep your hands anchored within. Doing this will help ensure they do not slip under water and be pulled away by currents. If your grip slips on one side, another good idea would be to hold onto the T-grip on the paddle – your guide is likely going to have you use this during rapids; people who neglect this option tend to accidentally hit other rafters with their paddles accidentally!
If anything your guide says leaves you confused or uncertain, don’t be intimidated into silence; they’re there for a reason and well-trained professionals with plenty of river experience who will provide all the information that’s necessary for an enjoyable rafting trip.