Camping out is a huge part of a river rafting trip. It adds to the fun quotient, takes you out of your ho-hum comfort zone at home and drops you straight into the über-cool zone of outdoor adventurers, and gets you back in touch with nature.
1) You can try to count the stars.
There are lots. People who live in urban and suburban sprawl are usually gobsmacked at the sheer amount of stars visible while camping out on a river trip. Fewer lights polluting the sky means you get quite a nighttime show far above.
2) Learn about some cool constellations.
Can you find Sirius? Orion? Alpha Centauri? Stars are pretty amazing to pick out, and guides have some great stories about how the stars got their names. Ursa Minor, Cassiopeia, Lyra, Bootes, Pegasus…
3) River serenade.
The river makes a perfect lullaby after a day of rafting down its serpentine twists. Listen to the rippling, splashing, burbling noises of the river as you relax right into your dreams.
4) You’ll sleep more naturally and soundly.
No need to be fearful of the dark out there. Sleeping without artificial lights that unnaturally lengthen our days and throw off our circadian rhythms can be some of the most restful you’ll ever experience. After millennia of life with only sun and campfires to provide light, our bodies are well attuned to the night. Let go and settle into your body’s natural cadences outside.
5) The fun factor.
Sleeping under the stars isn’t something most of us do on a regular basis. That makes it exciting, which means fun! You’re on a river rafting vacation to have a good time, right? Sleeping outside adds to the overall experience, ensuring memories that will last.
Written by Julie Trevelyan.
Julie is a freelance writer and wilderness guide in southern Utah. She especially enjoys books, coffee, yoga, wild country, horses, and dark chocolate.