Rafting can be traced back thousands of years. Rafts were used by native people to get around and to fish. Various techniques and materials used in making the rafts differ depending on the region. Prehistoric Rafts is a term used for that floats and can be tied together in order to make a boat. Primitive cutting tools were required as well as materials such as bamboo, wood logs, and reeds. These one archaic floating devices have morphed and evolved into modern day adventure apparatuses. Rafts are no longer hard and heavy but lights and inflatable. Although rafts are still used to fish and get around in some places of the world, today they are mostly used for entertainment.
White water rafting is the most common activity related to these vessels and rafts are large enough to carry multiple passengers, though there are single person whitewater rafts available.
WHY WE LOVE
Rafts are significantly more stable than Kayaks but with that being said they are slightly less manoeuvrable. These vessels are inflatable, and made from high strength fabric coated with PVC, Urethane, and Neoprene. Therefore, they provide strong and safe support despite the fact that they give among rocks.
Rafting is a perfect way to exercise the right way! Not only does this activity keep you moving but it also allows you to get close to nature in ways you have never imaged. The raft forces you to engage your mind, body, and soul by demanding that you continually keep yourself centered, balanced, focused, and amused. Getting outside is something most people aren’t able to do as much as they would like; therefore any chance to get outside and hit the rivers is an opportunity to jump on. Rafting connects humans to wildlife and puts them level with the rapids. Rafting not only provides quality time with nature but it also ensures that rafters spend quality time and connect with their friends and family. Rafters must work together as a unit to make sure the vessel functions and challenges are overcome, this leads to team bonding. Not to mention, you get a pretty great dose of adrenaline.
There are also a variety of crafts that drive differently depending on the kind of experience you want. A “ducky”, for example, is an inflatable kayak that is easy to pick up and is a lot more stable than most kayaks. Duckies are perfect for white-water rafting because it allows you to be in complete control of your own boat at all times. The craft is lighter and smaller than the average raft and are perfect for anyone in search of high-speed adventure!
The thrill of crashing through waves, the excitement of being bucked in the air, and pleasure of going toe to toe against mother nature and her elements causes you to feel truly alive. Rafting connects us with our surrounds while we enjoy.
RAFTING & THE NATURAL WORLD
Rafts are the perfect crafts for exploring nature. Rafts are both versatile and adaptable rendering them perfect for exploration. The raft is capable of traveling thorough almost any body of water. This sets it apart from other crafts, not to mention you have complete control.
Rafts are wildly versatile in that they allow you to explore in different environments. Because rafting is an outdoor activity, travellers get to experience nature and the marine life.
This craft allows you to travel through dense cloud forests and rock bridges. Travellers have the opportunity to raft within jungles, rainforest, the sea, or within white-water rivers. Every waterway has it’s own identity and personality and rafting allows you to experience all of them. Rafts are so functional that they allow you to experience the rush of white-water rafting as well as the calm of the sea and its mellow waves. Rafters also get to bask in the magnificence of the speed of nature’s waves or the wonder of the Amazonian rainforest.
Rafting allows you to get close to birds, whales and marine life while providing you with an unusual perspective. Imagine paddling next to a dolphin or waving to a sea lion? Rafting makes this possible. It also has the capacity to transform any body of water into a playground. Duckies are a perfect for this because they sit low and allow you to see more of the nature around you. You will be able to see everything from the wildlife on the shore, to those within the water, to the waves upon the horizon. Rafters become one with the natural world.
SOME TIPS FROM OUR EXPERTS WHILE RAFTING
- Go with a pro. Don’t fall into the ‘I’m athletic, I can handle it’ trap. If you plan on rafting rapids bigger than Class I/II don’t go at it alone.
- Learn how to brace yourself and learn how to stay in the boat. This one sounds like a no-brainer but it’s not as simple as you might think. Plant yourself by tucking your front foot under the air tube located in front of you, sitting on the raft’s outer rim, and use your paddle as a brace. Paddle harder in heavy whitewater!
- Fall correctly and don’t lose your cool. If you fall into a rapid, don’t worry. Grab a raft line and pull yourself to safety, if that’s not an option flip over and begin swimming on your back with your feet pointed down. This allows you to push off of rocks. Also, never stand up!
Rafting levels depend on river difficulty which is classified as follows:
International Scale of River Difficulty
CLASS I: EASY
Done in shallow water with small waves and few obstructions.
CLASS II: BEGINNER
Some manoeuvring is required. Straightforward rapids with a few rocks and medium-sized rocks.
CLASS III: INTERMEDIATE
Rapids are moderate and irregular. Fast current require complex manoeuvres. Large- volume rivers.
CLASS IV: ADVANCED
Powerful but predictable rapids require demanding manoeuvres. Difficulty depends on the river, which sometimes includes large unavoidable waves, holes, and or constricting channels. Subcategories include the ‘easier’ Class IV- or Class IV+.
CLASS V: EXPERT
Long, obstructed, or uncontrollable rapids. Demanding routes that contain large drops, unavoidable waves or holes, and congested chutes.
This level is quite extensive and also has multiple-level scales within the Class. The sublevels increase by .1 therefore the next level within Class V would be Class 5.1, then Class 5.2 and so on.
CLASS VI: EXTREME
Difficult, unpredictable, and very dangerous. This classification is rarely attempted and is reserved for expert teams and exploratory rafting.
EQUIPMENT USED WHILE RAFTING
Because rafting is so versatile and allows rafters to travel through any body of water is it important that rafters have the appropriate gear for their journey. Rafting can be done in any and all temperatures ranging from the Caribbean climate to that of the Arctic.
Rest assured, we make sure that all our rafting activities come with the most suitable and appropriate gear. The gear we provide is of the best quality.
Rafters travelling through the South American Rainforest are provided with wet suits, life vests, dry bags, and insect repellent. The equipment is always specific to the region kayakers are visiting.
We here at Wildthentic ensure that all equipment is not only relevant to the adventure but new and regularly checked. Many pieces are replaced after each season. We go to great length to ensure that all our rafting excursions are exciting, safe, and that all rafters are well equipped. Not only do we provide top of the line equipment, we also provide local professional guides.
DID YOU KNOW...
- U.S soldiers invented the first rubber raft in the 1840s.
- The International Scale of River Difficulty is what is used in order to rank rapids around the world.
- John D. Rockefeller, Jr. was the first to build a resort with the US nation’s first commercial rafting trips.
- Rafting was introduced to the Olympic games in 1972 in Munich.
- A “ducky” is the name for an inflatable kayak, which is used for rafting.
- Rafting upon vegetation is an important means of oceanic dispersal for non-flying animals.
- According to National Geographic, Ecuador is one of the best countries for rafting.
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