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Old 05-01-2013   #11
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 134
If you are planning on playing with water toys (squirt guns, soaked, etc.) bring a bucket in the boat that can be filled with water. Reaching over the side of a boat is a long stretch for kids and they are likely to fall in. Fill the bucket and put it on the floor of the boat so that the little one can fill his/her own toys.

Shade is key. The Bimini helps a lot. Set up a floating nap station so that nap time can happen as needed. Bring a blanket or towel in a dry bag. It helps for nap time.

Keep lots of snacks handy and plenty to drink.

Have fun and plan to stop often to stretch the legs and burn off steam.


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Old 05-01-2013   #12
mtriverrat's Avatar
Lewistown, middle of MT
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 222
Muck boots then you don't have to worry about their feet either getting poked or cold. I remember when mine were little and we had a little raft we set a gear net in the floor of the bow to keep them off the self bailing floor but inside the tubes so they could nap and be secure. They loved the "net". I don't remember having a lot of toys - they just loved watching the river and the wildlife passing them by. Food and drinks were more essential. We always set up a hammock in camp when they were little and they loved the hammock. I second the comment about assigning someone to them at every moment near the river. They can slip away so easily. When small I had these huge carabiners that I attached to their life jackets to keep hold of them during rough water. Can't remember anything else except that we always watched weather very closely. You don't want to scare them off rafting with a cold trip. My kids love it and can't wait to go every year. Can't believe they are 11 and 12 this year.

If you lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known. Winnie the Pooh
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Old 05-02-2013   #13
River City, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 195
Both of our little ones graduated from the car seat to the pack & play when camping. The P&P was the bomb for the baby/young toddlers. They could be thrown in there when they needed to be contained, but also doubled as a bed in a larger tent. Plus it packs up relatively small for packing on a raft. The other tip I would recommend that hasn't been mentioned is snacks. Lots and lots of snacks. It's an answer to 99% of bored/cranky/tired/hungry kids.

Originally Posted by UofARy View Post
Have a 3-day RHT trip with my one year old coming up. We have done a previous trip with him when he was 6 months which went great. Kept him in a little pup tent on the pacos or in a car seat under the shade and he slept most of the time during the day. At night, used same pup tent within our tent and it acted like a bassinette. Now that he is older, I don't think we'll be as lucky, since he is a very mobile child. Any suggestions from veteran parents on day rigging for a one year old? Bring the pack n play for sleeping? Any tips and experiences shared would be appreciated!
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Old 05-02-2013   #14
Learch's Avatar
Dundee, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 655
This weekend

This is all great info, I took my son when he was 3 on the Lower Clack in my Dad's raft, gonna do it this Sunday in mine. Will most likely be our hottest day in Oregon this year (mid 80's) We have a 2 and a half year old girl, but Momma is gonna make me wait until she's 3 to take her, so next summer. I am most concerned about keeping him warm the whole time, Momma is gonna be watching him. He is a cautious kid around water, but he loves it. He didn't like hitting rocks last time, but we are pushing 3000 at the gauge, so rocks shouldn't be a problem this time around. I like the boots idea, I think I will pack his in the raft. Can't wait!
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Old 05-02-2013   #15
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 111
A 1yr old on a multi day? Sounds like way to much work to me. Leave him with the grandparents. We did not start till 3 when they and us could actually enjoy it. A 1 year old is not going to remember it anyway.
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Old 05-02-2013   #16
Conifer, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 61
Great Stuff! I have one at 9 months and a two years old. Because there are no options for sleeping bags for kids that young we always us Snow Suits with sleep sacks to make sure they stay warm at night.

With my two year old we used the changing table pad at 6m to go car camping and it worked great. Now we are a bit more experienced with the kid thing I think the car seat option is better for the non mobile kids (off the river).

We also have a screen tent. Which allows for containment and shade and exposure to rocks and sand.

I think we may do RHT later this year as well. 3 days would be perfect lots of beach time maybe even do a layover camp.
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Old 05-02-2013   #17
El Flaco's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
We used a shade tent with full surround mosquito net- that gave our ~1 year old a place to play in the sand without access to crawling towards anything unsafe. Just a word of warning; at that age they will put anything in their mouths and you might be getting sandy poops for a few days.

They might not remember it and it will be hard on you guys, but we like to think its a cumulative effect on their psyche. Embed as much outdoor and river culture in their little brains as you can before the sloth society gets ahold of them....
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Old 05-02-2013   #18
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 02'
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 18

Thanks everyone for all the helpful tips and experiences.
  • Shade-> check, have bimini, easy up for shade at camp
  • Snacks, drinks -> check
  • Great idea on the muck boots
  • pack n play check
  • safe zone
  • weather pending
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Old 05-02-2013   #19
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 02'
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 18
Originally Posted by El Flaco View Post
They might not remember it and it will be hard on you guys, but we like to think its a cumulative effect on their psyche. Embed as much outdoor and river culture in their little brains as you can before the sloth society gets ahold of them....
I agree with this. I also think we work that hard at home anyways so we might as well enjoy being outside and on the river while we are working that hard!
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Old 05-02-2013   #20
eagle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 26
Bring there favorite bath and sand toys for the boat.

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