Pro Tip: River Etiquette
The river can be a busy place with lots of moving parts, users, and ideas. A common understanding of river etiquette for all types of rafts can make or break time spend on the river.
Your trip starts and ends here. You will likely be interacting with the others at the boat ramp while on the river. Be nice to each other because you never know when you may need one another.
Here are a couple of tips to help make the boat ramp more enjoyable and less stressful:
- Keep your gear organized
- Use as small of a foot print as possible
- Move off ramp when you are done
- Move gear up or down stream when done rigging
- Don’t be a ramp hog
On The River
The river community is a small one. You never know when you will run into old friends or even make new ones. Some use the river as an escape from others, while others are there for the community and meeting new people. Please keep this in mind when floating past groups and camping near others.
Tips for a more enjoyable day floating on the river:
- Wave and say hi to groups passing
- If you're playing music, turn the volume down
- Ask where groups are planning to camp
- Look upstream before pulling out an an eddy
- If your group is going slow, let others pass
Camp site selection can be a heated topic. Some rivers it is first come first and others have a reservation system. There is also a huge difference in camp site size and group size. Some camps even have toilet systems in place that can cause some tension.
One of the easiest things to ease campsite competition is to have a tentative plan for your trip. Talk with groups as they float past to see where they are going. Answering “oh you know, down stream!” isn’t a very helpful answer. The more you can share hopefully the less camp stress there can be.
There are some rapids people always scout while others just go through. If you are stopping to scout keep your group together and take up as little space on a beach or in an eddy. If you are not going to scout but see others scouting, it is nice to ask if it is ok to go through. They may not want to separate their group up or could be the upstream safety for a stuck boat.
Things happen while on the river. From something simple like a hole in a raft to a serious medical emergency it can be nice to have others around for help and support. If you notice a group struggling it might be nice to check in to see if you can help. Just remember to keep the safety and well being of your trip in mind.
Tips for being helpful when there is a river incident:
- Ask if help is needed
- Don't take over the situation
- Keep your groups well being in mind
Enjoy The River
A river trip should be the most enjoyable time of the year. A single bad iteration can impact your entire trip. A simple conversation at put-in with the group next to you can help ease camp site selection stress, built a strong rapport with others that will be on the river at the same time, and help build a better whitewater community.