By Joe Ballent
1. Bring sunscreen!
6 Tips for your first whitewater rafting trip! While we boast some of the most stunning vistas in the country here in Utah, we also boast some of the most consistent summer sunshine. Be sure to stock up, and check the ‘SPF’ rating. The higher, the better. And don’t worry- if you forget to bring some, we have some at our Holiday River Expeditions gift shop.
2. Pack for a range of weather.
The majority of our whitewater trips take place in the heart of summer, but that’s no guarantee of weather. You’ll reliably encounter sunshine, but don’t get caught off-guard in the rare event of freak weather. In my both my first and second seasons of guiding, we experienced snow in June. A spare thermal layer, rain jacket, good wool socks and hat can save you a lot of heartache, particularly if you’re like me and not a huge fan of the cold.
3. Don’t forget extra camera batteries.
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but the last thing you want is to reach an incredible, breathtaking view, or a unique historical site, or wake up on rapid day, all knowing you are about to miss out on prime photo opportunities due to lack of sufficient batteries.
4. Split medications.
If you have any regular medications, speak with your Trip Leader (and our staff while booking your trip) about splitting up meds in case of the (highly unlikely) event that one bag gets lost or separated from the group. Every holiday guide has their own first aid kit, all in addition to each trip’s larger first aid kid capable of fulfilling First Responder needs for a variety of medical situations.
5. Let our staff know of any special accommodations.
We’re proud to feed our guests well on the river, and that includes river runners with vegetarian or gluten-free diets. Which reminds me…
6. Come ready to eat!
Even though high adventure in the deep desert can be rigorous- with plenty of opportunity for activity including hiking and paddling –don’t be surprised if you return home with an extra pound or three. From filet mignon and creamy mashed potatoes to lasagna and our infamous Big Drop Omelettes (Bomb-elettes, depending on who you ask) our guests don’t go hungry.
Joe Ballent found the river- or it found him –when he was only 16. He began guiding with Holiday in 2008 and has enjoyed the unique privilege of getting involved with Holiday’s youth trips, including the University of Utah Hospital Burn Camp program. His writing has been featured on various outdoor online communities including mountaintechs.com and backcountrybeacon.com. Joe works with troubled teens full-time but manages to find trouble around the country and world in his freetime. He is an outdoorsman by trade, a romantic by choice, a guitarist in a band, and an outlaw in Europe.