Originally Posted by hand8272
I see that this is an old thread but I need some advice. I'm planning on taking my son(3) on his first over night raft trip down the Grande Ronde(mild class 2). I'm a experienced boatman but my wife thinks I'm crazy, I think he will really enjoy the trip. Am I pushing it to early? I need advice and thoughts. Thanks
Hey hand8272, way to go! you are definitely not pushing it to early! (as long as your son is into the idea.) Last summer I took my then 2 year old daughter on a 5 day San Juan trip. The other two boats both had young children on them as well, but they were both whole family units, so yeah they had moms to read books, apply sunscreen & dig for snacks while the dads rowed. Our little boat though, was just her & I, & we did fine! The only problem I encountered was that I had to play the catch up game whenever I had to set down the oars to be the sunscreen applier & snack getter. I kept a soft jacks plastic welding bucket (those things Rock btw,) full of sand & water friendly toys clipped to the inside of the bow, & made that whole front compartment her little world. She is really good about getting down & holding on to her "rodeo strap" in any little rapids, & is one of those easily self entertained kinda kids. I spent many an hour rowing with her on my lap nursing in those first two years too though. Nap time was tricky, cuz I was in a little boat with no deck, but we made it work with spare pfd's towels, sarongs, etc... And yeah, when it comes to camp, just stay close to kitchen/fire & enforce pfd & water play rules. Your little guy will Love it!
I have to say that later in the season we did a 3 day Chama trip together & had a (non boater) friend on the boat with us, & it was Not any easier! In fact I almost felt like I had a second kid to watch! :P So yeah, even with out a helping hand it is totally doable & totally fun!
& btw, maybe I'm just crazy & I push the envelope, but my daughter started on class II day trips at 1 year old, class II over nights at 2 years old, & easy class III day trips at 2 1/2 years old! Having said that though, she LOVES it, she begs for it, she Always wants to go rafting & doesn't get to go nearly as often as she would like! (also bear in mind that this is a kid who walked at 8 months old & skid her first bumps [after weeks of begging] at barely 3 years old!) she's a go-getter & is not exactly timid... but, nature vs nurture, there is allot to both of them, & instilling a Love of nature at an early age is never a bad idea.
Happy rafting with you little one!