As I stated in a previous post, my wife got a Rogue River Permit. We’ll be putting in with friends and family in mid-summer, the perfect time to be on the river. Now that the permit is taken care of and we have all the spots filled it’s time to start planning the trip.
Since my wife got the permit, she automatically becomes the trip leader, the head honcho, the HBIC (Head Bitch in Charge). It’s up to her, (or us) to put everything together logistically. By securing the permit, we assume many responsibilities:
- Gear: figuring out the gear is the most important job we have. We have to figure out who has what river gear. I’m not talking about personal river gear like sleeping bags and tents, i’m talking about community gear like stoves, shitters, coolers, and pots and pans to name a few. We don’t want everyone to bring a portable toilet, it’s not needed.
- Rafts: We also need to figure out where everyone will be riding on the river trip. Who has a raft, how many people can it carry? If there are more people than spots, then we need to think about renting a raft. Another option is bringing down inflatable kayaks and putting people into those.
- Vehicles and Shuttle: Who has what kind of vehicle? Can they tow a raft? who has raft trailers? The less vehicles you have to deal with the better but you want enough space to take people and gear comfortably. You don’t want to be crammed and uncomfortable in 100 degree heat while driving the treacherous shuttle road. Also the fewer cars you have shuttled to the takeout the less money the trip will cost.
- Food: The trip leader doesn’t need to be in charge of all the food, but a plan needs to be in place. Delegating meals to different families or couples is a great idea. For instance were in charge of the first nights’ dinner, then another couple is in charge of the next night. You can do the same thing for each meal, although we usually have people come up with their own lunches.
- Logistics: The trip leader is in charge of setting up when and where people should meet for the trip. Where will the loading take place? Where is home base? How many days and nights will be spent on the river?
Were fortunate that all our river running friends are accomplished river veterans. Everyone knows what’s expected of them and can operate on their own. However, if you have some neophyte river runners, you may need to be more active in the planning. Be very clear on what each family is responsible for bringing to the trip.
Proper and thorough planning will pay off with a river trip that is smooth and effortless. Once you’re on the river you want to be able to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor. You’re only worry being whether or not you brought enough beer.