All the curiosities about the world of rafting
All the curiosities about the world of rafting
The meaning of the term rafting derives from the English word " raft ", which means raft. Although the literal translation of the term is this, the term today takes on a more modern meaning. Today, in fact, the term refers to the unsinkable and self-emptying inflatable boats with which rivers are faced.
Rafting is one of the most recent outdoor sports in recent years, which is slowly becoming popular in Italy as well. It is carried out by crossing streams and / or rivers on board a rubber dinghy. The crew members are equipped with paddles and to complete the course they must face natural obstacles such as rocks or rapids along the watercourse.
Although rafting is a group sport, there are also single or couple variants. These boats are called mini-raft or packraft . The size of the boats depends both on the number of participants but also on the physical characteristics of the river or stream in which the activity is practiced.
Is rafting a sport that everyone can practice?
Everyone can practice rafting, regardless of age, both children and adults can practice this sport, of course it is necessary to be in good physical shape and be able to swim. To practice the activity at its best it is necessary to assume a correct position, and to paddle correctly without getting excessively tired.
What are the factors that affect the difficulty level of this sport?
Rafting has very clear and delineated levels of difficulty among which we find:
1. Intensity of the river and characteristics of the watercourse
2. Path length
3. Presence of rapids
4. Experience level required
What is the best time to go rafting?
In general, in Italy, the best time to go rafting is between March and April, in relation to the particular climatic characteristics guaranteed by the advent of spring.
In this particular period the rivers reach the right level of water, which is influenced by several factors, including the melting of snow. A water level sufficient for navigability is a fundamental element for the success of the activity.
The weather conditions do not particularly affect the activity, as it is possible to practice it both in good and bad weather. It is essential, however, to take into account that in case of rain the strength of the rapids and the water flow of the river increase, consequently the difficulty of the route will increase.
Is it possible to take photos during a rafting trip?
Operators usually offer photography service. For this reason it is possible that during the descent you will stop for a few moments to take some dives that will be photographed or simply to pose and capture the surrounding environment. The photos are usually taken by a professional photographer who follows the group during the descent of the stream and then they can usually be purchased in the base. Sometimes the photos are included in the price of the descent. Some operators ask customers to bring a USB stick on which to copy the purchased photos.
It is not recommended to take your mobile phone with you during the rafting descent because it could get wet or get lost. During the activity, however, there is usually no time to take pictures or send messages. In the event that for any reason you want to wear it anyway, you can do it at your own risk, putting it in a special waterproof bag.
What is the right clothing?
The insiders provide the equipment and clothing necessary for the experience. To go rafting you need to have:
1. A neoprene wetsuit
2. A helmet
3. A life jacket
4. Neoprene boots
In case of vision problems it is recommended to wear contact lenses or a strap for glasses to avoid losing them on the way. It is useful to bring a change of clothes as you will get wet on the way.
Is rafting a safe sport?
The risk of falling into the water cannot be 100% excluded, however in today's beginner runs it is almost zero. Should this happen, the mandatory life jacket would minimize the risk of any accidents.
The level of risk is directly proportional to the water strength of the river and the presence of high intensity rapids.
The guide present on the boat has not only the task of directing the group, but also of resolving any critical situations. The certified guides, in fact, know perfectly the rescue maneuvers and using the rope are able to recover anyone who falls.
Last, but not least, rafting centers usually organize outings in such a way as to have multiple rafts that travel the same stretch of river at the same time. This guarantees extra safety for the participants and guides because, in case of need, the guides of the other boats can intervene at any time.
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