A little Adventure goes a long way!
Safety and Whitewater Rafting on the Arkansas
It’s a given that almost any kind of outdoor adventure comes with some inherent risk, and river rafting is no exception. Great snowpack over the winter means lots of high water in the rivers in the spring, but as American Adventure Expeditions’ very own Mike Kissack said in an interview with KRDO Radio this morning, high water is not a bad thing when it comes to whitewater rafting because it makes the experience fun for guests who will find world-class whitewater on the Arkansas River.
So given the inherent risks when it comes to the sport of whitewater rafting, what can be done to lessen those risks?
Mike and the KRDO host discussed how taking the proper precautions goes far in mitigating the hazards of the sport. The first thing guests should do is make sure they have the appropriate safety equipment, such as life jackets, helmets, and wetsuits. The second thing is to ask questions of the outfitter to ensure you are on the appropriate section of the river. Mike points out that there are more than 100 miles of rapids on the Arkansas, and there is a class for everyone—from mild to wild! Outfitters will not put people in situations where this unnecessary risk.
Although accidents do occur occasionally, the fact is that the vast majority of guests return from their adventure safely—and most don’t even fall out of the boat. Mike recommends that people not be afraid to ask questions of their outfitter, including an explanation of their safety protocols, how long they have been in business, and so forth. People should also be realistic about their own ability and athleticism to aid the outfitter in choosing a class of river that is appropriate.
Whitewater rafting is an epic adventure that is fun for almost everyone. Keeping safety in mind will go a long way in keeping everyone comfortable and danger to a minimum. If you’d like to learn more, listen to the interview in its entirety here.