My sister said it best as we were gearing up for a spring run on the Grandjene section of the Payette River, “It’s good to have the right gear. I'm standing here in the cold, about to get into a freezing river, and I'm just fine with that.”
We all had to start on old, borrowed equipment. I happened to use a hot pink scuba diving skin I “borrowed” from my folk’s house for my first few river trips (and I made that hot pink skin look good too). It was better than nothing, but not much better than nothing. Since then, I have lovingly pieced together my gear bag into a nice wad of polyester, nylon and rubber. If you haven’t already, it is defiantly time to bust into your gear bag and take a nice deep breath of rivers past.
Here are some experienced tips from an unseasoned pro when first venturing into your gear bag for the season.
· Be sure to get the spiders out of your dry top/dry suit before you put it on.
· Repack your throw bag.
· Restock your ChapStick.
· Try to find your one missing boot, give up, and go buy another pair.
· Inspect your helmet for cracks.
· There are three way to get the smell out of polyester: Burn it, freeze it or use some Sink-the-Stink (I’m open to any other suggestions.)
· Take a swift water rescue class so you remember how to use the gear you have for un-pinning a boat.
And now, my top three non-traditional gear bag essentials.
· 2. Red Bull
If you find that your puddle of equipment is looking a little tattered, or you are ready to buy your own equipment, stop by one of our dealers, and while your there, you might as well pick up a new raft.
And now, for your viewing pleasure, the hot pink Scuba Skin, oh ya.