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Old 03-19-2015   #1
dillon, Colorado
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 35
Milk Run with 5yr old?

Is Milk Run an approipate run for a 5 yr old in a ducky with Dad? At what flows do you think it would be questionable? Thanks

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Old 03-19-2015   #2
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 66
Depends on the 5yr old and their familiarity with water and the skill of the dad.

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Old 03-19-2015   #3
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,207
400-1000 would probably be best. I have seen kids that young boat, but they should have some prior experience paddling (even flat water), and you should boat the run first and make note of the wood/bush issues and make sure your child knows how to avoid them. Also probably a good idea to have some additional safety boaters with you.
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Old 03-19-2015   #4
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,909
Ditto what lmyers said, to which I'd add your paddling skills need to be superb. But if you've got that many conditions that need to be met for everything to go well, then the answer is probably no.

Being up high on a raft for the Milk Run at mellow flows would be one thing but getting splashed with cold water in a ducky and being that close to the water and waves could be really frightening for the child.

Sure, if everything goes perfectly it'll be fine and could be a great experience for both of you and it'll be a great building block for future boating experiences. It's the consequences of something going wrong that need to be considered - think of the frightening (traumatic) effect of a swim in cold swift water, then consider getting separated from your child in a swim. Another consequence to consider is years of future meltdowns, acting out, and then sullen resentment at the put-in and on the river until the child's old enough to opt out of going on family boating trips or eventually gets over the bad experience.

Low/moderate risk + high consequences = no.

Be safe, that's some very precious cargo in your care.

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 03-19-2015   #5
Favre's Avatar
Nampa, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 240
I have a 4 year old that I love to get on the water..

Perhaps the best answer I've ever heard to these types of questions is - "If you have to ask, the answer is probably NO."

I mean no disrespect, but unless you feel 100% and therefore don't need another's opinion, it's just probably not worth it..

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Old 03-19-2015   #6
shredder-scott's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 257

I would advise againist it.

Little kids get cold to easy.

A ducky is very wet cold ride compared to a raft.

Maybe on a very hot august day with low flows.

I think it would be significantly safer and more fun for the kid to do it in a raft.

Note....not a single person has advised you that it is a good idea.....doable ....yes it can be done in reasonably safe manner, right day, right water level, right people backing you up.

When the kid gets a little older (8-10) and is a good swimmer, you can get him his own ducky to paddle !

Note.....I took my 9-10 year down Browns in tandem ducky in august on a hot low water day, with rafts in support.....we did fine and had a good time.....but he was a good swimmer, had run browns before in a raft, and had driven his own duck, for parts of our gates of lorde trip. In fact when he was 12 he solo ducky all of our gates of lorde trip that year.

He is now a senior in high school, and r2s class IV water with me, even calls paddle commands now.

I started him slow with motorcycles as well....litlle bikes, age and ability appropriate trails and he has his motorcycle license, rides a platted KTM 450exc with 2 weeks we leave for spring break ...moab bound with our bikes....later this summer we have a 10 day dual sport adventure camping ride planned.

Point being start slow, put him in swim lessons or swim team....and you to could end up having the best possible R2 partner

Enjoy your little one

Paddle on

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Old 03-19-2015   #7
Wadeinthewater's Avatar
Walterville, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 559
Originally Posted by Favre View Post

Perhaps the best answer I've ever heard to these types of questions is - "If you have to ask, the answer is probably NO."
I mean no disrespect, but unless you feel 100% and therefore don't need another's opinion, it's just probably not worth it..

Real adventure is only one bad decision away.
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