When it comes to exploring the backcountry, there are few ways more luxurious than rafting. Unlike backpacking, where every ounce counts, having a raft allows you to haul extra items with you, like camping chairs, coolers full of fresh food, and all the clean underwear you could ever want. But just because you can bring it with you, doesn’t mean you always should. When you’re floating through Hells Canyon on a multi-day whitewater rafting trip with Killgore Adventures, here are the things you should leave at home.
Perhaps rather dramatically, outdoorsy types often espouse the sentiment that “cotton kills.” This histrionic turn of phrase is about how cotton absorbs, and more importantly, retains water. Once cotton gets wet, it’s going to stay wet for a long time. While that may seem like a non-issue when it comes to socks, it’s more important than you realize. If your feet stay wet for long periods of time, it can lead to issues like immersion foot, blisters, and even fungus formations. Leave the cotton socks in the drawer at home, and bring some wool or synthetic socks instead. Your feet will thank you later.
CHEAP RAIN PONCHOS
Life on the river is moist, to say the least. Between walls of water dumping into the raft from a wave train and the ever-present threat of rain, you’re gonna get wet while white water rafting in Hells Canyon. Some new rafters think about grabbing a plastic rain poncho to keep themselves dry, but instead, all they’re getting is a headache. Cheap rain ponchos don’t fit well under your personal floatation device and can get snagged on parts of the raft, as well as plants and sticks on shore. Instead, bring a rain jacket. It sits close to your body, making it snag free, while still keeping you warm and (mostly) dry.
YOUR CELL PHONE
Look we get it, there’s probably no better opportunity to get a sick selfie than while ripping down a wild wave train on the Snake River. But it’s best to leave your smartphone behind for this adventure. One, the river can be unpredictable, and even with a PopSocket to keep it within your grasp, you might lose your phone to the waves. If nothing else, water and electronics don’t mix, and it’s likely that your phone will get wet while you travel. But if you still bring your phone with you, be prepared for disappointment. As one of the deepest canyons in the world, Hells Canyon isn’t exactly known for its stellar cell coverage. Do yourself a favor and leave the phone in the car.
A nice cool adult beverage and the gentle rushing of the river are a pair as perfect as peanut butter and jelly or cookies and milk. But broken glass is a really easy way to ruin that perfect combination. Not only does broken glass pose a threat to the integrity of the raft (it’s something akin to a large balloon after all) it is also a threat to your safety as well. A cut from a shard of glass can quickly become contaminated by the sand on the shores, and whatever’s in the water. If you want to drink and raft, make sure you pack in plastic bottles or even aluminum cans. Once you’re done, always, always, always pack out your trash and recycle it responsibly.
There’s no denying that modern life is stressful. We all work more hours in the week than we should. We all have responsibilities that weigh heavy on our minds right as we’re trying to fall asleep. Car payments, utility bills, grocery store runs, and an endless list of appointments can make even the bravest among us weak in the knees. But your white water rafting trip down Hells Canyon is your chance to leave all that behind you for a few days. Instead of worrying about your job, focus on perfecting your paddle stroke. Rather than getting caught up in the news of the day, listen to the idle chit chat of the birds flying overhead. In lieu of getting lost in the endlessly flickering of your phone screen, stare in awe at the immense beauty of the natural world around you.
Pack your bags and get to White Bird, Idaho today to embark on your multi-day white water rafting trip with Killgore Adventures! Book now!