ESSENTIAL ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR RIVER TRIPS.
Please take time to consider any medical or health condition that could potentially endanger yourself or diminish the enjoyment of an adventure vacation. Factors such as age, weight, physical ability, heart or other disease can increase/worsen by changing and unpredictable environmental conditions. If you have any questions or concerns please contact us.
The following are recommended physical and mental eligibility criteria for participants on any SGE (Sheri Griffith Expeditions) river trip.
Communication. Ability to follow both verbal and non-verbal instructions that may be given by SGE staff in all situations, including stressful and/or dangerous situations. As well as being able to effectively communicate with guides and other guests.
Personal Care. Ability to manage all personal care independently or with the assistance of a friend or family member. This includes but not limited to, maintaining; proper dosage of prescription medications independently or with the assistance of a friend or family member, hydration, adequate consumption of food, adequate and appropriately dressed to avoid environmental injuries such as hypothermia, heat related illnesses and sunburn.
Safety Gear. Wear the appropriate Coast-Guard approved PFD (Personal floatation Device) (Maximum chest size of 56” and minimum weight of 50 pounds) when required and have the ability to use it to maintain the appropriate whitewater swimming position. PFDs are effective at keeping you above the water, but it can still be a threatening situation swimming through turbulent unpredictable water. Wear properly fitted helmet when/where required.
Ability to board and off-load a boat four to ten times each day. Getting on and off the boats can be very challenging. This may require stepping or climbing into or onto the boat and then maneuvering your body over and across tubes(sometimes slippery), dry bags, coolers and other objects. Boats may be parked against a variety of terrain such as rocks, steep sandy beaches and flat locations.
On the Boat. Ability to remain seated and balanced for prolonged periods of time, in a raft and/or kayak while holding on independently or with the assistance of a friend or family member. Securly holding on will aid in your ability to stay on board.
Ability to maneuver and listen to directions while swimming in water and wearing a PFD.
Self Rescue. Falling off a boat into the river, or having your boat capsize is one of the inherent risks associated with whitewater rafting. If this happens you will need the ability to maneuver/swim in whitewater or swift currents while wearing a PFD. This includes being an active participant in your own rescue. You may be required to; keep your airway passages sealed while underwater, regain control of your breathing when being submitted to repeated submersion under waves or currents, re-orienting yourself in “in-river” surroundings, repositioning/maneuvering yourself in the water to different swimming positions, swim/move aggressively to a boat and/or shore in whitewater, get out from underneath an overturned boat and, receive and react to human assistance. (Rescue ropes, paddles, directions)
Assist in appropriate situations which may include pulling another passenger back into the boat.
On shore. Ability to independently navigate uneven shoreline terrain, including safely maneuvering around and/or across boulders, rocks, and slippery and sometimes uneven surfaces, under low branches, and around vegetation. This may include the ability to maintain your balance near precipitous ledges or cliffs.
Lifting. Ability to carry personal dry bags and other personal gear (As heavy as 20-30 pounds) from the boats to your camping location and back the next morning. (Independently or with the assistance of a friend or family member.) This may include walking up-hill on uneven and/or rocky terrain. (THIS ONLY PERTAINS TO MULT-DAY TRIPS)
If you feel you cannot fulfill any of the above criteria you may consider that participating in a river trip with SGE may not be appropriate. The criteria exist for your own safety and that of all of SGE’s participants. None of the criteria is meant to discriminate on the basis of any physical or mental disability and are applied uniformly to all potential trip participants, irrespective of the presence or absence of any disability. (Please consult your doctor if you have a medical or health conditions that could impact your ability to participate in this type of outdoor adventure.) SGE is committed to making reasonable modifications to any trip for any participants with a disability, so long as they do not fundamentally alter the nature of the trip. A river trip is a participatory experience. Our guides will provide you with information and tools to make your trip more enjoyable. They spend almost every minute of their day performing duties on behalf of the group. Because of this, they are not able to devote a lot of extra time to any one individual on the trip.