SUGGESTED GEAR LIST QUESTIONS
Do I have to bring both hiking boots and running shoes?
For most of our trips you basically need two pairs of shoes…one to wear while in the boat (they will be getting wet!) and a dry pair to wear while in camp. If you are joining us on one of our combination hike/river trips, or you really enjoy hiking off the trail, a good, comfortable pair of hiking boots are essential. It is imperative that these boots are well broke in!!! Nothing is worse than blisters from a new pair of boots!
Why must I have synthetic materials rather than cotton?
While rafting the rivers you will get wet going through the rapids (what fun would it be if you didn’t?!) Synthetic materials are lightweight, warm and dry much quicker than cotton. They also keep you warmer when wet than cotton. Comfort is essential to having fun!
Rain gear…what kind should we get if plastic and vinyl are not allowed?
Vinyl and plastic rain gear do not hold up well and there is no place to purchase emergency rain gear on the river. Better to be prepared than wet and cold if caught in an afternoon rain shower. Gortex, waterproof PVC and coated nylon are excellent choices. The Acadia Rainsuit from www.cascadeoutfitters.com 1-800-223-7238 is reasonably priced and will provide the protection you need.
ON RIVER QUESTIONS
What temperatures can we expect?
The temperatures in Idaho, Montana and Alaska are not always predictable and can fluctuate dramatically in a 24 hour period (freezing at night and 70-80’s the next afternoon) therefore we must be prepared for anything. Long underwear, wool caps, gloves, socks and a warm jacket are necessary in case of unexpected weather.
How long will we be floating on the river each day?
Each trip is tailored to the desires of the guests. Generally, about a total of 5 hours each day (give or take a couple of hours), broken by a lunch stop, along with any other exploring adventures.
Will we be at a new camp every day?
Normally, yes, we do change campsites everyday. This allows us to cover new, adventurous sights, sounds and rapids everyday at a fun, comfortable pace. We occasionally will spend a layover day at the same camp on our Middle Fork of the Flathead and Tatshenshini River trips to allow for some awesome side trips.
How will we wash ourselves?
The Middle Fork of the Salmon and the Main Salmon Rivers both have swimming and hot springs to soak in. In an effort to keep soap out of the rivers we wash the old fashioned way…above the beaches with a bucket of water!
Do we have to know how to swim?
No, it increases your fun if you wish to take a refreshing swim in the Salmon River but swimming capabilities are not mandatory. It is however, mandatory that you wear a life vest while on the river in a boat. We provide these.
If we say we want to paddle are we committed to paddling the entire trip?
No, we generally have enough boats that the guests can rotate and have the option to paddle when they wish. However, we only use paddle rafts on our South Fork of the Flathead trip. This trip is a paddleboat only adventure.
Is there someplace to store our airplane luggage while we are on the river?
Yes, we can store and make arrangements for your extra bags to be transported to meet you at the end of the trip. We do however, recommend that you leave any unnecessary valuables at home. Your wallet, airline tickets, & other valuables should be placed in a zip lock bag and taken with you on your trip.
When do we need to be there?
You should arrive in the town of departure the day before your trip is scheduled to begin. There will be a meeting, usually around 6pm, with guides and guests to hand out waterproof gear and answer last minute questions. You will head to the river the next morning (the official starting date of your trip.)
How, where and when do we get our fishing licenses?
If you wish to fish, a fishing license is mandatory. It must be purchased in the state you will be fishing in. In most cases, our guests purchase them from a nearby sporting goods store upon their arrival at their hotel the evening before our launch date. If you have questions, please call us.
Is there somewhere to purchase last minute items before heading to the river?
Yes, there are sporting goods stores located fairly close to all the hotels we recommend.
How big are the waterproof bags/how much stuff will they hold?
Everyone is issued a “day bag” to carry items you will need during the afternoon while on the river (sunscreen, camera, jacket, etc.) Your “day bag” is 9in. diameter x 20in. tall. And everyone is also issued either: one large bag (16 in. diameter x 24 in. tall), which will carry your sleeping bag, ground cloth, pad and 35 pounds of your personal clothing. Or: two smaller bags (13 in. diameter x 22 in. tall) one to carry your sleeping bag, ground cloth and pad and a separate one which will carry 35 pounds of your personal clothing.
Do we need to bring our own toilet paper?
No, we provide toilet facilities and paper. WRO provides everything except your own personal clothing, comfort drugs and toiletries.
How big and what kind of sleeping pads does WRO provide?
We provide your deluxe, self-inflating “Therm-a-rest” pads. These are very comfortable pads and fit very nicely in our gear bags. If you have any concerns, let us know so we can answer any questions and make sure we can accommodate you.
How big are the tents/do we have to share a tent with someone else?
All of our tents are three men, North Face tents. We only put two people in each tent. If there is an odd number in your group we will not make you sleep with a stranger. We also have single person tents available on request.
What kind of food will we be eating?
Wonderful, marvelous, gourmet cooking!! Boy can our guides cook! Breakfasts and Suppers consist of culinary delights whipped up in dutch ovens and over open campfires. Lunches are a combination of tasty salads, pita sandwiches, fruits and juices. Nutritious snacks are always available. Please let us know ahead of time if you have dietary restrictions so we can accommodate them.
Can we bring our own soda pop and snacks?
WRO provides ample snacks as well as plenty of drinking water, fruit juices, and coffee with creamer in the morning. If you feel you would like to have pop on the trip, you may bring your own. Please do not bring anything in glass containers.
I am a vegetarian/some of us have dietary restrictions…
WRO will provide vegetarian meals and accommodate dietary restrictions (at no additional cost). Please notify us of any dietary restrictions or allergies as early as possible so that we can adjust the menu accordingly.
Breakfast: Fruit, juice & coffee served daily. Pancakes, bacon & eggs, juice or Omelets, ham & hash browns or Grits & Biscuits, sausage & gravy.
Lunch: Fruit & Juice served daily. Roast Beef Sandwich, Pringles, caramel dip or Pizza or Pasta Salad.
Dinner: Steak & Potatoes, French Bread, Waldorf Fruit Salad or Fajitas & rice or Lasagna, spinach salad, fruit.
Desserts: Pineapple Upside Down cake, Cheese cake, Brownies, Cobbler.
What happens if someone gets sick or injured?
All of our river trips have guides with ‘First Responder Wilderness Training’ certifications. This is an intense, 8-day training course. We also have satellite phone communication and evacuation plans in place for all of our trips, in case of an emergency.
Why are cell phones, computers and hand held computerized games not allowed?
Wilderness experience and computerized gadgets are not a good mix. We are also promoting relaxation, enjoyment and enhancement of the natural senses and awareness of nature’s beauty by escaping the everyday stresses associated with our modern computerized world. It is wonderful to watch your child collecting rocks, trying to catch minnows, building creations in the sand and exploring the forests rather than sitting with a video game.
How old does my child have to be to participate?
We generally recommend a minimum age of 8 years for the Main Salmon River and Lower Owyhee River, a minimum age of 10 years for the Middle Fork of the Salmon, minimum age of 12 years for the South and Middle Fork of the Flathead, Upper and Middle Owyhee, and the Tatshenshini, and a minimum of 14 years for the Jarbidge/Bruneau. However, we realize that each child is an individual and we will certainly discuss your child’s readiness, as you know your child’s responsibility level better than anyone.
What if there is a family emergency back home- how will they locate us?
If you have a family emergency at home someone should notify our office. We will then notify the necessary agency (Forest Service or BLM) of your anticipated location and they will begin the process of notification. If you have situations at home such as elderly, ill or debilitating relatives please alert us before you leave for the river.
How do gratuities for the guide work?
Usually the guides are tipped 10%-15% of the cost of the trip. The guides equally split the total tip amount from the guest. The guides are most appreciative to receive this directly from the guest, either at the end of your trip or when a farewell dinner is possible, so you might want to plan to have some cash on hand. We recommend your wallet and other valuables be stored at the bottom of your duffel.