Setting Precedent. River etiquette that everyone needs to know - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 03-04-2017   #1
 
Great Falls, Montana
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Setting Precedent. River etiquette that everyone needs to know

So you were lucky enough to score a permit and you want to share the experience with some good friends/family but not everyone is familiar with multi-day rafting etiquette. Imagine if you could hand them something that would spell it all out before they even volunteered for the trip. What would it say?

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Old 03-04-2017   #2
 
Great Falls, Montana
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To start with, I think the intro is important.

First of all, Were all lucky to be here but this is not a paid/outfitter trip. Private multi-day rafting trips are working vacations and everyone needs to work until everyone can play. There is an etiquette that everyone needs to understand before agreeing to go on the trip. It is for EVERY SINGLE PERSON including best friends, girlfriends, wife, mother etc, and it doesn't change even if the fish are on.
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Old 03-05-2017   #3
 
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Precedent....with a "c"
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Old 03-05-2017   #4
 
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Sandy, Utah
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Prior to the trip, communicate details to your group. Here are the dates, itinerary, travel plans, meal groups, gear needs, etc. Set expectations for group participation and what your goals are for the trip (things you hope to see or do on the trip). Talk about what your daily schedule looks like and why.....launch early to avoid heat & wind, etc. Communicate all of this up front, then at the put-in, ask if anyone has questions about what you communicated ahead of the trip. That way folks can speak up & ask if they don't understand. Then you have more time at the put-in to go over safety stuff.

In my core group, we have a "river prayer" we say before we launch. Nothing to do with religion unless you want it to personally...... Keep Us Safe, Keep Us Happy, Keep Us Humble. It sets the tone for the trip. Safe on the water & in camp, happy with ourselves & each other, and humble in the beautiful place we are about to enjoy.
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Old 03-05-2017   #5
 
Great Falls, Montana
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Originally Posted by FlyingDutchman View Post
Precedent....with a "c"
That's embarrassing. And I did it right in the title.
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Old 03-05-2017   #6
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That's really good Cataraftgirl.

People I'm boating with just being happy, is a huge step for me. Nobody really wants an icy rain on the trip, but having a good attitude can make the trip a great time anyway!
Realizing that you're going on an adventure, that allows you to experience nature, the world around you, instead of being totally isolated from it, can help.

I almost don't like to think of river trips as a vacation anymore, for me, it has become more of a passion ( OK, an addiction!!) about being close to nature, seeing new things, spending time with the river, and with friends.

Helpful, being at the front of the gear boat to help unload all our stuff! Establish the idea that we are a team that works together on the trip.
Happy, Helpful, Humble, Safe?
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Old 03-05-2017   #7
Misspellingintothefuture!
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ob1coby View Post
That's embarrassing. And I did it right in the title.
You're not the only one Buddy!!
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Old 03-05-2017   #8
 
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Having & communicating expectations doesn't mean that you can't be flexible, it just sets the framework for the trip. I love to boat with folks who are organized yet flexible, happy & chill, and who react to adversity with a good attitude.

In the last year I've done more flat water kayak touring that whitewater rafting, but the basic stuff remains the same. I try to give my group as much info ahead of time as I can so that they are prepared. I also like to get input from them about what they want out of the trip. Do they want to stop and look at all the archeological sites? Are they big hikers and want a layover day to hike & explore? Are they strong paddlers who can do extra miles to get the best camp, or paddle in wind? Is this their first multi-day paddle trip? If they are new, I try to give them more upfront advice on gear & planning. I also know that I'll want to spend a little extra time checking in with them as the trip goes along to make sure they are having fun and see if they have questions or need help with anything.
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Old 03-05-2017   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ob1coby View Post
That's embarrassing. And I did it right in the title.
You can report your post and ask them to change the title.
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Old 03-05-2017   #10
 
Idaho Falls, Idaho
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Riv:

If you wait until the put-in so answer questions or clarify permit rules, it is way to late. A recent trip started out with one group showing up nearly 24 hours after the permit rules established. A low water trip, starting with friction at the put-in only gets worse when complaints are voiced about having to cover 13 miles in an afternoon! Additionally, it is important to folks not knowing what the food expectations are. Several years ago, we were fed Spaghetti dinner - boiled noodles with ketchup poured over the top. (Hope none of you are eating right now).
But those are topics for threads of their own.

I have found that folks fall into two (major) categories:
Those that don't want to carry their weight, and
Those that don't know what to do to carry their weight. Nothing can be done for the first group other than not invite them on the next trip. We divide into groups, plan and assign duties for every trip and try not to have the experienced folks (usually the oarsmen) in charge. Duties rotate for each group and include:
kitchen setup/take down
fire (gathering wood, cleaning up)
Cooking
Dishes
Groover

To help with loading and unloading rafts, I have gravitated to putting flags (State/country/pirate/whatever flags on each boat. Corresponding 'luggage' tags are put on each dry bag, cooler, whatever. Unloading i.s easy - take stuff up to camp. Loading is easier - take everything down to the corresponding boat.

The oarsmen can then be focused on loading the boat rather than figuring out where it goes and organizing it to load similar to yesterdays loading (also helps know if a bag is missing!).

Food for thought
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