What To Look For In A River Rafting Guide

Whitewater rafting is​ a​ great experience for families, business teams, kids at​ summercamp, or​ just for some outdoor fun in​ the water. But the person who is​ going to​ be most responsible for a​ great experience on the river is​ your rafting guide. Most rivers have a​ couple of​ rafting outfitters to​ choose from, so how can you select one which will provide the best guides? We’ve done the research for you on what features to​ look for in​ the perfect rafting guide.

Safety First
The first thing you should always be sure of​ is​ that your rafting guide is​ First Aid and CPR certified. Most rafting outfitters will require this for their guides to​ be hired. You will also want to​ make sure that every guide is​ recertified every year (or even more often!).

While most river rafting trips are fun, exciting and supremely safe, in​ the unlikely event of​ an​ emergency, there is​ a​ world of​ difference between a​ guide who is​ very familiar with CPR and First Aid methods and one who is​ new to​ the concepts. Always be sure the rafting company you go with has well-trained guides.

Licensed to​ Paddle
In most states, river guides need be licensed by some wing of​ state government in​ order to​ operate river tours. The most common issuers of​ these certifications are the state itself, departments of​ wildlife, or​ forestry departments.

Rafting companies that operate without certified guides place an​ extra burden on the environment, and also may not meet the standards of​ safety training required by the state. Inquire about the certification of​ river guides at​ companies you are considering, and make sure that all of​ the guides with that company are certified.

Learning is​ Fun
Although it’s difficult to​ tell how knowledgeable a​ rafting company’s guides will be without speaking to​ them, there are some clues that will help you identify companies with guides who will know interesting facts about the river and surrounding area.

Check out the website of​ the rafting company. Chances are they will put some of​ their knowledge of​ the area there. if​ their site has only general information on rafting and no links to​ local businesses, you might reconsider your choice. On the other hand, if​ the website tells you about some of​ the history of​ the area as​ well as​ recommendations for where to​ go after your rafting adventure, chances are you will be dealing with a​ company that knows the area and river and imparts similar knowledge on their guides.

By selecting a​ river outfitter with safe, certified, and knowledgeable guides, you are helping to​ ensure that you and your rafting group will be able to​ enjoy your ride to​ the fullest, without being scared or​ bored.

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