Holiday guide Michelle Postma writes a quirky list of things one can learn as a never ever rafter from the perspective of her parents! Continue reading for the humorous insights!

BAthtime in the riverRiver Spa

Take a river bath. It feels great! The guides have biodegradable soap if you need it. My guide even had black nail polish and rose toner to share.

Buddy System

It’s fun to bring a friend or family member. It’s easy meeting new people and it’s also exciting to share experiences with your friend! I went on a trip with my parents and it was so cool getting to see them get excited during the rapids. I’m so proud of my mom for camping for the first time!

Quack Quack

Try the duckies! “I made myself try it and was glad I did”

It’s not weird to pee; it’s weird to watch people pee

Exactly what it sounds like. I love this part of the rafting culture. As a woman, I could hang off the side of the raft, go for a swim, or squat along the river bank to pee in the water. It was so freeing to be able to pee wherever (with discretion of course!). Lodore Journal Lindsey Ducky Rapid

False red 

The bano or bathroom is locked with a wooden board. Green is open. Red is occupied. About half the time people forgot to switch the board back to green. It’s a false red! I learned I can head down the path and yell “hallloooo is anybody in the bano??” At night shining lights in that direction works too. 

Find out more about the bano system here.

What’s in your bag?

Bring what it tells you to, but don’t bring extra stuff. My bag was lighter and easier to pack each morning. Plus I only ended up wearing two river outfits and two land outfits for the whole six day trip. I read all the literature and packing list and had everything I needed. A headlamp is superior to a handheld flashlight. Reliable walking shoes are worth gold. My favorite item was a hooded long sleeved sun hoody.

Meat Bees aren’t bees

They are yellow jackets. They will be attracted to the meat and food. They will not attack humans, they mainly just want the food. Stand in the river to avoid them. I stepped on one and it stung me! 

Pro tip

The guides loved it when guests helped wash the dishes and when we lined up early for the bano as they were packing up camp. That way we could push off the beach and have time for more playing and scenic stops during the day. Efficiency is key!

CostumesCheck out and Tune in

For the first time in a while, I left my phone behind. After a day or two I stopped worrying about what was going on in the outside world. I brought a disposable waterproof camera. Others had digital. One of my favorite things about the river was just feeling what it is like to be right here and nowhere else. All the food had been packed; I have all my gear and if I forgot something, well it’s too late now. If it rains I’ll put my poncho on. I can stare at the river or learn how to thorp rocks or nap on the beach….

Bring a Costume!!!

The last night of the river trip was a party! Many people who had been on river trips before brought costumes. And the guides were covered in glitter, sequin dresses, funny hats, and Hawaiian shirts. Luckily they had some extra costumes and I was able to round out the night as a 90s pirate!


Michelle PostmaHi I’m Michelle Postma. I grew up in Columbus, GA and lived for summer camp every year in Brevard, NC – mountains of waterfalls, moss, and afternoon sunshowers. I love rowing, reading fantasy/scif-i, biking, doodling, and being a lizard in the sun. My favorite beverage is water or bean water. My favorite food group is salt. If you know any dad jokes, please tell them to me. Thank you!

What do you get if you cross a stream and a creek? Wet feet!