Boating Safety Tips on the Deschutes River

Boating safety is as essential as ever as the summer winds to an end. Now through Labor Day Weekend, more and more rafts hit the Deschutes River to take advantage of the plentiful waters and wildlife. Before you hit the waves in your vessel, be sure to follow our boating safety tips to keep you and your family safe on the water.

Create a Pre-Departure Checklist

When ensuring you have done everything necessary to properly prepare for your trip, it can be difficult to keep everything straight. This leads to items being forgotten or important details overlooked. That’s why it’s a good idea to create a pre-departure checklist for optimal boating safety. First, make sure your list includes everything you need to bring like water, life jackets, and fishing supplies. Secondly, ensure your list details everything you need to check such as fuel and oil levels, safety gear, and the weather. If you take a boating course, which is recommended, you’ll learn how to create the right pre-departure checklist for your boat.

Designate an Assistant Captain

If it’s your boat, you’ll likely be the one driving it, but sometimes you can’t be the person behind the wheel. Just in case something should happen and you can’t take the wheel, it’s a good idea to have at least one more person who can captain the boat for you. Let everyone know who your assistant captain is, so there are no arguments should the event arise where they need to take action for boating safety.

Communicate Your Float Plan

Even if you follow our boating safety precautions, boating is not inherently safe. Because of this, it’s important to let someone know your float plan. This should include contact information for everyone on the trip, your boat’s type and registration info, and your itinerary. Make sure your itinerary shows all the places you’ll hit along the way so people know where to search should you go missing.

Use Required Safety Gear

On many waterways, boating safety gear like lifejackets are required. It’s important that you have one for every person on the trip and that they fit properly. Checking the fit should be part of your pre-departure checklist. As an added note, it’s also important that everyone on board knows how to swim. Although they’ll be wearing life jackets, this is an extremely important life-saving skill to have.

Use Common Sense

Following boating safety precautions like these is a no brainer, but when you’re out on the water, make sure you’re using that brain! Use common sense when navigating busy waterways, keep clear of large vessels, drive at a safe speed, and don’t drink alcoholic beverages.

If you’re operating your own boat, then these boating safety concerns should be addressed right away. If you don’t own your own boat, stop by Imperial River Company for a whitewater rafting trip you’ll never forget. The experienced guides will take you through the safety checklist and will make sure your Oregon rafting trip is exciting yet safe.

Imperial River Company, Maupin OR
Lodging and Rafting on the Lower Deschutes River
(541) 395-2404

Five Extreme Sports to Try in Oregon

Want the best outdoor activities near Portland, Oregon? Look no further than these 5 Oregon extreme sports. Surrounded by rivers, mountains, windy gorges and even high desert within just 2 hours of the city, it’s no wonder Oregonians have a reputation of being outdoorsy.

People travel from all over the world to experience the unique geography that makes the Pacific Northwest such a great place for extreme sports. So if you haven’t hit the hotspots below for five of the most extreme and popular sports in Oregon, read on.

1. Windsurfing

If you’ve ever been to Hood River, you’ve probably spotted the colorful sails painting the Columbia River. The Columbia River Gorge is internationally famous for some of the best windsurfing in the world and is even titled “The Windsurfing Capitol of America.”

The choppy waters of the Columbia River are perfect for practicing competitive windsurfing techniques like Speedsurfing, Slalom (racing/regatta), and Big Air (jumping for air time). There are also plenty of windsurfing coaches if you’re a beginner. Kite surfing is another popular activity in the area. These boards with free-floating sails have become almost as popular as windsurfing in recent years. Here are some great tips from Travel Portland if you want to try it out.

(Pro tip: You’ll drive right through Hood River from Portland on the way to the Imperial River Company for rafting in Maupin, so be sure to take a pit stop!)

2. Whitewater Rafting

Although Oregon is most known for the wide waters of the Columbia River, it’s also home to some major tributaries that have a beauty and sport all their own. If you visit Maupin, Oregon, you’ll find the lower section of the Deschutes River and rapids that are perfect for whitewater rafting. From late spring to early fall, people travel to this Central Oregon town to take in the views of the Deschutes River Canyon along with the thrills of the whitewater. Stay at the Imperial River Company for lodging and rafting on the banks of the Deschutes.

3. Stand-Up Paddle Boarding

Paddle boarding is an invigorating way to spend time on water with the added benefits of full body exercise. It’s easiest to do SUPing on lakes, reservoirs, ponds, and calm rivers. There are a few spots on the lower Deschutes, however, where you’ll find more challenging runs and whitewater paddle boarding opportunities. In fact, it will be one of the attractions at Ride Row Run on Saturday, September, 15th in Maupin, Oregon.

4. Rock Climbing

Oregon has a unique assortment of geographical features that are perfect for rock climbing,. Whether you’re looking for snow peaked mountain tops like Mt. Hood or craggy rocks jutting from the high desert like Smith Rock, you’re bound to find a challenging climb in Oregon. Smith Rock is well-known to Oregon climbers, as it hosts 1800 climbing routes and a challenging welded tuff face of 550 feet high. The climbing feature is settled in a river canyon in Smith Rock State Park where visitors will find plenty of space for camping and hiking.

5. Paragliding

Paragliding is another Oregon extreme sport that’s just perfect for Oregon winds. Paragliders don’t use engines, but their flight can actually last hours and go for many miles. They can extend their flight by taking advantage of updrafts that can lift them to heights as great as 1000 feet. This sport is particular popular in the Willamette valley where gliders can launch from high plateaus and sail over the long, wide valley below.

If you’re looking for an extreme water sport experience in Oregon, we invite you to check in to Imperial River Company in Maupin, Oregon. Relax in our lodge, eat dinner on the banks of the Deschutes River, and join us for an exciting whitewater rafting trip.

Imperial River Company, Maupin OR
Lodging and Rafting on the Lower Deschutes River
(541) 395-2404