10 Things to Ask Before Your Rafting Trip
1. What should I wear on the raft?
The short answer is it depends, the long answer is you should be prepared for everything and anything nature could throw at you. As a guest on a commercial rafting trip the circumstance are a bit different. Your outfitter should provide some basic rafting gear to ensure you have comfortable and enjoyable rafting trip. It is recommended that you confer with your outfitter to check what will be provided on your trip. Typically on a day trip we recommend our guest wear non-cotton clothing, synthetic materials and wool materials are preferred as these materials dry faster, wick away water and insulate help heat your body when wet. Shorts, shirts, sunglasses, sandals that have a back (not flip flops) and a fleece jacket cover all the bases on our rafting trips. We provide splash tops, booties for your feet, wetsuits for the comfort of our guest. However not all raft companies do so double check with your outfitter before your trip
2. What should I bring for the trip?
Boats are huge and can carry a lot of weight so bring everything including the kitchen sink. Just kidding, while you could bring all kinds of things a minimalistic approach to personal items is much appreciated by your guide, keeps clutter down in the boat and helps you focus on the enjoyment of the trip and not playing with your I-Phone. We recommend these basic items on our trips. Hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and personal medication-ie epi pen-etc. Most professional rafting outfits provide some sort of photography service but we also recommend bringing a camera on board for those family moments on the boat. All guides carry a dry bag that secures in the boat so you don’t have to worry about keeping track of these items.
3. What am I allowed to bring on the raft?
This questions is somewhat redundant but is relevant because all lot of times our guest have special request and special interest which requires them to bring more things on the boat. We typically allow guest to bring whatever they want as long as it fits on the boat. So the best answer is ask bring it with you and then ask the outfitter and guide at check in.
4. Where can I leave my dry clothes? On the bus?
This is a great questions. We typically recommend just bringing one jacket with you on the boat in case you get cold. However each person is different and is unique so if you honest feel like you need to bring more clothes on the rafts for comfort we are more than happy to accommodate. We generally suggest leaving everything you think you can live without on the bus. We find most of our guest only need dry clothes at the end of the trip when they won’t be getting wet anymore.
5. Can I bring food on the raft? Do I need to?
You can bring food! We carry snacks but encourage anyone who would like to bring extras to do so. Stanley, Idaho can sometimes be a chilly place so you might find that you burn more calories on the boat due to the ambient temperature. Diabetics may also need to bring special foods, or snack for picky kids. So if you have extra food and you want to bring it, please do, but remember to share with your guide!
6. Can I rent a wetsuit? Do I need a wetsuit?
You can have a wetsuit, here at WhiteCloud Rafting wetsuits are included with your trip. In May, June and Class 4 water trips we recommend wetsuits. It’s not so much about the temperature of the air but the water temp and how much you will be exposed to the water. On rafting trips where you are going to get constantly splashed by cold water you want to wear a wetsuit even if it is slightly uncomfortable. We have had guest wear wetsuits in the middle of July on a 90 degree day and where comfortable. Some guest know they get cold easily and know they need a wetsuit. Some guest need a wetsuit and opt not and find themselves trying to snuggle up with their raft mates half-way through the trip. If your guide recommends a wetsuit you should take it and not be a tough guy. You can always take it off. If you get cold easily take a wetsuit as well and remember any good outfitter wont charge you for these amenities.
7. How long is the shuttle to and from the river?
Our shuttle times vary with the types of trips that we offer. However most of our raft trip shuttles are roughly 20 min to the river and 30min after the trip. We find that 30 min back from the trip is a perfect amount of time for a nice cat nap for most of our guest. Or if you prefer the guides are more than happy to teach about local spots as we drive by the Salmon River back to the office in Stanley.
8. How long does the whitewater rafting trip take?
Most of our trips take about 4 to 6hrs. One thing to keep inconsideration on a river is trips times vary greatly due to water conditions. A lot of our repeat guest are some baffled by this. They might have been on the same trip several times year after year to find out this year the raft trip is 2 hrs. vs. 4hrs. so always double check the times with our outfitter especially if you are on a time line or have engagement later after your rafting trip.
9. What is the classification of this river?
I personal feel The Upper Main Salmon is the perfect whitewater rafting river. Why, because The Salmon River near Sun Valley offers a trip for every skill level and age group. It is difficult to find a river with some much diversity and personalities within compact section on river. We offer scenic trip (class 0), class 2 and 3 rafting trips, and our high adventure trip (class 4) for those adventurous souls), and fly fishing trips as well. All of these different trips can be found within 30 miles of Stanley and 1 hour from Sun Valley.
10. Is there anything I need to know about whitewater rafting this river?
You are not just rafting this river, it’s about experiencing nature, and the beauty of the Sawtooth Mountains and finding what is you were looking for when you left home. The Salmon River offers something for everyone. If you’re looking for a family trip, wild whitewater or something mellow, White Cloud Rafting has a trip for you in Stanley, Idaho has a trip for you. For more info on our trips please visit www.whitecloudrafting.com