I'm getting ready for my first day of winter boating on Washington's Wind River. Every November when the rain begins I dust off my cataraft and piece it together after a few months of neglect.
A Few Pre-season Reminders
- Check your frame and oar bolts for tightness. This is also a great time to replace old, rusty ones.
- Replace old, warn cam straps that might break this boating season.
- Do a safety inspection on your trailer. This is a good time to grease your hubs and check your trailer lights.
- Put together a cold weather (or "hypo kit") with extra fleece, fire starters, and hand warmers.
I also went through my minimalist safety and repair kit to make sure everything is there and nothing is moldy or rusty. This is what I bring for day runs like the Wind River where road access is fairly close.
Lean and Mean Safety and Repair Kit
- Two 30' sections of webbing for anchors
- Two or more prussics
- Six or more locking caribiners
- Two Pulleys
- Throw Bag with 3/8" rope or dedicated safety line
- A couple different climbing nuts. They're lightweight and come in handy sometimes for anchors in tight places.
- Every repair tool I might need. My cataraft requires a nut driver, socket wrench, channel locks, allen wrench, oar blade tightener, and a screwdriver.
- Replacement parts. I use pins and clips so I bring and extra pin, extra oar holder, and extra hose clamps.
- Repair material. I'm really happy with the way Type A Tear-Aid repairs Urethane so I bring that instead of urethane material and glue.
- Duct Tape
Finally, I also took some time to restock my first aid kit.
Typical First Aid Restock
- Band Aids
- Triple Antibiotic Ointment
- Medical tape
- Check your CPR mask to make sure it's still in good shape
If you have any suggestions please add them in the comment section below.
Originally Published: | Updated on
In March 2019 we are offering an International Rafting Federation (IRF) Guide Training & Education (GTE) workshop. In this article IRF instructor Mark Hirst answers a few of the most commonly asked questions. Q: What is the IRF? A: The International Rafting Federation (IRF) is the international body that represents the sport of rafting and river conservation around the globe. It also organizes the rafting world championships each year. The Guide Training & Education (GTE) program operates from within the IRF. The aim of the GTE...
Last week, our guides had a break in their scheduled Rogue River trips, and we decided to grab some friends and explore the Smith River in Northern California. The Smith is the only undammed river system in California and is famous for its rocky geology and unbelievably clear water. We ran the famous Oregon Hole Gorge first. This narrow canyon can be seen easily from Highway 199, so many a boater has stopped to take a look at its awesome rapids. We put-in just above the...