Whitewater Rafting: Winning the Pre-Game

Whitewater Rafting: Winning the Pre-Game

Posted 8/12/16

It might seem a little daunting. Most of the guests we bring down the river have never been whitewater rafting before. But imagine whitewater rafting on the Hudson River, the same river that flows past the Statue of Liberty! It sounds like a real Adirondack adventure, so the call is made and the rafting tripped is booked. What's the best way to plan for the trip?

Preparation isn't all perspiration, sometimes it's navigation! Remember that cellphones don't always work in the Adirondack Park. It's best to plan the route in advance!

Adirondac Rafting Company's river base is located on the western edge of Indian Lake, just outside of town. The physical address is 100 West Main St, Indian Lake, NY but some older GPS maps have us at 6440 NY-30, Indian Lake, NY. If you keep your eye out, you'll see some rafting buses and paddle signs, that's where you want to be.

We try our best to curb the chaos of check in. Owner Bob Rafferty and utility-man Dennis greet arriving guests and help with parking. Kerry and Brad Rafferty wait behind the desk with waivers and bright smiles. We try very hard to provide a pleasant, friendly check in experience. Although for those who arrive late, it can feel a little rushed.

Whitewater rafting is generally considered a spring sport. On most rivers, rafts navigate the river as it runs high due to the Spring Thaw. On the Upper Hudson Gorge we benefit from the presence of the Lake Abenakee Dam, which releases water for the summer rafting program from 9:30am ñ 11:30am on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. This gives us the water we need to run the river all summer long. It also means that we are on a tight schedule if we're going to ride that water. (Note: that we can run every day in the Spring, and weekends only after Labor Day.)

Adirondac Rafting Company provides the rafts, paddles, helmets and PFDs (Personal Floatation Devices, commonly called life jackets.) We rent wetsuit jackets and "farmer john" bottoms to help you stay warm on cooler days. Also, we provide a guide who leads teams of rafters down the river as it carves through the Upper Hudson Gorge. Our guides each have an individual style, and they are all fun, knowledgeable and highly trained professionals.

As the sage philosopher Roger Maris said, ìYou hit home runs not by chance but by preparation.î A good question might be, how should someone prepare for his or her rafting trip? Some of it is pretty simple: Get a good night's sleep and eat a healthy breakfast. For example, it might not be optimal to stay up carousing around the campfire until the wee hours of the morning.

Dressing for your Summer rafting trip is a little less simple.

It sounds a little bit counterintuitive, but it's best to dress in layers when you are going rafting. We go rafting in any weather. Our guests have enjoyed scorching hot summer days, misty fog and rain, and the occasional passing storm. A good rule of thumb for any outdoor adventure is don't wear anything that is made of cotton. When cotton gets wet it doesn't insulate, it gets pretty uncomfortable and it can chaff. Wear a bathing suit and a quick dry shirt. If it looks chilly, think about wearing some tights or long john top and/or bottoms (polypro.) It might be wise to consider wool socks if the weather looks disagreeable.

Rafters really need to wear shoes with some ankle support. Guests carry rafts, walk around rocky lunch spots and even climb up our famous jump rock. Sandals or a pair of old sneakers are a good choice. In our guides' experience, Crocs aren't the best choice. They have an interesting way of floating away and leaving their owner with one shoe for the rest of the day. Flip-flops are a great choice for after the trip, but not on the raft.

Our NYSDEC licensed whitewater guides are happy to carry small items in their dry bags. Just be aware that dry bags keep things dry (obviously) but they might not keep things from being crushed. It's a good idea to apply sunscreen, and bring some along to reapply while out on the river. Also bring any medications that might be required during the course of the day.

On the morning of the trip, Adirondac Rafting Company guides and other staff will be mingling about, ready to answer any questions and offer advice based on their experiences. Soon the safety speech will begin and the bus engines will rumble. Once the preparations are made, the adventure begins.

See you on the river!


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