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Book A Trip

Call The Shop

Tips for a Great River trip

Know what to bring, how to dress, and be prepared

Stay safe, have fun, know what you’re doing! 

What to expect:

We are sure you are looking forward to your River Adventure with Headwaters Outfitters and we will make every effort to provide you with a wonderful day to remember. We have learned by experience and throughout the years that paddlers can gauge the enjoyment of their river trip by how well they were prepared, should the unexpected occur. 

Before your trip:

In your confirmation email, sent upon your reservation, you will find general trip information and logistics to follow. Before your trip check-in please review your confirmation email. In your confirmation email you will find a short 10-min. safety video, and an electronic Waiver Form link for completing our Liability Release. These few steps will make your check-in process an easy transition to getting your group on the water. 

Plan to arrive 30 minutes before actually getting on the river. This allows time for reservation check-in, confirming the Liability Release, receiving trip wristbands, parking in our designated parking area, and checking out needed gear. These procedures will allow you to depart on time. If you arrive later than your scheduled departing time, your trip will be delayed until the next departure time.

To ensure safety and convenience for after your trip, please plan to leave your vehicle keys in our River Shop at the front desk in the key box. We do not recommend that you take them with you on your river trip.

Use the following information to help prepare for an enjoyable day on the river. Leave all items that you are not taking with you locked in the trunk of your vehicle. REMEMBER, everything that you take with you on the river is at risk of getting lost and or wet.

Bring with you to the River Shop everything you want to take on the river (coolers and larger items going on river trips may be taken directly to load into the Shuttle Bus). Organize yourself before check-in to reduce the number of trips you make to your vehicle.

Restrooms and changing rooms are available for you to use before or after.

Your River Host will serve as your assistant and/or shuttle driver. You will be transported ~5min. to our Private River Access for your adventure. They will direct and inform you through the pre-trip process, provide a brief safety orientation. The River Host will outfit each member of your group with the correct fitting Personal Floatation Device (PFD), equipment and gear. As well as assist with your loading and launching in boats for your departure on the river. 

We take great pride in providing you clean, well-kept, and top-notch equipment. You will be responsible to return it in the same condition.

During Your Trip

Upon Arrival & While on the River
Be Prepared and Responsible:
ALL RIVER ACTIVITIES ARE RISK SPORTS-BOTH KNOWN AND UNKNOWN DANGERS EXIST. THERE ARE NO LIFEGUARDS OR SAFETY PERSONNEL ON THE RIVER. You must assume responsibility for your safety and that of your children and even pets. We do not assume liability for personal injury, loss or damage to personal property.
Paddlers, adults or youth will not be able to participate on the river without READING AND SIGNING A HEADWATERS OUTFITTERS ASSUMPTION OF RISK & RELEASE OF LIABILITY FORM. Paddlers age 17 and under must have forms completed and signed by their parents or legal guardian. HAVE THE FORMS COMPLETED BEFORE ARRIVAL AND BRING THEM WITH YOU. 

What to wear:

Dress for the water conditions and weather conditions.
Be prepared to get wet. Wear comfortable, fast drying layers of clothing that can be taken off or added on during your trip on the river. A properly used and good-quality dry bag helps keep whatever you bring on the water secure and dry. Wear river shoes or old sneakers at all times on the river to protect your feet. NO FLIP-FLOPS or Open-Heeled/Slide-On Sandals.

Bring a change of clothes and dry shoes to change into if you get wet, especially in cooler temperatures (bring a drybag to put them in) to take with you on the river. It’s a good idea as well to keep a dry towel, change of clothes, and shoes in your personal vehicle. Plastic trash bags work great to store wet dirty shoes and clothes after your trip. Each season brings a complete and different paddling experience.

In summer, wear swim suits, quick dry-shirts and quick-dry shorts. In cooler weather/water, wear clothes that will keep you warm when wet: polypropylene, wool, but NOT cotton.

Wear sun hats, especially on bright sunny days. We carry inexpensive straw hats in our River Shop. Wearing a wool hat on cooler or wet days helps to keep your body warm, and of course, there is nothing like a warm pair of gloves, when paddling early mornings, or in spring or fall.

Use eyeglass straps to secure all eyeglass wear. Sunglasses can help significantly with sun/water reflection on the water. 

Wear sunscreen even on cloudy days. Cover up good, we have seen some pretty tough sunburns on the inside of thighs – quite the tender area.

Bring any necessary allergy or other medications with you on the river that you would not want to be without for a few hours. (Example: bee sting kit/epinephrine)

Bring plenty of drinking water in non-breakable containers. Any food or snacks that you take with you should be stored in waterproof containers and secured to the watercraft. Please remember that all gear you take with you is at risk of getting lost and wet!

Respect your adventure:

  • Pack out more than you take-in! Take a trash-bag with you and use it.
  • We have a recycle center set up at the River Shop for you to use.
  • No one impaired by drugs or alcohol will be allowed to go on our trips.
  • We ask that you be responsible and return all equipment in the same condition you received it in.

protect yourself:

  • Eat a good meal before leaving on your river trip.
  • Drink plenty of water while on the river to prevent dehydration.
  • Evaluate your fitness and select the most appropriate trip for you and your group.
  • Notify us in advance of physical or other disabilities that someone in your party may have which may require special arrangements with us.


extras to bring:

There are several optional items you may want to consider such as: small first aid kit, insect repellent, kneepads (for kneeling in canoe), fishing gear, whistle for use in emergencies. We love to take binoculars, but store them in a dry bag. Take these items at your own risk. Non-waterproof cameras we leave behind!


While on River:

  • Leave your PFD on at all times, even when swimming.
  • Never dive head first into the water.
  • Respect private property. Do not trespass.
  • Respect fisherman. Paddle to the shore opposite of their lines and pass quietly.
  • Keep your boat under control. Control must be good enough to reach shore.
  • When paddling in a group, assign a canoe to lead and a sweep canoe to paddle in the rear. Experienced paddlers should hold both the lead and sweep positions.
  • Be sure to keep an appropriate distance between boats. A good rule of thumb is to keep the boat behind you in sight. If they lag behind, pull over and wait.
  • Keep a look out for river hazards and avoid them. Walk around any hazards in which you have doubts.
  • It is recommended that you do not paddle alone. Bring your friends.


After Your Trip:

  • Upon arrival at the take-out.

    Unload all you gear and carry it to the top of the boat ramp. Set it out of the way. The River Host will help you carry the boats to the top of the steps, load it up, and bring you back to the river shop. Make sure you collect all your personal gear.

  • Don’t forget to tip your River Host/Driver.

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