When you are embarking on a white water river rafting trip, there are things that you ought to know that will make rafting fun and safe.
Rafting is certainly not for the faint hearted as the gushing wild water and meandering boulders are enough to give them the fright of their lives. Yes, there are Grade I rapids that are meant for amateurs and considered considered child’s play.
But ask any adventure junkie, and he will tell you real rafting starts with Grade III onwards. And when you move up the rapids, the risk element also increases along with the thrill. So, if you are a thrill seeker of the freaky type, you should definitely know the dos and don’t of rafting.
There are a number of popular rafting destinations in India like Rishikesh, Ladakh, Kundalika River in Maharashtra, Tons River in Uttarakhand, and Sikkim. All these rafting destinations throw different challenges at you, be it the length of the route, irregular waves, strong currents, and type of eddies.
If you are a first timer and need some help to get you going, here are some pointers that you should bear in mind:
Take it slow, and don’t rush things:
First timers are better off starting out with rapids I and can slowly move up depending on how he or she is responding to the challenge. There are rapids from 1 to 6, with grade I being the nursery level, having slow currents, low waves and very few obstacles. Bypassing the lower levels and starting straight at grade 6 is not advisable as these rapids are extremely tricky and requires expert handling, especially since they inundate the rafter with powerful waves and sharp turns. In case you are trying your luck at the Ganga River rapids in Rishikesh, get in touch with the rapid organizers and get an idea about the difficulty level and what suits you.
Don’t compromise with your life jacket:
Life jackets are a must when you are rafting –let me make it abundantly clear that rafting is unlike any other activity as it is considered an extreme sport. There are even incidents of fatalities and it must be on the back of your mind to put on the best safety gears that are available. The life jacket will stop you from drowning by keeping you afloat. Also, it is much easier for the guide to pull you out of water when you are wearing a life jacket.
You may decide not to wear one when rafting on grade I and II rapids, but anything above these grades would demand that you wear a protective helmet. In fact, most operators won’t allow you to take to the rapids unless you put them on. With the helmets on, you will feel safer and can get on with the business without any worries. When rafting in the Ganga River, you will be faced with many strong rapids that will really taste your stamina, strength and adroitness to the limit.
White water rafting is also as much about sightseeing and soaking in the beauty of nature as it is about rafting
While getting all keyed up about the rafting expedition, it is our natural tendency to forget about everything else. While it is not such a bad thing to do so, yet when you are in such a picturesque and exciting place like Rishikesh or Sikkim, why miss out on these unique experiences. Spice up your rafting expedition by taking in the view of the lush green environs of these places, the meandering valleys through which most of these rapids pass, and the unspoiled beauty of nature. The scenery of these places has stories of their own to tell, while the towns and cities where these rapids are located takes you to a bygone era seeped in mystery. In a way you can turn your rafting trip into a rollercoaster ride that takes you deep into the psyche of the Indian culture, history and tradition.
So, when you choose where to go rafting the next time make sure that you combine rafting with sightseeing as this will help you get a historical perspective, something you will treasure later in life.
Also, when you are travelling, the lighter you travel the better. Just pack the bare essentials that include trekking and rafting suitable shoes, shorts and T-shirts for rafting, and medicine, especially if you suffer from any ailments.
Travel tip shared by Zara Jones