- Basic camping and trip planning skills
Do you know how to choose good campsites, stake out a tent, and secure everything in your camp (from elements and animals)?
Do you know about basic concepts of Leave No Trace camping?
Do you know how to be organized and punctual (for your put in and pick up days)?
- Basic gear and menu planning skills
Do you know how to choose gear or take steps to waterproof your gear?
Do you know how to look at a weather forecast and plan what kind of gear to bring?
Do you know how to plan a menu and pack food for a multiple day trip?
- How to plan kitchen and camp gear so you don’t have duplicate items that create overloaded/unsafe canoes?
- Topographic map reading and basic navigation skills
- Knowing how to swim or wear a lifejacket (or when to do both)
- Canoe paddling, maneuvering, and rescue skills
- Do you know how to deal with a swamped canoe? Skills for dealing with adverse conditions
- Do you know how to deal with wind, mud, heat, cold, high water, bugs, etc…?
- First Aid Skills
- Self reliance, troubleshooting, and self rescue skills
- The ability to have a good time, go with the flow, and take things as they come
A fire pan is required for all wood and charcoal fires. Both the BLM and the NPS require a durable metal fire pan at least 12 inches wide with at least a 1.5 inch lip around the outer edge and sufficient to contain fire and remains. Some of the more popular types are small barrels cut in half lengthwise, garbage can lids, oil drain pans, backyard barbecue grills, or heavy duty army surplus baking pans or lids. Light aluminum does not stand up to the heat of a fire, and asbestos materials are dangerous because they release carcinogenic fibers. It may extend the life of your fire pan to fill the bottom with a small amount of sand before lighting a fire. A fire pan is intended to replace a fire pit or fire ring. All campfires should be built small enough as to be completely contained within the fire pan. Tex's Riverways can provide you with a loaner fire pan should you need one.
When breaking camp we are all faced with the problem of what to do with the remains of a campfire. Since all floatable, unburned charcoal must be carried out, the following procedure is recommended:
- After allowing the morning fire to burn down, fill a bucket about 3/4 full of water. Shovel the fire pan residue into the bucket in small amounts, stirring slowly.
- Remove the pieces that float, putting them in a sturdy container for carryout or for burning in the next day's fire. Repeat the process until the fire pan is empty.
- The residue that will sink to the bottom of the bucket can be disposed of in the main current of the river along with the remaining water.
- The disposal of ash in the river's backwaters may have a detrimental effect on young endangered squaw fish, thus the necessity of dumping ash only in the main river channel for maximum dilution. This will most often require dumping the ash bucket from the boat after launching rather than dumping it while on shore.
- When you leave a camp there should be no evidence of your campfire remaining.
On the flat waters of the Green and Colorado Rivers, paddlers using common sense rarely capsize. The daily splashing of your paddle and the possibility of rainy weather, does however, bring about a need to protect equipment that must be kept dry. This is especially true for equipment sitting at the bottom of the canoe where water will collect.
Many canoers use heavy duty dry bags available in most outdoor stores and most commonly used on white water trips. Dry bags are available for rental through our service. Large plastic storage boxes, found at most discount department stores, are very useful but are not completely watertight in the event of a capsize. Large heavy duty trash bags (lawn & leaf bags) we have found will work just fine as a temporary dry bag.
All overnight trips on the Colorado and Green Rivers must have and use a washable, reusable toilet system or the type of toilet system that uses dry chemicals and enzymes to render solid human waste into non hazardous products acceptable for disposal in permitted landfills. The rivers and surrounding desert canyons of this land are beautiful but fragile places. Canyonlands is still a relatively untouched environment, but if the thousands who use the rivers annually deposit feces and toilet paper wherever they please, it will become yet another landscape abused by mankind.
Tex's Riverways provides rental toilet systems which comply with all BLM and National Park Service regulations. We are able to outfit groups of any size with a complete systems including toilet seat, waste container and deodorizing chemicals. The only item you need to bring is toilet paper. Our system has been custom made to meet the specific needs of our business. It is completely self-contained, very sturdy and designed for commercial use. We strongly recommend rental and use of this system; however, feel free to bring any other system so long as it complies with BLM and NPS regulations.
Waste disposal is included with rental of our system. If you do elect to bring your own system, disposal of the waste will be your responsibility. Instruction on use of our system will be provided in person immediately prior to your trip beginning. As a condition of our permits with the NPS and BLM, we cannot provide service to any group without a toilet that meets the regulations.
We consider the following items essential to any river trip:
- Large heavy duty plastic tarp - This is especially nice for setting up a kitchen/sleeping area when camped on a sand bar. Don't forget a whisk broom to keep the sand off. Tarps are also great for keeping a dry camp in rainy weather.
- River shoes - These can be as simple as an old pair of sneakers or as high tech as water sandals. It is essential to have shoes that you can get wet and muddy with no worries. A second pair of dry "camp shoes" is also important for hiking and comfort around camp.
- First aid kit - A good basic first aid kit is a must for any wilderness trip.
- Rain gear - One of those items you may not need but will be glad to have if you do.
- Insect repellent, sunscreen, sunglasses, lip balm, a hat, toilet paper and extra rope. These are items that everyone hopes they haven't forgotten but never remember until that first night in camp.
Our rental canoes will quite easily accommodate ice chests up to 30 inches long, and we heartily recommend bringing along those perishable food items that an ice chest would make possible. There are basically two methods of taking along ice and perishables. The simplest, yet least efficient method is to combine both food and ice in one chest. The ice will probably last only a few days (block ice lasts longer than chips). A better method, especially for parties with more than one canoe, is to take two ice chests. One chest contains food and just enough ice to keep the contents cool. The other chest should be as full as possible with block ice and opened only when getting ice for the food chest (don't forget the ice pick). If the ice chest is well sealed and covered with a wet towel you should have ice for several days. As food and ice are used up, empty chests can be used as waterproof storage for loose items like sleeping bags, lanterns, or anything else you haven't found a place for.
Here's the lowdown on your pick-up:
- Jetboat pick-up time is 10 AM. Jetboat pick-ups may not happen every day. On Jetboat pick-up days there is only one pick up time. We will accommodate early pick-ups in emergency situations and on a space available basis. Unscheduled late pick-ups due to your negligence can cause logistic problems and will be at your expense.
- Wash out your canoe at your pick-up point. (Periodic canoe cleaning during the trip will make this easier.) We will have a broom on board to help dust off your gear.
- We pick up paddlers on the Colorado River anywhere between Potash and Spanish Bottom. For paddlers coming down the Green River, we do jet boat pick-ups between the Confluence and Spanish Bottom. This is a stretch of calm water about 4 miles long upstream from Cataract Canyon. Your pick-up spot should be able to accommodate our jet boat: Ideally the shoreline should be sandy and free of rocks and the water about hip deep 10 feet off the shore.
Most canoes and rafts will easily carry several hundred pounds of weight, much more than is carried on a backpacking or kayaking trip. For safer, more comfortable paddling and to simplify camp set-up, it is advised that the amount of gear be reduced when practical. To avoid duplication of items that would unnecessarily take up space and add weight, it is important that groups of people in one canoeing party coordinate their efforts in trip preparation. In particular, advance menu planning is advised. It is not uncommon for groups to overestimate their meal requirements. On all trips involving jet boat pick-up we request that equipment weight be limited to 50 lbs. per person at pick-up time. This weight limit is necessary for us to properly book space for you on our jet boat, where cargo weight is a primary consideration. At trips end when food and water supplies are depleted this limit is not hard to achieve. We reserve the right to charge additional fees to those grossly exceeding this weight limitation.
On the morning of your put-in you need to be at our office at 8 AM MST, more or less packed, shopped, and ready to go. Please park straight in facing towards our building when you arrive. Your group may not be the only group on your put-in day so please park all of your vehicles together if possible; this makes loading a lot easier. Also, you might want your personal gear clearly labeled as it may be mixed in with other group's during the loading process. There is water available at the front of our office for filling water jugs and we now have ice for sale (block and cube). If you need additional rental equipment it can be rented in the office on the morning of your put-in. Make sure that you leave a set of your keys with the office person. Thanks!
Tex's Riverways does not transport rafts of any kind at any time. We do transport inflatable kayaks, inflatable canoes, and inflatable pack rafts. Some watercraft are borderline, and it's hard to tell. Is it a raft, or is it an inflatable kayak/canoe? Basically if it's too wide to paddle with a kayak paddle, or it has a removable frame, we consider it a raft, and we will not transport it
While dogs are allowed in Labyrinth Canyon, Tex's Riverways does not transport dogs. Under the ADA, well behaved service dogs are allowed for those individuals with disabilities. Please inform us ahead of time of any special circumstances involving a service animal, so we can inform other parties who might be sharing your shuttle.