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I'm interested in possibly taking the family unit to the Nantahala Outdoor Center for a first-time rafting trip in the next few months. This is close to us, and looks like fun for everyone.

http://www.noc.com/

Opinions? :wavey:
 

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Rafting can be a great family trip. You have to ask yourself several questions first:

How old are your kids?

Can you/your wife/kids handle a potentially very stressful situation without panicking (i.e. falling out of a raft or ending up under a raft)?

Are you good swimmers?

I've done class III-V's in several places in a 4-6 man raft. I've also done III-IV's solo in an inflatable kayak (best trip ever). My recommendation is that if all your kids are in their teens and mature enough, a class III-IV guided trip in rafts is a perfect start. If they kids are younger, class II-III is good for younger kids. After getting the hang of it and running a few, try your hand at a guided class V trip. It's more fun than any amusement park.

If you go (which you really should, it's great), be sure to listen very carefully to your guides, because they've most likely spent years doing what they do. They aren't joking when they say not to stand up in the water, and to never let go of your T-grip.

Be sure to bring sunscreen and reapply frequently (twice is not enough - speaking from experience). Waterproof camera's don't take very good pictures because you're constantly bobbing, but usually they will take pictures of you. They're usually expensive, but worth it.

My advice is to go. You'll love it.
 

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Not much of a rafter myself, but one of my sons is a river guide/kayak instructor/water rescue instructor for an outfit that runs trip on the Shenandoah and several other rivers in WV. They have trips for all experience levels. I don't know exactly how, but they do take into account the experience level of specific customers and will refuse to guide a trip they think is beyond their capabilities. Just tell the place you're going that you're beginners and they'll know what to do.
 

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You'll love it, have fun.
 

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Not much of a rafter myself, but one of my sons is a river guide/kayak instructor/water rescue instructor for an outfit that runs trip on the Shenandoah and several other rivers in WV. They have trips for all experience levels. I don't know exactly how, but they do take into account the experience level of specific customers and will refuse to guide a trip they think is beyond their capabilities. Just tell the place you're going that you're beginners and they'll know what to do.
The Shenandoah is actually a great river to start on for beginners, if you're willing to come up to WV.
 

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Rafting can be a great family trip. You have to ask yourself several questions first:

How old are your kids?

Can you/your wife/kids handle a potentially very stressful situation without panicking (i.e. falling out of a raft or ending up under a raft)?

Are you good swimmers?

I've done class III-V's in several places in a 4-6 man raft. I've also done III-IV's solo in an inflatable kayak (best trip ever). My recommendation is that if all your kids are in their teens and mature enough, a class III-IV guided trip in rafts is a perfect start. If they kids are younger, class II-III is good for younger kids. After getting the hang of it and running a few, try your hand at a guided class V trip. It's more fun than any amusement park.

If you go (which you really should, it's great), be sure to listen very carefully to your guides, because they've most likely spent years doing what they do. They aren't joking when they say not to stand up in the water, and to never let go of your T-grip.

Be sure to bring sunscreen and reapply frequently (twice is not enough - speaking from experience). Waterproof camera's don't take very good pictures because you're constantly bobbing, but usually they will take pictures of you. They're usually expensive, but worth it.

My advice is to go. You'll love it.
What he said........ and just do it. Went on the Ocoee river this past summer and could not get enough of it.
 

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How many people in your family? Do they listen well? Can you read a river?

Start out with a class I-II river and work your way up. The best way to go is to have 2-4 people paddling in the boat with one person on the rear of the boat paddling, reading the river, giving directions and steering the boat.

If people don't paddle things can get frustrating.

I've done river guiding for a few years now and it can get downright dangerous when people don't paddle. But if it's an easy river everyone will be fine.

If you wanna get into it get your own PFD that's made for whitewater with pockets and stuff, and get some Keen Newport II or similar sandals for toe protection. One of the more common injuries on the river I see are busted toes and toe nails from kicking rocks.

Have fun and don't forget the sun screen!
 

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Let the kids watch a couple Youtube videos of what to do IF they get caught under the raft IF if flips...let them watch how to tuck their legs in and bob down the river instead of trying to stand and fight the PSI.

A very thoughless parent lashed their kid onto a raft and when it tipped and folded, the kid and raft where pinned to a rock. Everyone in my group jumped in to cut the kid loose while the father just yelled orders at everyone.
 

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Guys read the link, these are family friendly guided trips. He won't have to read a river or crack the whip....
 

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I think a II-III guided tour would be good for your age groups listed. But only you know your kids. I-II if you go alone, without a group (which I don't recommend).

How many people in your family? Do they listen well? Can you read a river?

Start out with a class I-II river and work your way up. The best way to go is to have 2-4 people paddling in the boat with one person on the rear of the boat paddling, reading the river, giving directions and steering the boat.

If people don't paddle things can get frustrating.

I've done river guiding for a few years now and it can get downright dangerous when people don't paddle. But if it's an easy river everyone will be fine.

If you wanna get into it get your own PFD that's made for whitewater with pockets and stuff, and get some Keen Newport II or similar sandals for toe protection. One of the more common injuries on the river I see are busted toes and toe nails from kicking rocks.

Have fun and don't forget the sun screen!
Good advice. Though for the most part, the guides will read the river for you. Try to do it yourself, but don't forget they know best (another lesson learned the hard way). For most rivers, there are maps online that you can look at ahead of time. They usually have tips on them, too.

I did forget to mention shoes. Keen Newport II's are GREAT. My wife wears those, I wore teva's. I WORE Tevas. While they stayed on my feet, the river ripped them to shreds on a class III-IV run. When I go again, I will be wearing the Keen Newport II's. Avoid anything open-toed, and no flip-flops (unless you want to go home barefoot).

Hold off on your own PFD, since good ones are expensive. The ones you get from your outfitter will be more than adequate for what you're doing.
 

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Accidents happen on family friendly trips.
 

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If you get tossed out of the boat it's pretty simple.

Don't hit rocks with your head. Don't spread your legs, keep your feet together, or you will be "romancing the stone". Not as fun as it sounds.

Never stand up in flowing water, you can get a foot entrapment.

No splashing with paddles. This can result in "summer teeth" some are in the boat, some are in the river, some are in the mouth still.

It's really not too dangerous as long as everyone has life vests that fit. 99% of the time it is cheerily floating down a beautiful river in a boat. Snug the straps and keep the life vests on AT ALL TIMES. The vest should not restrict breathing too much, but you should be able to pick someone up by the shoulders and not have it slip up their torso much. Very important.
 

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Guys read the link, these are family friendly guided trips. He won't have to read a river or crack the whip....
Yeah, I saw the link. I was trying to gear my posts to guided tours. However, even on a guided tour, there are things I wasn't told and had to learn on my own through sunburns and beat-up feet.

Don't over-think it though. Just go and have fun. Even if you get a little beat-up, it's totally worth it.
 

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Don't spread your legs, keep your feet together, or you will be "romancing the stone". Not as fun as it sounds.
I was with a group of friends and we decided to swim a class I. There was a rock just barely underwater right in the middle of the river. You could either go left, or right of it safely. My friend hit it dead on with her legs spread. She didn't live it down for the rest of the trip.
 

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Guys read the link, these are family friendly guided trips. He won't have to read a river or crack the whip....
I guide trips, we put about 3-4 river guides on a trip with 20-25 boats. Usually there is one lead, one in the middle, one sweep and a guide in the boat with the people that suck the most.

I have been in a boat with people who didn't paddle worth a damn and as a result pinned the boat on a rock and dumped 6 people into the river, lost paddles, I'm pulling people out, I've got 2 head injuries, the boat's pinned on a rock still, bad times on a class II river.

One should have the same respect for a river regardless of class as one has for a firearm, motorcycle, knife or any other object which could potentially cause death or serious bodily injury.

I'm not trying to scare the OP, 10 and 13 are good ages to be starting on the river and I'm sure everything will be ****** dorey, but as the head of the family(I'm assuming) and as an intelligent person when doing something new he probably wants to know as much as possible so he can provide a fun and safe time for his family.
 

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