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Old 01-03-2015   #1
g.soutiere's Avatar
leadville, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 279
1.5/2+ yo rafting overnight trips.

Ok so this summer
Joey , is due for his first overnight raft trip. Plan on a ruby / horsethief trip cottonwood / black rocks camp site. L9t of time on grizzly creek, possible trips down roaring fork cimitary down. What more should he go down as day trips before the over night trip. Thanks

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Old 01-03-2015   #2
East MT, WestMT, Both sides of the Yellowstone
Paddling Since: 09
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,112
My lil boy screamed like a banshee sleeping in a tent on night one of the 3 overnights we went on. After the first night he became more acustom to the tent.

don't rush it, its more of a pain in the ass for your wife. Lil fuckers can't swim either, if something goes south but that's obvious. They really like mommy and their normal sleep schedule. But hey I did it on our local river. Large boat helps, pack n play fits nicely in the front of an 18'er.

Mostly just use good judgment and keep it roadside incase of weather, bee sting, screaming,ECT..... that would require a speedy exit.

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Old 01-03-2015   #3
Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 49
Great question Spider. I've been wondering the same thing.

My 18 month old swims like a fish, loves being outside, and I'd really like to do some trips this spring summer with him. Keep me posted if you line something up.
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Old 01-03-2015   #4
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 123
I just asked my now veteran 7 year old what he thought and his first suggestion was the Upper C...also in your backyard. It was his first float (5 months) and first overnight (at 18 months). Sort of along the lines with what Spider said about roadside, it's a trip that if need be, I could row out in the dark.
After many multi-day trips (San Juan, Deso Gray, Labyrinth, Ruby Horsethief, etc.) now he wants his own boat, loves Brown's Canyon and we are debating a lower water Westwater with him next year.
It's all great, just keep in mind the basics....shade, river toys, a good place for a nap on the boat (crucial as the motion can make them sleepy), an adult with them at all times. It's fun and good luck.
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Old 01-04-2015   #5
Redmond, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1973
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Old 01-04-2015   #6
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Park City, Utah
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 51
Ruby/Horsetheif is a great intro run for kids. That was my son's first trip when he was 2. For other 'preparatory' day runs, you could check out the Moab daily and the green river daily. Both have river or roadside camping options in beautiful settings.

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Old 01-04-2015   #7
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ebbing, flowing..., CO, NM
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 239
My little one never had the kind of routine that most kids have, and so was an adaptable traveler from day 1... (her first night in a tent was on the Salt at 2wks old.)

Her first multi day River trip was the lower San Juan at 2 years old. It was just her & I in the boat (the other two boats were families with both Mom & Dad.) And honestly that was the biggest challenge for me... having to be on sun screen, snacks & entertainment duty, as well as being the only oarsmen! (I did a lot of "row as hard as I can to catch up, drop 'em to take care of Charlotte, row hard as I can to catch up..." and so on...) Also, it was hot as sin (July, never do the SJ in July, it was stupid... I swear we both cooked brain cells on that trip.)

But really, the other biggest issue was a regression in potty training! Suddenly they are supposed to pee in the River, not the potty, and so the whole potty concept kinda goes out the window! Fair warning... :P

Honestly though, it never occurred to me to have an "out." I mean, we were on a river trip, she was going to have to deal just like I was... But then again that's how all River trips are, & that's also what sat phones are for... emergencies, not discomforts. I think part of what makes river trips so amazing is that it makes us step outside of our comfort zones, makes us learn and grow. If you need that "out" safety net just for mental sake, then by all means, make it available... but I wouldn't recommend actually bailing if a kid is being fussy... Just sayin'...

Also, other than Upper C, San Juan, Ruby Horsetheif, etc... The Chama river in NM is a fabulous family 3 day!

Anyways, my little one is now 6 1/2 year old, she has over 700 river miles, rows, paddles, rafts, kayaks and LOVES it! I mean, she's had some not so fun days on the river, it's not all rainbows and unicorns... she's been hot, cold, scared, hungry, tired, she's taken some swims... (As much as we try to prepare for these things as parents, they will still experience them. I mean, if they are going to play in the water in their fourth and final set of dry warmies... they are going to learn what it's like to be cold for the last few miles!) And despite the challenging experiences she's had on the river, they are totally out shined by the good experiences she's had on the river!

I think really all we can do is show them our passions and help fan their own, while trying our best to keep them safe, and help them learn.
Journeys of a River Mamma Blog "Ever onward, ever forward, ever down the River!"- Ed Abbey
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Old 01-04-2015   #8
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Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,403
Maybe you could separate the two to start. Go camping in the back yard for a night and go float Hayden Meadows the next day. Some of my earliest memories are camping in the yard with Dad - watching football on the little black and white TV in the tent on an extension cord.
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Old 01-04-2015   #9
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Westfield, Massachusetts
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 178
Y'all are crazy bringing a toddler on a whitewater raft trip. I would totally recommend the camp in the back yard, and a flat water float..
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Old 01-04-2015   #10
Colo Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 597
How about some time on a lake to get used to being on a boat for a while?

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