Friday, July 27, 2007

White Water Rafting For Beginners

5 Rafting Trips For Families And Beginners
by: Shari Hearn

Whitewater rafting can be fun and exhilarating. It can also be scary and dangerous if you venture out by yourself in an area that's rated way above your experience level. But, are there rafting trips which offer fun and excitement, but still mild enough for beginners and children? Absolutely. Here are a few you might consider.

1. Little Gore Canyon – Near Denver, Colorado

With a rating of Class I to III, the Little Gore Canyon section of the Colorado River offers mild yet exciting whitewater suitable for beginners and families with children. You can enjoy Little Gore Canyon in a raft, kayak, inflatable kayak or a canoe.

Companies which offer rafting trips for families in Little Gore Canyon include:

Bill Dvorak's Kayak & Rafting Expeditions

Providing expeditions since 1969, Dvorak's was Colorado’s first licensed outfitter. They offer 2-day family expeditions in Little Gore Canyon, with meals included. For more information, call them at 800-824-3795.

Rancho Del Rio

Offers half and full-day trips with lunch included, as well as an overnight and three-day trip with choice of three meal plans. Call them at 970-653-4431 for more information.

2. San Miguel River – Near Telluride, Colorado

A rafting trip along the San Miguel River near Telluride, Colorado will provide you with Class II and occasional Class III rapids, along with spectacular scenery of red rock cliffs and alpine terrain. This trip is great for beginners and families with children over 10 years of age.

Companies which offer rafting trips for families along the San Miguel River include:

Mild to Wild Rafting & Jeep Trail Tours, Inc.

Trip leaders average 3,000 river miles (the state of Colorado requires 750), and they offer shuttles around rapids for kids and elders. Mild to Wild offers 1-day, 2-day or 3-day trips down the San Miguel River, including meals on the river and in camp.

Bill Dvorak's Kayak & Rafting Expeditions

They offer 1 to 5-day family rafting expeditions along the San Miguel River, with meals included. For more information, call them at 800-824-3795. If you wish longer trips of 6 to 12 days, you can combine a trip on the San Miguel River with a trip on the Dolores. are available by combining the San Miguel with the Dolores.

3. Upper New River – South Central West Virginia

Beginners will appreciate the "beginner-friendly" rapids of the Upper New River, rated I to III in difficulty. An added feature is the incredibly beautiful scenery and the belief by some that the New River is the world's 2nd oldest river.

Companies which offer family rafting trips on the Upper New River include:


Offers a 1-day family rafting trip package on the Upper New River which includes 2 nights lodging, 1 breakfast buffet, 1 lunch buffet and 1 dinner buffet. You have many different types of lodging to choose from, including cabin, RV, camping, cabin tent or the Quality Inn. If you want more adventure to go with your rafting, Rivermen also offers multi-sport, multi-day adventure packages, such as a rafting and climbing package, a rafting, climbing and jetboat package, or a rafting, climbing, jetboat and horseback riding package. Call them at 800-545-7238 for more information.

4. South Fork of the American River – near Sacramento, California

The South Fork of the American River is a favorite in California, rated a Class II and III and suitable for beginners and children ages 7 and above. The 3-mile, Class II "Coloma to Lotus" stretch of the South Fork is a perfect place for novices to try out rafting. You will also enjoy the scenery of oak and pine forests.

Companies which offer family rafting trips on the South Fork include:


Has been in business for over 30 years and offers a 2-day rafting trip on the South Fork, which includes lunch and dinner and overnight camping at River’s Bend Resort in Coloma, as well as breakfast the next morning. Call them at 800-346-6277 for more information.

American Whitewater Expeditions

Offers half, full and 2-day trips on the South Fork, as well as family midweek specials of 1 and 2-day trips. For those of you in Southern California, American Whitewater Expeditions has a special 2-day South Fork trip with round trip deluxe bus from Orange County, Los Angeles or San Fernando. And for those family members or friends who don't wish to raft but wish to camp at the company's campsite, they have a special of 2-nights camping and 4 meals for $69. Call 877-825-3206 for more information.

5. Upper Main Salmon River – near Sun Valley, Idaho

This section of the Salmon River in the Sawtooth Wilderness Area provides mild Class II rapids with some thrilling Class III rapids to provide the beginner and veteran alike with a very enjoyable rafting adventure.

Companies which offer beginner and family trips on the Salmon River include:

White Cloud Rafting Adventures

Offering half and full-day Class II and III trips suitable for beginners and children. Half-day trips include a snack, full-day trips include lunch. They also offer half-day scenic float trips for those who want an even milder trip down the Salmon River. This trip is a smooth and easy float with Class II rapids. Call them at 800-571-RAFT for more information.

Whichever river and outfitter you choose, do remember to apply sunscreen and wear water shoes or tennis shoes (no flip-flops), and bring a change of clothes. And do be careful, whitewater rafting can be addictive.

Shari Hearn is a writer and creator of several travel sites, and


White Water Rafting For Beginners

Thursday, July 19, 2007

White Water Rafting

White Water Rafting Canada While Camping
by Wade Robins

Are you a white water rafting enthusiast? Do you want to add to your adventures by going out on a river you have never been on? White water rafting Canada is a unique experience. If you have ever traveled on the Colorado River you know how a river can be mild one minute and rushing the next. The Canadian Rockies is home to some of the most interesting river rafting trips including the Kicking Horse River.

The Kicking Horse River offers 1, 2, or even 6-day trips. If you decide a half-day is better they offer that too. You can choose a level of difficulty from one to five depending on your experience. If you take a day trip often times the food will be provided. If you decide on the longer trips you will need to make sure you pack all the items you need according to the limit the company has on gear.

Ask the company for a list of items you will need to bring. Make sure they will provide all your meals or that you will need to bring food as well. They want you to have fun as well as be safe so they will answer any of your questions.

Other places to go for white water rafting Canada are the Kootenay River and Toby Creek. These areas tend to have smaller rapids though you can certainly find adventure for your family on them. The Banff National Park is home to many of the Canadian Rockies Rivers and is a great place to start your adventure. You can camp inside the park before you go on your trip or take one of the longer trips and camp along the river.

The level of experience you have should denote the amount of time you spend river rafting and what level of difficulty you choose. Speaking with a river runner is important when you are deciding on the best and most unique trip for you and your family. Some safety tips include wearing the correct shoes and having the correct clothing. You do not want sandals that easily slip off your feet. Some people will wear hiking boots, but remember if water splashes in your hiking shoes you may end up uncomfortable and looking for problems. It is best to wear some time of boat shoe that gives you grip as well as comfort.

The clothing should be warm. In Canada you may experience warm weather depending on the time of year, but that doesn't mean the water is as warm as the rivers you are use to. Being comfortable and staying warm is very important especially if you are going to be camping out.

You can also find more info on Grand Canyon White Water Rafting and White Water Rafting In North Carolina. is a comprehensive resource to known about white water rafting.


White Water Rafting

Monday, July 02, 2007

Bad Weather RVing

Be Prepared for Bad Weather RVing
By Mark Polk

This article focuses on an important topic for anybody who travels in an RV. The topic is emergency weather planning. It doesn’t take long to formulate a plan so you will be prepared in the event of severe weather. Making a plan and being prepared are the key words and you’ll be glad you did when it happens. Let’s take a look.

I love the freedom of the open road. There is nothing like exploring the back roads in your RV. You can go where you want and when you want in your house on wheels, and because of this, often times you find yourself in a new destination everyday.

Something many RVers do not take into consideration with this freedom to roam is the weather conditions where you are traveling to, or spending the night. RV's are great, but they are not safe in severe weather, like lightning and thunderstorms with high winds, tornadoes and hurricanes.

When you’re at home, you usually know what the weather forecast is by reading the newspaper, listening to the radio or watching television. When you travel three or four hundred miles a day in your RV the weather conditions can change several times. Many times when you stop for the night all you want to do is get some rest. The weather is the last thing on your mind. The problem with this is severe weather can occur without much warning, and if you are caught in it, it can be disastrous.

So, what do we do, what's the plan? Plan is the key word here. RVers need to have an emergency plan in case of a severe storm. For starters, have you ever heard of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio or NWR? The NOAA Weather Radio is a nationwide network of radio stations that broadcast continuous weather information directly from a nearby National Weather Service Office.

They broadcast National Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day. Alerts inform people if they need to take some type of action in order to protect them, such as "seeking shelter" or "to evacuate an area immediately!” What does this mean to RVers? It means if you owned a battery operated weather radio receiver you could monitor weather conditions no matter where you are!

Every RVer should own a weather radio receiver. Prices for receivers can range anywhere from $25 to $200 depending on the quality of the receiver and the features it has to offer. We actually have two weather radio receivers. Both are from The Weather Channel® Stormtracker™ series by Vector. We leave the Compact Storm Tracker in the RV at all times. It’s a TV with a five inch screen, an AM-FM radio, emergency weather radio, cell phone charger and flashlight all in one. When we arrive at our destination we set it in the ‘Weather’ position and tune in to the NOAA station with the strongest signal in that area. Then, by leaving the Storm Tracker in the alert/lock mode 24/7, when an all-hazard emergency or weather alert is broadcast by NOAA, the Storm Tracker sounds an audible alert to notify us that a message is pending.

We also have a handheld Stormtracker model that we can use when we are away from the campground. It’s perfect for hiking, riding four-wheelers, boating and many other uses. Both models work off of 12 volt DC, 120 volt AC and dry cell batteries. There is also a back-up power system, furnished by built in rechargeable batteries. The rechargeable, battery is a secondary power source for emergency use when the battery, 12 volt DC power or 120 volts AC are not available. If the power goes out for a long period of time, and all of battery sources have been depleted, both radios have a hand crank that can be used to recharge the batteries and continue to operate the weather radio, flashlight and cell phone charging port. When you get back home, you can use the weather radio receiver in your house.

For more information on the NOAA Weather Radio visit their website at

I am including a short checklist you can use to help prepare for emergency weather planning when you are traveling in your RV. You can add to, or take away from this list to tailor it to your specific needs. This is an excerpt from my Checklists for RVers E-book at

The first step to our emergency weather plan is to get a weather radio receiver if you don’t already have one, and to always monitor it when you use your RV.

The next step is to develop an emergency evacuation plan, to use in the event of severe weather. When you arrive at a campground, ask at the check-in desk about an emergency plan in case of a severe storm such as a tornado, a thunderstorm with high winds, or flash flooding. If they don’t have a plan you need to make your own.

Locate a structure that is safer than your RV, like a bathhouse or the campground office. Always stay on the lowest level possible and away from doors and windows.

Brief everybody with you on the emergency plan. Explain to children how to respond to different disasters and the dangers of severe weather, fires, and other emergencies. Instruct children on emergency exits and instruct them on how and when to call 911.

Make sure everybody knows exactly what his or her job is in case of severe weather.

Monitor the weather radio for emergency information. Emergency weather watches and warnings are for counties and towns, so always check a map for the county or town where you are staying.

Have an emergency supply kit made up and easily accessible. The kit should contain: flashlights, batteries, rain ponchos, bug spray, a portable weather radio, first aid kit, non- perishable packaged or canned food, a manual can opener, blankets, prescription and non-prescription drugs, pet supplies, bottled water and any special items for infants, elderly or disabled family members.

Remember, RV's are not safe in severe weather! This includes severe thunderstorms with high winds, tornadoes and hurricanes. Always be prepared for bad weather RVing. Learn about the different types of weather hazards, get a weather radio if you don't have one, create a plan with your family and practice and maintain the plan. Now go RVing and have some fun.

Q & A

Question: Is there someplace I can to go to learn more about how to prepare for emergency weather?

Mark Says: There sure is, to learn more about how to prepare for and react to different types of severe weather take a moment to visit

Question: Will any weather radio receiver do?

Mark Says: I mentioned in the article that the important thing is that you have a weather radio. But I personally wouldn’t scrimp on the type of weather radio you purchase. Some key features I would look for in a weather radio are: It should have some type of alert mode to warn you when a weather alert is broadcast by NOAA, it should operate in different modes like 12 volt DC, 120 volt AC and dry cell batteries. Some other nice features to look for are a built in flashlight and a cell phone charging port.

Question: What if everybody is not together at the campground in the event of severe weather? I mean what if I’m at the RV with my spouse and the kids are at the game room or somewhere else?

Mark Says:That should be part of your overall emergency plan that you brief everybody on when you arrive at the campground. Tell the children, who are old enough to understand, what to do in the event you are separated during bad weather. They should go to structure that you designated as the rally point and safe place. Children should also memorize your cell phone number so they can get in contact with you in the event you are separated in bad weather.

Happy Camping,

Mark J. Polk

Copyright 2007 by Mark J. Polk owner
RV Expert Mark Polk, seen on TV, is the producer & host of America's most highly regarded series of DVD's, videos, books, and e-books.
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Bad Weather RVing