HANDS DOWN, The Best Family Adventure

Warning: the adventure I am about to tell you about is horribly addicting.  It will stalk your dreams, suck your free time away on smaller day trips, and have you counting down the days until your next BIG ONE!  Don’t say you weren’t warned…

With summer in full swing, there’s still plenty of time to bust out some serious adventures.  The only problem is choosing what to do.  Well today, I’m going to share with you what the best adventure you can do with your family is…

HANDS DOWN!!!

It’s going to be the adventure that your kids talk about for years and years to come, constantly inventing ways to make it possible again.

So what is it?

multi day

Multi-day rafting!!!

Multi-day rafting combines the best of the outdoors into one neat package.  It takes the best of car camping (being able to take anything you can imagine and not have to carry it) and backpacking (solitude and gorgeous scenery) and smashes them together in one amazing combination.  Whether you’re spending weeks in the Grand Canyon, or just doing an overnight trip, close to home, multi-day rafting is the ultimate in family adventure.

Remember when we wrote about how it will change your life and your kids will be thanking you for years?

Here’s what makes it so amazing:

-You’re stuck on a boat – TOGETHER.  No one’s getting off, no one else is getting on (well, hopefully:).  If you’re looking for a way for everyone to spend some serious time together and force encourage intense bonding, this is the way to go!

-Electronics aren’t an option, so you’ll all be unplugged.  No emails to answer, reports to finish, statuses to update,  nothing!  Yes, just unplug and relax!  Well, I guess you can swing it, if you’re feeling like rockin’ some tunes like we did on this trip (with a floating waterproof speaker), but other than that, say goodbye to “smart” electronics of any variety…unless you’re willing to take a swim with them!

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-Your kids will have to get creative with their play.  Yes, they might get a little bored sometime around the end of the first day, but you’ll be amazed at the creative ways they entertain themselves (and you) by the end of the trip.  Pure, unstructured, natural play at it’s finest.

-You get to act like a kid.  Forget worrying about keeping up appearances, this is the time to totally let loose and hoot and holler just like you did when you were a 10-year-old.  Jump off cliffs, get dirty, and pretty soon, you’ll remember what it was like to see things for the first time!  As an added bonus, you’ll be amazed at how much your kids want to play with you when you play just like they do!

-Relaxation is REAL!  Forget those insane theme park centered trips where at the end of the day, you truly do need a vacation from your vacation.  On a multi-day river trip, life is slow and relaxation is unavoidable.  Yes, it sometimes takes a day or two to let your mind unwind, but once you do, it’s priceless!

-You push your limits together, making your relationships stronger.  Honestly, if you want unbreakable family bonds, you’ve got to do amazing (and difficult) things together.  Whether that’s charging through rapids, straining through sore muscles, or preparing a dutch oven feast, you’ll be better off because of it!

-Anyone can do it.  You can find scenic float trips that are suitable for your infant or grandmother, or you can max out our adrenaline on a non-stop rapid trip.  It really is an adventure that anyone can do.

We’re hooked and are convinced that once you try it you will be too.  Read about some of our multi-day trips with our kids here, here, here, here, and here.  

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10 Comments

  • dave stewart says:

    I agree that river rafting is one of the greatest experiences outdoors we can have for the reasons you noted. We just had our second baby in as many years and it has reduced the number of trips we do per year. Our favorite trips are the remote white water trips, so it has reduced these now that we have small kids. I hope to get them on the river when they are good swimmers.
    How early have you been able to get your little ones on the river?

    • bringthekids says:

      The youngest we have taken them is a year, but I know several people who do flatwater trips when the kids are a few months old. They just take the car seat and let them chill in there so they stay comfy and dry. It just hasn’t worked out with weather and when our kids were born to take them that young. We let them start coming on bigger whitewater ones when they can swim.

  • E B says:

    Hi! We have this raft
    http://www.amazon.com/Intex-Excursion-Boat-Set-Model/dp/B00CMBJ1VE/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

    And we haven’t been brave enough to go down rivers with it yet, just lakes. Which are abundant around here. But for rivers as long as there are no rapids, I understand that it should be fine. Do you think it would be sturdy enough to handle more than a super flat river? In your expert opinion? Thanks!

    • Dave says:

      EB,

      I think it is ok for lakes and very mild rivers as long as you are not putting too much weight in the boat. The big problem with these types of boats is that they are not durable. If you were to hit a rock or scrape the bottom they might easily blow a tube.
      If it’s just a fun day float with good swimming kids with life jackets I think you would be ok. Here is a link to a company from Idaho that has high quality boats. These are definetely not cheap, but you get a boat that is guaranteed to last plus really awesome customer service.
      http://www.nrs.com/category/3209/rafting/inflatable-kayaks

    • bringthekids says:

      EB-

      I would stick to lakes with that one. ESPECIALLY with kids. Although it floats, it’s not going to be that sturdy and the risk of falling in and going for a swim would be really high when battling a current. I wouldn’t risk it (mostly because if your kids go for an unexpected swim, they’ll hate you for a long time for it and might not go again)

  • Debbie says:

    I agree! Rafting is such a blast!!! Last year was the first time we went with kids and those two trips were the highlights of our summer! And I think the most fun summer ever! We need to find a cheap, used raft or for our friends to move back! ;-). Actually BOTH!

    • bringthekids says:

      Let’s plan a trip for next summer Debbie!!! Did you know that the Sones just bought a boat? I’m thinking we could have a pretty rockin’ trip next year…besides, we’re going to need to spend some serious time with you guys!!!

      • Debbie says:

        How fun! I didn’t know that! Yes, we will go next year! It will be awesome! I can’t wait! We’ll try to work on the whole boat thing. ;-)

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