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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Everyone,

I am interested in meeting up with some other boaters with kids. I am 40 years old and have been boating (primarily canoeing but also rafting) since I was 5. I have a 7 year old son who has been on the San Juan and Deso/Gray. I think he's at the age now where he can really start to enjoy, and participate in, boating. We have an Aug 16 launch on the Grand (only 20 years on the list) and I would like to give him more river specific and general outdoor experience in advance of this. To that end we have applied for a number of Southwest river permits and I plan on doing numerous non permit trips this summer as well. My wife would probably go on some of the shorter raft trips but probably not on canoe trips. We'll do both flatwater and whitewater trips, though I don't want to do anything with him that would make him afraid of boating. I'd prefer canoe trips but we are outfitted for both canoe and raft trips. I have a flexible work schedule. Obvious rivers for us would be the Arkansas (we live in southeast Colorado) and San Juan/Green/Colorado type trips but we would be interested in other trips as well. Thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've applied for a permit for the Chama. I've done it numerous times many years ago and consider that an excellent overnight trip (my wife might even come!). Were you interested or suggesting?
 

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I am interested but the schedule is tightening up this year already. Let me know, I have some new family that I would like to introduce to river trips. Two boys 6 & 11. Maybe mid July?
 

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My 5 year old son and I would be down for Class II/III-. Ruby/Horsethief, Upper Colorado, or ???.

Anybody who's up for kid's trip send me a message.
 

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I know you've been waiting 20 years but you might want to leave your son at grandma's house for the Grand Canyon trip.

I'm in your shoes. I'm your age with a son the same age and Grand permits that should be coming up pretty soon after waiting 20 years. My son has been rafting overnighters and day trips in Colorado and Utah since he was 2... but the danger in big whitewater like the Grand Canyon is exponentially higher than the Pumphouse/Deso/Dolores family floats.

Floating class III with your kid this summer will get him ready for camping and for the best-case situation in the water but it won't make him safe in class IV+ big water.

I have have seen some spectacular flips with geared up rafts in big water. It would have been gnarly if there was a 7 year old in any one of those flips that I saw.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Scooby, I'll keep you in mind for the Chama and contact you if/when we get down there. Teletoes, we'd definitely be up for something like this, and I'll contact you as summer gets closer...please do the same. Ture...I know what you're saying, and we've thought it over quite a bit...The last time I did the Grand I was 20 and my father was 50...I'm now 40, he's 70, and my son is 7. I look back on my childhood experiences boating and feel it is the single "activity" that meant more to me than any other, and doing it with my mom and dad was central to this. We're in all likelihood not going to have another opportunity for 3 generations to do this trip and I want my son to have that experience...that said, we're going to make generous use of "walk-arounds" with my son. Take care all.
 

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I agree...
I am 45 with 5 and 8 yr old boys. I was #799 when they changed the grand list system. We have been waiting till the kids get old enough to go or to stay with grandma for 3 weeks.
In the mean time I would do any kid float around here with yall if you're up this way.
As for So. CO I lived in Durango for years and my kids have done all the multiday trips mentioned also check out the upper section of the Dolores and walk the kids around Snag, Domenguez canyon has a great kid camp too.
 

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Hubby and I also have a 7 year old boy who loves the river, but would love it even more with kids his own age. We are even contemplating getting him a kayak this year. We'd love to do some trips with more kids. Upper C, Ruby Horsethief, low water Westwater, San Juan, Chama, Roaring Fork.

Edit to add- wishbone, have you considered enrolling your boy in a paddle sports/kayak camp? Just for the skills it would build? We are thinking of sending ours to the one offered by Avid in the beginning of July.
 

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I have a 7 year old boy we've done Loma-Westwater a few times.
I am also looking for other kid-friendly trips. I live in Carbondale.
No big water yet-want him to have fun only for now.
 

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How fabulous you are doing the Grand, we cannot wait to get there!

We've been boating with our son since he did his first trip at 10 months. He is now 8, has his own kayak, has a roll, and can also do some mellow rowing.

Last summer we had the opportunity to do a low water Middle Fork, but wanted to be sure he was ready. While he has done Ruby/Horsethief, Pumphouse, Filter Plant, San Juan, Chama, Dolores and Lodore, we knew the MF was a considerable step up. So, we decided to do a few day runs (on the raft) on the more hoppin' sections of the Poudre. If any of that seemed to freak him out, we would rethink taking him on the MF.

He ended up loving all of it, which we were fairly certain he would, but definitely did not want to scare him and have a miserable child on a 7 day trip, in the middle of nowhere...or cause any mental blocks about being on the river.

I'm not sure about going from the San Juan to The Grand in one season? But you know him best.
 

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I've got two kids - 8 and 5. I've done Shoshone to Glenwood with them (at lower flows), lower Eagle, Pumphouse to Rancho as well as Ruby/Horsethief. They enjoy Ruby/Horsethief the most, it's the warmest. LOL As long as they are warm and relatively dry, they have fun on all of those mentioned. I'm looking to do Carbondale to Glenwood this year, as well as more of the same with them.

I'd join you for just about anything this summer if our schedules mesh...
 

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We have a 6 year old boy and 8 year old girl, both love the river but always have more fun when there are other kids around!!! Would love to hook up with some boater kids for day trips or overnights, planning a Memorial trip somewhere around Moab.
 

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My kids are now 10 and 12 and we just got off the Grand Canyon ( 2 weeks ago). It was a remarkable experience. I was very nervous (note my many posts) about taking them but we had a remarkable time. I purchased drysuits for them and that was the best thing I did. They are are pretty river savey and we have a pretty big 16 foot CAT. We did meet some Canadians that had 6 kids on the trip ages 5-12. It was early on and I didn't get a chance to see had it turned out for them.

Anyway my kids did Deso Grey starting at ages 4 and 6 and then Ladore at ages 5 and 7 and the Yampa at 6 and 9. We had a rough go the first time around on Ladore. Just be sure to remind them DO not stand up in the river until your butt is dragging-there was a tradegy on Ladore involving an 8 year last year and a foot entrapment.

I also live in Colorado, so we are usually available for family trips. Since we were doing the Grand we didn't apply for other permits though.

My kids are growing fast so I have a lot of kids gear-hydroskins, hydrosilks, life jackets, splash pants and tops, drysuits etc... to move out. Contact me if interested or if you have any questions about the kids.
 

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I'm curious about how much others let their kids float out of the raft. My daughter is 8 and I want to take her on a Ruby overnighter but I know she will get bored and will want to just float in the water. Thanks, Jason.
 

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As long as they aren't cold and whining about it I'd let them float. Be sure to cover foot entrapment as mentioned above. I had not heard about the Lodore incident, Tragic.

The closest calls we've had, have always been on the beach at camp or a lunch stop.
 

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Ruby Horse Thief is pretty tame. We had a strap that the kids hung on behind the boat because there was a pretty good current on the Grand. Of course they came in when there were rapids or they got cold. I like to make sure they are near the boat and slightly behind it. It is pretty easy to do with a CAT. Make sure you don't have anything else hanging in the water that they can get hung up on. Have Fun!
 

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Floating on Ruby/Horsethief is almost essential! Just be smart about when to let them out of the boat and get them back in when you approach shallower sections. Keep them away from the banks too. If you can keep them in the deeper parts of the river for their floating, they'll be safer and probably enjoy it more anyway.

Like was said, make sure oyu cover how to swim in the river, not to stand up, etc anyway, regardless. And do it often. I actually think it's a good place for little kids to get comfortable out of the boat in a relatively safe situation so they are more prepared in the event of a swim in other situations.

While you are at it, use it as an opportunity to throw them a rope and stuff like that too. It will be good for you and the kids!
 

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My kids just did their first extended overnighter...a 5 day trip on the San Juan.

It couldn't have gone better, I can't imagine a better way to spend time with the kids.

They're ages 5 and 2.
 
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