If you have never had the experience of putting together a multi-day whitewater rafting trip, you would probably be shocked at the amount of effort and preparations that go into a trip, well before the day you launch.
For decades I had the luxury of simply showing up at the launch site and rigging my boat and rowing. Then in 2012 I obtained a 6 day permit for the San Juan River in southern Utah.
When I talked to my dad in February of that year he said he’d be in the Grand Canyon with a friend of his and that I would be on my own for equipping my San Juan trip.
Because most of the multi-day equipment would be in Grand Canyon during my San Juan trip, I spent all of my free time over the next almost 6 months preparing for and improvising my single day equipment for the San Juan trip.
Preparation also included creating menus, getting the passenger list established, logistics for shuttling vehicles, determining the daily mileage and camps, in addition to getting equipment acquired and/or modified, and much more.
Most multi-day river trips demand excellent preparation because there isn’t a resolution to an equipment or food problem once you are on the river, without great expense and extreme arrangements like helicopters or long hiking distances out of side canyons.
A good friend of mine who served with me in our volunteer work in the Boy Scouts of America would often remind the scouts that, “If you didn’t bring it, you don’t have it.”
As simple as that sounds, it really is a great reminder of the value of preparation. Especially when you don’t have the opportunity to go back for something you forgot.