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Rafting In Canada

White water rafting is an enjoyable and intoxicating adventure that anyone who loves the water should try at least once in their life. If you are looking for some great white water adventures, then you should try white water rafting in Canada. A unique experience to be had combining some of the most exciting river rafting with beautiful, pristine wilderness that you share with bears, moose, and other wild animals, taking a white water rafting trip in Canada is something that you will remember for quite some time.

The rivers in Canada offer you a variety of different difficulty levels so every family member can enjoy this particular sport. You can float down a river lazily or try to navigate you way through Class V rapids. Wild water rafting trips can be for one day or for as many as six with food provided. All you need is the gear you are told to bring. If you are an experienced white water rafter, you could make your own into the outback of this beautiful country and head down the waters yourself or you could book a Canadian rafting trip with a certified guide. No matter how you decide to hit the river, you will find yourself having a great time.

River rafting in Canada originally started as one of the earliest methods of transporting people, goods, food, and other items from one part of the country to another. The first record of a river rafting trip came in 1842 from Lieutenant John Fremont, a member of the United States Army who journaled his rafting trip on the Platte River. The rafts used then – as they are today – were designed by Horace H. Day – four independent rubber and cloth tubes combined with a wrap-around floor. It wasn’t until the 1960s that rafting was recognized as a sport with river paths actually established and mapped, such as the one in the Grand Canyon, and whitewater rafting companies emerged and started offering guided rafting trips. In became so popular in the 1970s that it was included in the Munich Olympic Games and by the 1980s, rivers all over the world were opened to wildwater rafting trips and the money they brought in. In 1997 the International Federation of Rafting was launched and the first Official International Championship was held. Even today the sport is growing in its popularity and some of the trips downriver are considered to be extreme water sports.

Because of the amount tourism dollars white water rafting brings into the country of Canada, it has become a very open and friendly place for white water enthusiasts to come. Plus, the rivers offer such a wide difficulty level range that it makes a great family vacation activity. Canada's rivers are also perfect for kayaking and canoeing and frankly, without these methods of transportation, much of the wild beauty of Canada would never be explore or enjoyed by anyone other than the wildlife that lives on it. If you want to experience some of Canada's culture, heritage, and beauty, then you will want to book a multi-day rafting expedition that will allow you to visit villages that seem lost in time, see moose and bear on the rivers, and maybe even experience the Northern Lights. For more information about other ways to travel the rivers, please read Canoeing in Canada and Kayaking in Canada.

Whether you use Canadian rafts or American rafts, there are many to choose from and they come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. Initially they started out as wooden logs, planks or reeds simply tied together and floated down the river. Not the sturdiest items to run rapids with. Today, inflatable rafts are used and they are made of durable rubberized or vinyl fabrics that are filled with independent air chambers that keep it afloat. White water rafts can range in size from the smallest at 11 foot long to the largest at 20 foot and be as wide as 6 to 8 feet. Pack rafts are single person rafts that at the smallest are only 1.5 meters long and weighs about 4lbs. Some rafts have paddle at the stern for steering, some have a rudder. Holding typically 4 to 12 people at time, they are propelled with paddles and the speeding water.

Canadian rafting outfitters will help you choose the right size raft for your group. If your family is big enough, you could book a Canadian rafting vacation that is personalized just for you, or you could be asked to join another group to fill in the trip. There are also group and individual trips available and if you have no desire to take an extended trip, there are daily rafting trips available as well.

The Canadian rafting tour you choose should be based on your skill level and the type of rapids you wish to attempt. Class I rapids are smooth with clear waterways, the occasional sand bank, gentle curves and the challenge of paddling around bridges and other obstacles. Class II is moderate with medium to quick water, some regular waved rapids but clear and open passage between rocks and ledges with maneuvering required. Class III is moderately difficult with higher and irregular waves, rocks, eddies and the ability to run. Class IV is difficult with long and powerful rapids, standing waves, souse holes and boiling eddies, powerful and precise maneuvering required, and visual inspection needed. Class V is extremely difficult with long and violent rapids, river obstructions, big drops, steep gradient and violent currents. Class VI should be left to only paddlers of Olympic ability and high experience levels.

Your Canadian rafting expeditions requires certain safety precautions, such as warm clothing, sunscreen that is waterproof, wet suit, paddling jacket, shoes that are made for water wear but comfortable on land, light weight tent, sleeping bag, pad, and of course, the camera. You should always be strong in your ability to swim and if not, should stick to lower classes of rafting. Listening to your guide is imperative as they know what they are doing. Never select a trip that is out of you class range or age and wear your lifejacket and helmet if required at all times.

Some of the best Canadian rafting destinations that are available for all levels of rafters include:
  • Gentle rafting and family adventure on the Banff River where you can enjoy the scenery, a small nature watch and twilight tours. Great for families with young children.
  • The Bow River Horseshoe and Kicking Horse River with Class III to IV white water and beautiful scenery. This is a half day trip.
  • Class II Cheakamus River expedition with rapids, hanging glaciers, peaks and the Tantalus Run.
  • The Elaho-Squamish River, a Class III to IV rapid run surrounded by glaciers, waterfalls, wilderness and a riverside BBQ. This trip runs over 14 miles of river.
  • The Green River Class II to III which is perfect for an introduction to Canadian adventure rafting.
 
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