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Old 07-18-2007   #21
Gnarnia, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 651
I'm well aware of that but it is nice to get input from others that have been there, done that. In all likelihood, the drive from Lyons to the Pumphouse is probably 100 times more dangerous than the run itself. There is a difference in taking a somewhat calculated risk and being just plain stupid. I prefer not to be the latter.

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Old 07-18-2007   #22
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,345
Well, my frame of reference (as always) is my dogs. Getting our puppy going rafting this spring was a slow process, lakes, flat rivers, finally whitewater after about 6 trips. I was gung ho to take bigger steps with the pup than my husband was. We chose his conservative rate and went slower. Each time I was glad we did. Nothing went wrong, but each time was a learning experience for her and us. We told ourselves we have (hopefully) a decade of rafting with her, or more. No need to hurry. If you are apprehensive, perhaps waiting is the best thing??? There's no accounting for instincts, but they usually are good guides.

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Old 07-18-2007   #23
rwhyman's Avatar
Unincorporated Douglas County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 961
JBL, I think your missing my point. It seems you want someone to define stupid for you.

How about this. I see some folks are planning on running Gore in kayaks this weekend. That's some pretty big stuff. Are they stupid? How about if I plan to join them. I'm I stupid? The only person that can really answer that is me. I have to go with my own instincts.
If you've been down Pumphouse 20 times, you know what it will be like. Go with your gut.
Just curious, where do you find a PFD for an 11 month old.

Just so you know, if I went down Gore in a kayak, that would be stupid.
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Old 07-18-2007   #24
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 67
Extrasport has infant/child pfds:
Children's Type II - Extrasport®
Design Floatation: Infant Child (9 lbs., 14 oz.), Youths (11 lbs., 4 oz.)
Sizes: Infant child (under 50 lbs.), Youth (50-90 lbs.)
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Old 07-18-2007   #25
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,345
Is it the heat or lack of water?

What else would make the general mood of the forum so on edge? Hey, half the time asking people what they think, what would they do, is to just help get out of your own brain track for a bit, and maybe take a different perspective. It's called "bouncing ideas around", and it's hard to do by yourself. Sheesh, it's not like JBL is asking someone else to decide for him or something. Really
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Old 07-18-2007   #26
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Technology Partner, Littleton, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Make sure they're protected

My son wanted to paddle kayaks from the time he was 20 months old and beginning to verbalize. He sat in a Jackson Fun 1 for 3 hours one cold morning outside 4-Corners Riversports to make sure I bought the boat he picked out. He had the desire, though all of it scared him at every level. I made sure he had a wetsuit, a PFD, and a helmet. The biggest problem with kids and cold water is they get used to it fast and have no idea that they're really cold.

Oddly enough, they can take cold a bit better than we adults, but only to a point. I think taking an infant on a raft is an invitation for trouble. An infant only weighs so much, and even with a PFD, they weigh about as much as a large piece of firewood. That in and of itself means they can be worked and kept in a hole you or I could swim out of. If they fall overboard, they're small and hard to spot. Another issue are the PFD's themselves for infants, most of them claim they will keep a kid face up, but in trial and error and reality, all the ones I ever purchased for Henry never kept him face upp in the water, even on a lake.

My advice is get a sitter, take the kid to your parents or in-laws and have a safe and happy trip. Wait until they are old enough (say 3 yrs +) and can swim fairly well. If you don't wait and don't enable them to have some survival skills, they'll be dead meat floating down the river and you'll be devastated.
And the Lord said, let there be whitewater. So on Friday, the 13th day of the month....
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Old 07-18-2007   #27
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Lyons, Colorado
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BEN, all the answers to your questions are in the "EDDY" under the SEC thread
Go Dawgs!!!
Happiness is a way of travel not a destination
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Old 07-19-2007   #28
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Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 580
Mike- I disagree. I don't think you take an infant on any river where there are holes and any chance of flipping a raft, so none of the situations you pointed out would be valid. I also think that 4 years old is too young to begin kayaking, but is a good age to have kids on a raft to experience the river.

BTW- What happened to you this weekend? Clear creek was fun.

Also, I have a "up to 30lb." PFD for the little ones. Mine is too big for it now, but they do make them and they work well. I can sell it if you can't find one at the stores. Hate to plug them, but I did find them at Walmart, coast guard approved and everything.
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Old 07-19-2007   #29
Gnarnia, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 651
After lots and lots of research, we found an infant pfd at Trail Kids in Boulder. It's for infants up to 30 lbs. There is no flotation in the back, only in the front and in the collar around the head. It has a zipper closure in the front, a waist belt and a crotch strap. it also has a haldle on the collar for lifting the kid out of the water.

My son has taken infant survival swim classes (learning to roll over onto his back and float) and is now in a regular swim class so we've had the opportunity to test the pdf in the pool and we couldn't get him to float face down even though we tried. The pfd rolled him over every time and did so very quickly. In the class they teach them to float in all sorts of different clothing - swim diaper, wetsuit, fleece jacket, shorts and shirt, long pants, shoes, etc.

Before you flame me, I fully realize that floating in a pool and bobbing down a river are two COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THINGS. We enrolled him in the survival swim class becasue we live around water (rivers, creeks and ponds) and felt that it was necessary for him to be able to float. We are river folks and eventually, we hope he'll be into rivers too.

I'm about as conservative of a river runner as you'll meet. I've been paddling for many years and fully understand the risk involved with running rivers. I've been an ACA SWR instructor since '97 and know first hand both what it takes to stay safe on the river and how to avoid getting into trouble in the first place.

As I said in a previous post, I don't want to do anything stupid. And, seeing as how this is my first kid, I don't have a frame of reference for taking kids on the river. That's why I asked the question on the buzz to see what other parents have done. I wasn't asking for anyone to 'define stupid' for me. I was asking to try to tap into the collecitve knowledge of all the river parents out there.

Anyway, our plans have changed and I think I'm just going to have my dog swim Ruby/Horsethief this weekend while I ride in my Coleman raft full of Boones Farm and whiskey. We might even float all the way through Westwater to town...
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Old 07-19-2007   #30
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 41
Call me conservative or old-fashioned, but my rule of thumb with my kids has been no boating on moving water until they know how to swim. I don't see any good reason to do it sooner than that...unless, of course, you just got invited on a Middle Fork or Grand trip and grandma and grandpa aren't available to watch them.

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