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Old 09-20-2013   #21
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 25

Same as many others in that I have 2 kids and started them @ 18mos. We did several Ruby/ Horsethief trips with a pack 'n play when the kids were at that age. Under 3 and the ripples seem to put them to sleep. It's all about the comfort level of the parents, but the more comfortable you make the kids the more enjoyable for the adults. Tons of shade, snacks, sand toys etc... all worked well for us. My oldest is is 8.5 now, with a Apr b-day. Since her 5th b-day, when we ask her what she wants for her birthday, she has said "I want to do an overnight raft trip". Have fun and be safe!!

infant PFD= less than 30lbs
child PFD= 30- 50 lbs
youth PFD = 50-90lbs

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Old 10-09-2013   #22
Paonia, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 9
yep, started them in car seats and now tell them that if they can swim it they can run it in a boat. There pretty good swimmers.. still just 6 and 7 years old. i guess we will see what there appetite is now that they have stopped eating mud cakes, and have a sense of what rapids are. They have always loved playing and camping on river trips. its always fun to have some uptight parents along and talk about relative risks, like driving to the river.. crossing the street, texting wile walking.. that sort of thing..

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Old 04-04-2015   #23
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 2
We just floated the Lower San Juan for 5 days with our 6 month old and learned some good things for next time. I agree this all about comfort level on the river and how flexible your little one is. We were not worried about the difficulty of the water and our little guy is pretty easy going. Actually he loves to be outside. We walked the one rapid over a class II and always had at least one adult next to him when we were floating. We rigged his car seat up in the front and had a big patio shade umbrella as well. Oh yeah we also had a little hand held umbrella too. I think the best part of our trip was all the friends who helped us out. Our little guy had so much attention and so many new play partners he loved it. Often I would see someone holding him while they were both laughing. This was key, it would have been a very different story with out so much support. Having the support of our community was a very beautiful part of the trip. That being said it wasn't all fun and games. He definitely was pushed by being out of his element. This meant more crying than we are use to and making sure he was getting lots of love. Being prepared for more cold and heat than we had was great and lots of oils/salve for his skin was nice. We gave him bottles of water with a splash of coconut water in addition to milk though the day. We also brought a little bouncy lay back chair deal for him in camp. All in all the trip was a lot of work, it was not as rejuvenating as I am use to and we definitely felt exposed at times. That being said now that we are home, I am so glad we went out with him. Sharing this part of our lives with our child is one of the reasons we are rafters and the teaching that comes from the river is too important to miss for us and for him.
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Old 04-04-2015   #24
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 2
Originally Posted by LSB View Post
I've heard tales of Jack (Jacks Plastic) strapping a playpen into the back of his 20' cat on the SanJuan back in the day.
Well that was when you could get a 20' raft down the San Juan. Ole Powell Res. is doing a number on it these days.
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Old 04-04-2015   #25
wildh2onriver's Avatar
irvine, California
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,197
Originally Posted by Capt. Nacho View Post
Well that was when you could get a 20' raft down the San Juan. Ole Powell Res. is doing a number on it these days.

You still can. If I could get my 18'x8' cat down at 375, 1k should be a dream flow super highway.

Sent from my iPhone using Mountain Buzz
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Old 04-04-2015   #26
Telluride, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 9
We took my youngest son on a Moab Daily trip when he was 6 weeks old and he wasn't the youngest! The moms pretty much held the babies, kept them in shade. We were on guard for sure, but it was a mellow time of year. Both my boys had 5 or so river trips before 1yr old, including some Ruby Horsethiefs. My oldest first did Westwater when he was 7. He was pretty nervous, but we had a great group of boaters around us, we talked through the "what ifs", and all was good. He even paddled his Jackson Fun 1 until Little D. Seeing his big smile after we passed the rapids, the tension went away and he was eager to do an overnight next time, made it all worth it. Now the next question is when is a good age for the Grand? I am thinking around 12, but I see it more as a comfort level swimming rapids, situational awareness around camp, willingness to help out and wanting to truly camp for the 21 days. We did a 4 day Rogue trip in October, both boys, currently 7 and 10, were great helpers in camp, helped with meals, rigging, firewood gathering and maintained great attitudes on a 50 degree constant rain day. I did have them hike Blossom Bar, because it looked sketchy at low water, but all was smooth. Man I love boating with my kids!

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