Planning a rafting trip – not technical but lets not lose the details

There are so many little steps to keep people safe etc. that I didn’t want to lose sight of theses instructions. Also- it is very  useful for others to know. So, whey not blog here about it and help others along. This was made withe  good advise of tall the moms and dads on the trip and one of them is a rafting enthusiast 🙂


  1. Write out a list of who is coming in a table and write it by last name. Make a column for how many might come nad one for the replies once they do decide
  2. Plan 1-2 Adults per 8 person raft. Teens/kids are not string and cannot steer away from bridge abutments etc
  3. Know what weight category they are for life jackets.
    1. 30-60lbs (kids)
    2. 60-90lbs (preteens)
    3. 90+ (teens and adults)
  4. Get a count of rafters ad rent the boats. Our cost was $CDN216 for 16 people which was 2 x 8 person rafts, all life jackets, pumps, bail buckets and 2 paddles
  5. Read the basic plan and plan the cars and drivers
  6. Call 2 days before to ensure no one forgets and this confirms the details. If you do this 3 days early – not good, 1 day before – also not good (more chance of people not coming as they planned something else)
  7. Call people / ask people if
    1. they or ANOTHER non-boating family member would be willing to Shuttle at the beginning of the trip
    2. Could bring/share in the snacks at the end of ht trip

Basic Plan (write this out first)

  • Day Before
    • get water shoes, water guns, snacks,
    • pack “after party” car
      • snacks
      • buy ice
    • look for gear to reduce rentals
    • charge waterproof cameras
  • 7am – Drive to the Rental Place (1 or 2 vehicles for 3 rafts)
  • 8am – rent Rafts and load car
    • have a count of the size of lifejackets likely required to be rented. We had some personal ones so we had to rent less
    • We reduced an 8 person raft rental to 6 person
      • sure we saved money
      • but controlling a 6 person raft is easier and safer which is the main motivation. Leave the 8 person rafts for stronger adults or a 6 person for one adult.
  • 10am meet at END of the trip (downstream) with all the gear and people
    • “after-party” car contents when everyone gets out of the boat.
      • leave cell phones, dry change of cloths, snacks, pop for an “after party”
      • Everyone put their dry gear for after in the after-party car
      • Pack a cooler and buy ice
    • “Supply Car”
      • Put things for the beginning of the trip in to the supply-car(s)
      • Don’t take cellphones or cameras except waterproof ones.
      • Do take water proof snacks (ziplock), granola bars etc.
        • We are skipping the lunch hour
      • Do take water guns
      • Do take sandels or water shoes. Beware of flipflops. They might not make the trip
      • water bottles
        • in collapsible coolers/bags for in the rafts
        • do not allow pop/juice to be brought along – leave that in the after vehicle
        • one for each rafter
      • extra ziplock bags
      • rafters dry goods in dry bags that we need on the rafting trip
        • water proof cell phones
        • water proof lunch and/or snacks
      • sunscreen
  • 10:20 arrange
    • count
      • rafters/boaters
      • drivers not rafting
      • number of vehicles left at start of trip
      • number of cars left at END (downstream) parking lot of trip
        • one extra driver needs to take the people who leave their cars at the START (upstream) part of the trip
      • ensure all cars shuttling from END->START have enough seats to take drivers and rafters (remmeber some rafters are drivers)
    • enough vehicles to carry
      • “supply car” contents above
      • boaters themselves
      • all rented water crafts, bailers, pumps, paddles
      • extra drivers who are not boating
    • Now everyone drives to the beginning or START upstream point
    • Give out a map to drivers so no one gets lost
  • 10:40 at the START (upstream point)
    • pump up rafts
    • sunscreen everyone
    • Put boats into the water – choose a leader who has done this before.
    • Everyone Else follows for safety
  • 11:00 am Start Rafting
  • 2pm arrive at end of trip END point (downstream)
    • break out snacks

After Trip

  • 2:20 take one of the drivers (who was rafting) and the other car-owners who left car at the beginning of the trip back to the cars
  • 2:30 make sure kids have people / parents to pick up  the kids
    • someone babysit the gear
  • 2:40 supply drivers come back to the end and pick up the gear
  • 3:10 return rented rafts

Memo to those before they get into Shuttle Cars

  • Make sure you have a ride home or someone is picking you up.
    • We will call them at the time of arrival .
    • Thrre are parents who can help share rides home
  • you WILL get wet
  • put cell phones into after party car – DO NOT bring cell phones
    • if you insist, use a zip lock bag
  • we do have 1 water bottle for each person if you didn’t bring your own
  • put these things into the designated “after party car”
    • dry clothes into the after party car (only that car)
    • cell phones
    • any snacks you brought for after
  • Put these personal things into the “supply” shuttle-car
    • water guns
    • water bottle (should already be in a supply car the day before)
    • water proof snacks for in the water
    • life jackets if you brought your own.
  • We will be on the water for 3 hours so between 2-3pm
    • all depends on how slow/low the river is
  • We are having an after party anyways to re-hydrate, hang out and eat snacks


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