Ep. 101: Talking Rescue PFDs and Techniques with Clay from Green Tongue Adventures

River Talk Podcast
Ep. 101: Talking Rescue PFDs and Techniques with Clay from Green Tongue Adventures
/

This week Aaron join the show to talk with Clay from Green Tongue Adventures about a variety of rescue techniques and equipment.

Raft Pin
Raft Pin

Gear of the Week

Ep. 100: Raft Fabric, Repair and New Rafts with Jeremiah From SOTAR

River Talk Podcast
Ep. 100: Raft Fabric, Repair and New Rafts with Jeremiah From SOTAR
/

This week Zach talks with Jeremiah from SOTAR about their fabrics, field repair, and new lightweight boats.

SOTAR Raft on the North Fork of the Owyhee River
SOTAR Raft on the North Fork of the Owyhee River

Gear of the Week

Ep. 99: Elisha and Alan from Canyon River Instruction

River Talk Podcast
Ep. 99: Elisha and Alan from Canyon River Instruction
/

This week we talked with Elisha and Alan from Canyon River Instruction about raft and guide training.

Canyon River Instruction offers river running, safety, and rescue courses
Canyon River Instruction offers river running, safety, and rescue courses

News of the Week

Gear of the Week

Ep. 98: Gurus, Experts, and Norms

River Talk Podcast
Ep. 98: Gurus, Experts, and Norms
/

This week Zach and Aaron talk about gurus, experts, and norms in the world of whitewater.

The nice thing about standards is that you have so many to choose from. – Andrew S. Tanenbaum

News of the Week

  • We talk about a new product for finding your lost gear by Karmik Outdoors
  • Snowpack so far is mediocre but there’s a lot of time left
  • Zach just ordered a Hyside Mini-max with Welfelt Frame

In our discussion about norms, Zach mentioned a couple books he really likes

Lining a raft on the White Salmon River
Lining a raft on the White Salmon River

Gear of the Week

Ep. 97: Discussing Wilderness Medicine with Chris Davis

River Talk Podcast
Ep. 97: Discussing Wilderness Medicine with Chris Davis
/

In this episode Zach and Priscilla chat with Chris Davis, MD about wilderness medicine for whitewater paddlers.

News of the Week

  • Big water in the Northwest – please be careful of new wood
Chris Davis
Chris Davis

On the podcast Chris mentions the Year 2000 Whitewater Injury Survey.

Gear of the Week

Ep. 96: Lee Baker Talks Heuristic Traps

River Talk Podcast
Ep. 96: Lee Baker Talks Heuristic Traps
/

In this episode Lee Baker and Jacob Cruser join us to talk about Heuristic Traps.

News of the Week

  • Zach shares some thoughts (and daresay – rules) about paddling in the COVID environment
    1. No hitchhiking
    2. In vehicles just one person per openĀ  window and masks on
    3. Paddlers should carry a box of disposable masks in their vehicles

Heuristic Traps in Whitewater

Safe Sac (Ass Face)

  • Social proof
  • Acceptance
  • Familiarity
  • Expert Halo
  • Scarcity of Resource
  • Availability
  • Commitment
Guest Host Jacob Cruser paddling on Indigo Creek
Guest Host Jacob Cruser paddling on Indigo Creek

Gear of the Week

Ep. 95: Discussing Personal Locator Beacons (Again)

River Talk Podcast
Ep. 95: Discussing Personal Locator Beacons (Again)
/

This week we talk more about the use of Personal Location Beacons (PLBs) for whitewater enthusiasts.

News of the Week

  • Mill Creek is a great backyard run for Salem, Oregon

Videos Mentioned in the Podcast

Gear of the Week

Ep. 94: More Discussion about Emergency Communication Devices

River Talk Podcast
Ep. 94: More Discussion about Emergency Communication Devices
/

In this episode we talk about emergency communication devices and some ideas about they can be used.

This week we talk about using emergency communication devices on the river
This week we talk about using emergency communication devices on the river

News of the Week

Here is a good video that talks about when initiate a backcountry rescue

Gear of the Week

Ep. 93: Broken Gear and Safety Gear to Consider

River Talk Podcast
Ep. 93: Broken Gear and Safety Gear to Consider
/

This week our friend Aaron Lieberman, the executive director of the Idaho Outfitter and Guides Association returns to the show. We talk about our responsibilities as podcast hosts and lessons learned from a recent incident on Canyon Creek.

News of the Week

  • MTI Life Jackets purchased by the Wing Group
  • Donations to the Salmon Whitewater Park are being matched 4 times – simple Venmo @salmonwhitewater park and/or visit their web site.
Aaron paddling on the Salmon River with a Selway Fabrication Mini-Bank Toilet in his inflatable kayak
Aaron paddling on the Salmon River with a Selway Fabrication Mini-Bank Toilet in his inflatable kayak

Gear of the Week

OG Mini-Rafters

Below is some listener mail referencing our recent mini-boat podcast from our friend (and paddling legend) Bill Cross. Thank Bill!

I really enjoyed your Mini-Boats episode today; I listened to it while running. I thought I’d write and offer a little historical perspective. It seems that I’ve gotten so old that I can now bore everyone with yarns from the days of yore.

I think it’s wonderful that people are finally showing more interest in small rafts; the only surprise for me is how long it took for it to happen.

My own interest in mini-boats goes back over 40 years, and actually predates self-bailers. In 1978, on my ARTA whitewater school, the instructors brought along a 12-foot Avon Redshank with a wooden rowing frame, which students could row as a “suicide boat” without an instructor on board. In those days, the standard raft was a 16-foot Pro, and the 14-foot Adventurer was considered radically small. A 12-footer on the river was unheard of. The Redshank was actually never intended as a whitewater boat; it was a yacht tender, and it had virtually no bow rise, so a two-foot wave could swamp it to the brim. But despite that major shortcoming, I spent every second I could in that boat: it taught me a ton about rowing technical water, and it launched my life-long love affair with small rafts.

In 1982, I bought an 11-foot Campways Piute bucket boat. Initially, I used the Piute as an R2, but within a year I built a metal rowing frame for it. I rowed that boat for several years, and even used it for overnight trips. You can see a picture of it in Western Whitewater on p. 450. My wife and I created a custom spray shield for the bow to try to reduce swamping in waves and holes.

In 1986, just a couple of years into the self-bailing revolution, Jim Cassady and I talked SOTAR into building the first two 10-foot custom self-bailers. At the time, SOTAR’s smallest production boat was a 13-footer, and initially they refused to build a 10-footer because they thought we were crazy. They kept telling us we’d hate it. Eventually we talked them into it, and Cass and I started R2ing that same year.

R2-ing Troublemaker Rapid on the South Fork of the American River in 1986
R2-ing Troublemaker Rapid on the South Fork of the American River in 1986

As far as I know, we were the first people to R2 a round self-bailer. (I believe that folks back east had started S2ing Shredders about a year before we started R2ing our custom SOTARs.) Cass and I nicknamed our boats “MiniTars.” In the first year I owned it, I built a frame for it and outfitted it with a pair of 7.5-foot Sawyer fir-laminate oars. Over the next two decades, I paddled and rowed that boat more than any other raft in my fleet. Remarkably, I still have that raft, and at 34 years old it’s still seaworthy — a pretty amazing testament to SOTAR quality. Admittedly, the design is a bit dated. About a decade ago I switched over to a Hyside Mini-Me and Mini-Max, so these days the original MiniTar only gets out on the water if I need a second or third mini-raft.

Satans Cesspool on the American River in 1988
Satans Cesspool on the American River in 1988

The really surprising thing to me is how long it took for mini-rafts to catch on, both for R2ing and for rowing. Cassady and I were totally enthralled with our new toys, but for the first decade or so that I owned my 10-footer, it was just a curiosity on the river. We drew lots of stares and dubious looks, but even though we were far more agile than bigger rafts and could tackle much bonier runs, we couldn’t get people to share our enthusiasm. Cass and I even wrote articles for River Runner Magazine and the Friends of the River newsmagazine promoting R2ing and mini rafts, but almost nobody followed our lead. None of the manufacturers took the bait to build a small production raft. It wasn’t until Hyside built the Mini-Me that small rafts and R2ing really took off.

Anyway, there’s a little history for you.

Take care, and stay well.

Best wishes,

Bill