If you enjoy action, adventure, adrenaline, and the great outdoors then rafting is the perfect sport for you. There’s just something about being outdoors and at one with Mother Nature that city living can’t replicate. The air is fresher, the countryside greener, and the pace of life just seems to slow down when you’re outdoors.
When people think of outdoor sporting activities, a few activities that instantly spring to mind include things such as biking, hiking, or climbing. Don’t get us wrong, these are all very enjoyable activities and they’re a great way to stay in shape, but there is so much more. Rafting, in the form of river rafting or white-water rafting, is especially popular which is why we’ve compiled this guide today. If you’re new to the world of rafting and want to get involved, this guide is ideal. Listed below you’ll find everything you could ever wish to know about rafting, and more besides.
What is Rafting?
Rafting is sometimes known as river rafting, or white-water rafting. If you’re interested in outdoor sports and leisure, rafting is the perfect sport to get into. It is the ultimate adrenaline fuelled ride as it offers excitement with just a very slight edge of caution.
The basic premise behind rafting is that participants will sit in a specially designed raft and will paddle their way through a river’s rapids, or white-water. Sometimes they may navigate their way through a combination of both. It has been performed for many centuries now, yet it only gained popularity in the 1970s. This was due to it being a featured sport in the Olympic Games.
Most commonly, you’ll find that rafts hold multiple individuals at once, with each participant being in charge of their own paddle. Some rafts however, are designed to hold just one participant, in which case they’ll raft solo.
A History of Rafting
Despite becoming a popular outdoor sport in the 1970s, rafting is not a new activity. In fact, it can be traced back to the 1800s in Wyoming. The date was 1811, and it was to be the world’s first recorded navigational attempt of the Snake River, Wyoming. Now, back then, there was no health and safety and no sophisticated equipment. The participants quickly found that the journey was too dangerous. Because of that very attempt, the river was given the nickname ‘The Mad River’.
The main issue was believed to be the “raft” the participants were using. In 1840, Horace H Day and Lt John Fremont created the world’s very first rubberized raft. The raft proved to be far more efficient and buoyant, and rubber rafts caught on. However, it wasn’t until a century later, that the Snake River Canyon was finally conquered by Clyde Smith.
In the late 60s and early 70s, white-water rafting companies started popping up all over the nation, and more and more people began taking an interest in the sport. During the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, white-water rafting found itself being included for the very first time. Rafting was now recognized as a legitimate sport and was broadcast to a global audience worldwide. After that, more people took up rafting, more rafting companies opened shop, and more companies started creating specialist rafting equipment.
Today, rafting is one of the most popular outdoor leisure activities in the world. It is a sport which generates billions in revenue every single year, and it is one which is enjoyed all over the globe.
White-Water Rafting Equipment
In this next section we’re going to give you a quick rundown of what you’ll need t