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Choosing a Rafting Guide
Key Questions to Ask

Here is a list of things to consider and questions to ask when selecting an outfitter for your next outdoor adventure.

The Company

  • How long have you been in business?
  • Do you carry liability insurance?
  • Are you a certified guide service?
  • Do you have licenses on National Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management lands?
  • Are you bonded?
  • May I have a list of references?

Guides & Instructors

  • How long have your guides been with your company?
  • How much experience do they have on this particular river?
  • Does your state have minimum requirements for guides to be licensed?
  • Are your guides advanced first aid and CPR certified?
  • Do you have both male and female guides?
  • What is you guide-to-client ratio?
  • What kind of additional wilderness first aid experience do your guides have? (EMT, nurse, etc.)
  • Do your guides have special training working with children?

The Trip

  • How new are your boats and equipment?
  • Do your boats represent the latest in technology? (Are your rafts self-bailing?)
  • What kind of transportation is provided and what do I have to take care of? (Cars, trucks, buses, planes)
  • How many other participants are on the trip?
  • How strenuous is the trip? What kind of physical health fitness is necessary?
  • What other activities occur while on the river trip? (Hiking, exploring, wildlife and bird watching, historical and biological walks)
  • Do you bring different types of boats to try on your trips? (oar rafts, paddle boats, inflatable kayaks, dories, whitewater canoes)
  • What am I expected to do (or not to do) on this trip? Cook, clean up, carry gear?
  • Is the gear for the trip carried on the rafts or on separate boats?
  • Are camps set up each night?
  • What riverside comforts are provided? (Warm water, chairs, etc.)
  • Do I have to rent additional equipment for the trip? (Sleeping bags, tents, life vests, etc.) How new is it?
  • What kind of food is served on the river? Can accommodations be made for special dietary needs? What type of beverages are supplied?

Your Family

  • Can I bring my children on this trip? How old should they be?
  • Do you have children's life jackets?
  • Are there activities for children of various ages?
  • Do you provide breaks for parents to take time for themselves?
  • Do you provide anything special for children on you trips?
  • Do you allow pets?

The Environment

  • Do you have special programs to provide information about the areas you will be visiting?
  • Do you practice low-impact camping techniques on your trips?
Contributed By: Dave and Sheila Mills

Rocky Mountain River Tours takes people on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River of Idaho each summer and in doing so offers an experience, a vacation unequaled. We tour in oar-powered rafts designed for safety and superb handling. If you're contemplating floating the Middle Fork there are several things to consider in selecting a tour.

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