There are few Colorado adventures quite as exciting as an unguided river rafting trip. However, making sure that your first time out is an enjoyable experience can often pose concern. For those who have never had the opportunity to take an unguided rafting adventure, here are some tips to properly prepare.
1) Be aware of weather conditions and prepare accordingly. Keep in mind that evening temperatures are much cooler than daytime. This means packing lighter clothing for the day and jackets/sweatshirts for the night. You may also want to bring rain gear if the weather calls for it.
2) Make meal plans that are simple and easy to prepare. You don’t want to be lugging around a huge cooler full of frozen food when PB & J requires so much less effort.
3) Pack plenty of water and emergency supplies. The river is a strong force of nature and you never know what occurrences may cause you to be stranded for an extra day or two. Bring along more than enough water to stay hydrated and extra tools and equipment should your raft need a patch job or a paddle goes missing.
4) Ask an expert before entering the river. There are many state regulated rules that everyone must adhere to before starting an unguided trip. Keep in mind there are government fees that must be paid and certain areas where parking overnight is not recommended. Ask someone who has done a similar trip many times for any advice they may have. You may also want to note whether or not you must carry out your human waste. There can be heavy fines associated with failing to do so.