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Old 10-01-2015   #1
Basalt, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 57
Moab Daily: How young is too young?

Headed out to Moab for a long weekend with some family and we have a 2+ year old along.
Wanted to do the daily, which I've done a hundred times and once in the dark and wanted some feedback on the age question.
I've always been in the "can they help themselves if they go in" camp, but a couple of folks made the argument that people take their small children out in speed boats and Boston whalers on the open ocean and that this stretch seemed safer than both.
She has a PFD and we have more than enough eyes on her and hands to hold her.

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Old 10-01-2015   #2
Steamboat, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 582
If you have enough people to keep an eye out, and someone who's always prepared to bail into the water after her, and clothes to keep her warm and dry... I'd do it. We take the kids out paddle rafting with us- three of them. Works out well, we just have to have a basic safety talk and make it key that they listen to everything we say.
If your girl can understand basic safety commands like "get down" and "hold on" she should be fine. The one time the kids didn't listen when we said to get down, our girl got thrown out of the raft. Less than two seconds in the water (not even exaggerating), but it was enough to scare her into listening a lot better. We tend to sandwich the three year old between us when we're paddling through the rougher stuff.
Bottom line, if you're comfortable on the run, confident you're not going to flip, and have enough people go for it. But be realistic, your two year old can't swim-- be ready to jump in.
Oh, helmet. Make sure she has a helmet.

It's a good day to be a duck....
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Old 10-01-2015   #3
Grand Junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 102
I took a 13 month old child on at 20,000 this season

There are hardly even rapids at 4k or whatever it's running - you will be fine
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Old 10-01-2015   #4
Riverton, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 337
Agreed, at these flows you will need to be more concerned about just having someone constantly eyes on her so she doesn't jump out by herself.

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Old 10-01-2015   #5
zbaird's Avatar
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 884
Ive always used the rule that if they cant confidently self rescue there should be one adult that can per kid, not counting the rower.
zach baird
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Old 10-01-2015   #6
Basalt, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 57
Thank. You guys are pretty much confirming what I thought as well. Just didn't want social services rolling up on me at the put in...
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Old 10-01-2015   #7
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,932
We have taken a 3 year old with the explicit demand that one parent be with them at all times and their first duty is to jump in the water with them if they are ejected. If you can hit your lines its not too big of a deal but there are features in there that are not friendly to a young child who lacks the ability to at least do some basic self-rescue if something went south.

This time of year water and air temperature are likely your worst enemies. Temps are dropping an average of 15 degrees as we speak in the region; highs of upper 70s for Moab by the end of the weekend and noticeable colder night time lows. This unseasonably warm air mass is finally leaving!


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