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Old 02-06-2011   #1
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 115
Lower san juan with youngster

Would any of you take your almost 2 year old on the lower San Juan in April. I am not sure if he will set in the boat but i would do Ruby Horse thief be for trying a 5 day river trip. Don't be to hard on me for asking I am not going to take him even if i am a little unsure about it.

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Old 02-06-2011   #2
Palisade, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 292
have you done an overnight with the kid yet? lots of work...walking Government rapid is no biggie (if i remember), but five days camping with a youngster from a small boat can be a giant pain in the ass...

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Old 02-06-2011   #3
El Flaco's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
Plenty of folks do it, but as you know it's totally a personal judgment call & not without risks. We did a SJ trip in June last year with 8 kids, ages almost 2 to 6, with 12 adults. IMO the most dangerous part of the trip is on the ramps and at camps - they will probably fall asleep on the boat. There are many folks on this board that have taken kids on trips at younger ages, and other people that think it's a bad idea. So, as they say- "opinions vary".

The first question you have to ask is if you're doing it for him/her, or yourself. It will be harder than a normal trip because of sleeping, naps, and always having to have eyes directly on them for 24 hrs x 5 days. It might lead to wonderful memories for them if they have a ball (our 3 year old still talks about his trip), but you will likely hear "I wanna go home" when the're tired, hungry, etc. And your fun factor will be less than a normal trip.

So you might consider just the top, or just the bottom, rather than the whole 5 days.

There are other good threads on this topic on this board, with others' experiences, concerns and encouragement.
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Old 02-08-2011   #4
BackCountry's Avatar
Gunnison, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1970
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 86
Depends on the child. I went down Deso/Grays with a group of 24 a few years back that consisted of 11 kids between the ages of 2 and 12 - most averaging 5-7. The 2 year old on the trip really impressed me. Always on the front of the boat with wide eyes (and mouth) for every set of rapids. There were times all the kids fussed briefly when they were tired, but only real briefly. I was really impressed that all the kids were so well behaved and simply loved the trip.

The San Juan is very easy water. April can have good weather that is not too hot. If your kid already likes to camp I would go for it. My kids started coming camping with us from a few months of age on. As they have gotten older river trips have become more enjoyable as my kids now have their own boats and take care of me on the river.
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Old 02-09-2011   #5
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1976
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 6
Next year mine will be 2, and the SJ is a perfect start. We camp all the time as well, and he did his first class three already.(in the belly)
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Old 02-09-2011   #6
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,012
Do it. Pic showing about half the kids from Flaco's trip (observing the rule: No Feet in the Water). They had a great time.

Flaco, do you think Mark would hire out his camp slave services?
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Old 02-09-2011   #7
Philadelphia, New Jersey
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 6
I have been kayaking since I was 2 years old. I am currently 15. I don't know whether you are going to be taking rafts down the river or not but my dad had a spray skirt modified(did it himself) that fit me and him in the same kayak so that we could paddle whitewater together. If you are interested in this you can message me and I can call him up and get all the details on how he did. Hope I can help you
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Old 02-09-2011   #8
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 115
Thanks for encouragement I am going to try Ruby Horsethief for his first multy day trip in March if weather is ok. We floated from Fruita to loma last summer and he did ok. He has been camping since he was two weeks old and him and I slept out in a snow storm in the San Rafeail swell last April. So he is ok with the camping part. It would be nice to hook up with other family groups if any of you are interested let me know.
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Old 02-09-2011   #9
Rainy Northwest, Washington
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 459
Two year olds

I think any river with a zero flip possibility is cool. My kids started going at that age and loved it. Have to have enough adults around to help keep an eye out and to deal if you get sick or something weird happens.

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