Now, now- get your mind out of the gutter, I am talking about boats here! River Rafting in Idaho is an unforgettable adventure, everyone should have on their bucket list and go sooner than later. But, all that fun can take a toll on the equipment, in particular the boats. Since the boat is quite possibly the most important piece of equipment, what with keeping you afloat for 3-6 days, we pay close attentions to the upkeep of our vessels.

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This is one of our gear boats, “Babe” getting a good scrub down.


Often times, at the end of a trip, our shuttle driver (me) arrives at the take-out with fresh baked croissants, local apples, home-made chicken salad and fresh lemonade, so guests are able to relax, have lunch and relish in the memories of the last couple days spent river rafting in Idaho, before we make the trek out of the river canyon and back to civilization. During that time, the guides busy themselves tearing down boats and loading gear into the back of the truck. It’s quite a feat to watch- they are quick and precise. The de-rig the gear, tie up the oars and scrub down the boats. There’s a song that I sing, much to the annoyance of the guides, it goes like this: “A clean boat’s a happy boat and happy boats don’t flip!” I often embellish a bit and make up words to go along with it, but it’s a true little statement, whether it’s annoying or not! It’s vitally important to keep all of the boats clean from sand and debris, we splash it off with river water, scrub it down with our hands and let it sit to dry. But, often there’s not enough time for it to dry, hence, the title of this post- “rowed hard and put away wet”. The boats are rolled up into small little bundles and tossed into the back of the truck until the next trip.

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Here is our boat “Babe” getting a scrub down, see all that faded blue and yellow?photo (9)

Here’s Babe again, bright and shiny and waiting for gear at Hells Canyon Dam

All that river rafting in Idaho and rolling and unrolling can be hard on the boat, so at the end of the season we take the boat out, blow it up and go over it with a fine tooth comb, ensuring that there are no trouble spots, we replace D-rings and valves if needed, then give it a good bath. We use a product called “Inflatable Boat Cleaner” it removes all of the grime from the rubber- leaving it shiny new looking. Then we let the boat dry really well, roll it up for the last time and put it to bed for the winter. The boats get all the R & R they need and in the spring, we blow the dust off and anxiously wait for our first trip of the season!

See you on the river…