Monday, March 16, 2015

What To Bring When You Kayak Harpeth River

By Lena Stephenson

There is nothing more invigorating than a day on the water. Whether you decide to go shooting the rapids on a Class III river or have a gentle kayak Harpeth River, it will refresh you like nothing else on earth. Going whitewater rafting has the added benefit of leaving you feeling like you have cheated death, and won.

The build-up begins immediately after booking the trip. Preparing for a day on the river is almost as much fun as experiencing it. Planning what you are going to wear is important. If the weather is going to be cold, then a wetsuit may be in order. If the weather is fine, then it's shorts and a t-shirt. Don't forget to take a sweatshirt or kagool with you. You have to plan for after the adventure, as well. This may mean a long hike back to your take-in point.

Another advantage to whitewater rafting is the extra calories you are going to burn, lots of 'em! This is not the day to diet, you owe it to the other people who will be paddling the big rubber boat with you. This is the time to splurge on big sandwich rolls, thick with filling and extra mayo.

A thermos full of soup or your favorite hot drink is good to take with you. In the extremely likely event that you somehow get wet, it will warm you up. You are going to want to bundle all of your belongings in a waterproof bag. If the raft tips over and the bag falls out, well, you will have bigger problems than lost sandwiches. Chances are you will stay upright, and this will keep your lunch dry-ish and edible.

Don't take anything with you that you are not prepared to leave behind. If you are going on an organized trip with experienced guides, they will do their best to make sure you do not all end up tipped out into the water. This means watches, mobile phones, credit cards; leave them all in the glove box of your car with the alarm set. Nothing is certain in this world, and keeping dry on a rafting trip is one of those things.

Even if the day is generally cloudy, there may be the occasional burst of sunshine. This will create glare on the water and this will hurt your eyes. Do not bring your designer frames with the prescription lenses. If you need prescription lenses to see, then do your best to find a way to secure the glasses on your head.

At some point, someone will tell you to put on a life vest and a hard hat. Do this. If you fall out of the boat, these will save your life. Prevailing wisdom is to aim your feet downstream if you fall out so that if you crash into a rock, it won't be with your head. This is not always possible. If there is a store near where you enter the water, there will probably be a photograph of someone who did not listen to this advice. It will not be their best photograph.

After the ride, you will feel amazing. You probably won't be able to stop talking. This is great, because you and your companions will want to start planning your next trip right away.

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