My short bio: Howdy reddit! My name's Matt and I'm one of three sons that work/help out with the family business, which is a West coast based whitewater rafting company. My Dad started the company in the 70's, and every summer until I hit college we would live in the guidehouse, where my parents managed/operated their Idaho portion of the business. (A guidehouse is a place where river guides stay inbetween rafting trips.) It was a really fun way to grow up, and I'm happy to continue to be involved in the business. Compared to other activities, rafting is still a semi-new sport, and the industry has changed quite a bit. Feel free to ask me anything about river guiding, whitewater, or sleeping under the stars for 70+ nights a summer.

My Proof: Proof

Visuals are great to help explain what we do. My brother spent some time with his camera last summer and runs the Idaho company's instagram and G+.


200+ comments and questions! Wow, and THANK YOU! This has been a blast and I would like to thank everyone for making this AMA so much fun. I'm logging out for now, but feel free to continue to post, I will get back to you

For those interested, we offer six day rafting vacations on the Middle Fork of the Salmon and Main Salmon rivers in Idaho. We're on the Rogue river in Oregon. Finally, on the Kern river in California.

My Dad and a fellow outfitter came out with a book a couple years ago called Halfway to Halfway. It contains short river stories about the people in the business and not so much about the rapids. It's available as a paperback and on kindle. Check it out and let him know what you think.

If you're interested in becoming a guide, or you already have guiding experience, and would like more information about guiding for our California company, please email me to get a dialogue going. My email is matt at kernrafting dot com.

Comments: 256 • Responses: 72  • Date: 

OccasionallyWright13 karma

What are your favorite rivers to raft that your family doesn't have operations on?

kernraftingdotcom14 karma

The Grand Canyon was beautiful, but I did it over Christmas, so it was freezing. Given the short days, and the depth of the canyon, on some days we never had direct sunlight.

The Illinois river in Oregon is also incredible. I enjoyed the Tuolumne river in CA too. My brother's outfit runs on the Upper Klamath. In terms of "fun" that stretch of whitewater is amazing. In college we also ran The Scott, which has some burly whitewater.

OccasionallyWright7 karma

I've only rafted three times but apparently I'm spoiled since all three rivers I've been on (Ocoee in TN and GA), New River in WV, and Pacuare in Costa Rica) have shown up on Top 10 lists.

kernraftingdotcom4 karma

Those are great trips, nice job. I would encourage you to check out some multi-day options.

Whitegirldown1 karma

How can you do the Klamath, much less The Scott, considering Shasta is naked

kernraftingdotcom2 karma

Scott was years ago (6?). Upper Klamath comes from a different reservoir.

hyperintelligentcat10 karma

What's the scariest river experience you've ever had?

kernraftingdotcom24 karma

My younger brother is much more adventurous than I am. Last summer he convinced me and a friend to check out a run that (to our knowledge) has never been done in a raft. There's usually good reason for that.

Anyway, it was terrifying. Really steep, continuous whitewater with little to zero room for error because a swim would have been brutal. The video doesn't do it justice, but I was shaking pretty bad.

Edit: It's always nice when I can rib on my younger brother. Here's a video of him flipping a raft that he's guiding. (Private trip btw)

hyperintelligentcat13 karma

That scenery along with the adrenaline rush would make it so much more rewarding. I would have shat enough bricks to build a dam in that situation, though.

kernraftingdotcom8 karma

haha, have an upvote.

wakkawakkadodle5 karma

Oh hey, Panther creek. I don't know of it being rafted, but myself and the other guides from the boyscout camp up the river used to kayak it all the time.

kernraftingdotcom3 karma

Hey! Yeah that boyscout camp on river left. Howdy.

FoFoAndFo1 karma

Floating your little bro in a dry bag through lake creek rapid might qualify;)

kernraftingdotcom1 karma

That is a classic story. Konke, is this you?

alwaysnefarious1 karma

Totally serious question here: Have you ever tried just going down a section like this without paddling? I've been rafting a few times, and honestly every time it felt like all the paddling in the world didn't make a squat of difference. We'd be backwards, sideways, always going downstream though :)

kernraftingdotcom2 karma

True, I've had that same thought before but have never acted on it. Paddling definitely helps though. Getting momentum to punch through waves, or using your crew to make a move halfway through a rapid, etc

CharlesTheMethDealer8 karma

Funniest story as a guide?

kernraftingdotcom13 karma

Oh man, tons of great stories, hard to come up with the best one. To rag on myself, when I was younger I helped pack a river trip that I wasn't going on myself. (I think school was starting, or something along those lines.) Anyway, this was a six day trip, and I forgot to include plates. This is kind of a problem because when you're on a trip you can't just run to the store or go back to the warehouse to pick up any forgotten items. You're in 2.3 million acres of wilderness. Anyway, they finally found another group and the guides on the trips traded a couple cases of beer for a dozen plates, which they then returned the following week. I think I still owe the guides beer for that mistake, now that I think about it.

A personal rule is I no longer pack for trips by myself that I'm not a part of. That same summer I did the same thing but with TP....That one got me in trouble.

InfernalWedgie8 karma

How's the drought affecting your business on the Kern River?

kernraftingdotcom8 karma

Great question. It's tough. The last three years have been extremely challenging. With that being said, NOAA just came out with a positive forecast for the next three months for a "slightly above average" rainfall.

We're also very fortunate to have Oregon and Idaho. The rivers we run up there have a much larger drainage, so there is always enough water to operate.

MrBillyLotion8 karma

What's up bro? I guided for many years here in West Virginia on the New and Gauley rivers, if your ever in the east you should check them out. I just bought a 14 ft Maravia Ranger and am wanting to take my wife and two kids on a nice 4 to 5 day trip out west on a relatively gentle river, my youngest is 5 and I'm not looking for any class V wild rides. Any suggestions? Also, I would prefer something not all the way west , we'll be driving and I want to keep the transportation time to a minimum.

kernraftingdotcom9 karma

The New and Gauley...nice. Never made it out there, but every September the West Coast has a huge guide migration to work on those sections. Good boat you have too. Your criteria for a trip is good, but your location is not so great for longer multi-days. I'm a bit unfamiliar with East Coast trips longer than a couple days, maybe someone else could jump on this comment and make a suggestion?

If traveling wasn't a burden, then I would check out the Main Salmon, it's a great family trip. Huge sandy beaches, warm water, fun yet totally manageable rapids. There's also a very mellow and beautiful river in Utah...but the name is escaping me, I'll get back to this.

MrBillyLotion4 karma

You're on the right track, I want a western river, just not an all the way in Oregon river. Thanks for the response.

kernraftingdotcom3 karma

Happy to help.

HanLeonSolo7 karma

What was your scariest moment as a guide?

kernraftingdotcom13 karma

In general, for me, it's when you've known that you've totally blown a line and you're heading into something bad. Like a huge hole. Or about to slam up against a rock that could flip you. Yeah, in fact, knowing that you're probably about to flip a boat. We don't do it often, but it's kind of like a "man, I am not looking forward to this" kind of feeling. Like I said, for our rivers, it's a rare occurrence. In my career, boats that I've been guiding, I've flipped twice. There's a sang for this (flipping) too: "Those who have, those you will, and those that will again."

EyeAmAhEr5 karma

Reminds me of a pilot saying: "there are two kinds of pilots: those who HAVE landed gear up, and those who WILL land gear up".

kernraftingdotcom6 karma

Nice, never heard that. I like "There are bold pilots and there are old pilots, but no old bold pilots"

gspleen7 karma

I'll be going on my first raft trip this summer. Salmon River.

I've got some new water sandals, an ultralight backpack for hikes, a waterproof headlamp, some dry bags, and a large packtowel. What other gear would be handy? What would be fun to have?

kernraftingdotcom5 karma

Nice! Which section of the Salmon? Well, hopefully you're bringing a few more items than you've listed, such as sunscreen and a water bottle. Seriously though, frisbee, GoPro camera, a book to read. I'll come back to this comment.

Edit, plenty more to come, but here:

-Matt Leidecker's guide book.

-fly rod. (Don't forget your license!)

TripleNubz7 karma

is it true the only way to evict a river guide is to charge him rent?

kernraftingdotcom7 karma

Tried that. Didn't work.

Gravix2026 karma

What would you suggest for someone who wants to get started being a river guide as a main source of income?

kernraftingdotcom15 karma

  1. Be outgoing, charismatic, a hardworker and fun to be around. AKA become extremely hire-able.
  2. Get rid of things that cost you money. Rent, being one of them.
  3. Avoid downtime. Season ended and the next one doesn't start for two months? That's bad.
  4. Subscribe to /r/frugal

Hotrod_Greaser6 karma

I have one that might be inappropriate, but: Growing up, did you wish your family did anything else? And now, what are your thoughts about your childhood?

kernraftingdotcom9 karma

That's a fine question. Short answer, no. Definitely not. I loved "migrating" to Idaho every summer. River guides are a ton of fun to be around. They have great stories, in general are good with kids, and they're always up to some sort of adventure or good time. For example, when we were little, the day before guides would get off a trip (and be at the guide house), we would fill a couple hundred water balloons up. They would get off and then it would be a massive water balloon fight with my brothers, myself, our friends and then these half dozen mid 20 year old river guides. It was super fun.

kayaker4lifee5 karma

My question, is KRO hiring guides?

kernraftingdotcom4 karma

Sure thing! Send me an email. Do you have guiding experience?

clemtiger20115 karma

How many times have you seen somebody get summer teeth from an errant paddle?

kernraftingdotcom4 karma

Never. I'm serious about T-grips.

SANJAY_GUPTA_MD4 karma

Have you had any interesting wildlife encounters?

kernraftingdotcom8 karma

Had a bear drink some of our beer once and eat some bagels. That was weird.

Stupidrestless4 karma

Does your brother run the North Umpqua at all? If so I may have flipped him off.

kernraftingdotcom6 karma

Haha, not commercially. The guiding community is small, so you probably gave the bird to a friend of mine.

SandS50004 karma

Have you ever exposed your naked buttocks to a passenger train?

kernraftingdotcom3 karma

No train tracks on the sections of river that we operate on. And no, I wouldn't do that.

SandS50003 karma

Looks like we got a phoney!

kernraftingdotcom2 karma

Ha!

Wawgawaidith3 karma

Two questions:

What do you do for food, i.e., what do you serve, who cooks, etc.?

Has anyone suffered injuries on thiese trips? I saw the flip video you posted and was happy to see all faces at the end of the video.

kernraftingdotcom6 karma

Oh man, we take great pride in our food. Here's a photo of our paealla.

The guides do all the cooking and cleaning up. We do not serve what some may call camp food. We spend alot of time trying to perfect our menu. We try to be careful when we introduce changes to it. I honestly eat far better on a rafting trip than during the offseason.

defendors863 karma

Ever come up to Washington? I'm a guide up here and it's amazing.

kernraftingdotcom4 karma

WA is a great place for whitewater. Year round. I guided on the Tieton for a little bit. The guides from that outfit we're a good group. They showed me the White Salmon and a few other rivers. You live in a gorgeous state.

ZILDJIAN26133 karma

My uncle is a river guide in Montana in Glacier National Park and has been since long before I was born. I've been there a couple times and it is by far one of the best experiences I've ever had. Especially when your guide is your uncle. What are all of the places you've rafted? What was the craziest?

kernraftingdotcom3 karma

Glacier is one of my favorite national parks. Your uncle has a good job in a spectacular location!

All of the places I've been rafting? The list is long, but not as long as some of our guides. The guides that make it a 12 month long career are the ones that really travel, and see tons of rivers.

iDeNoh3 karma

Just out of curiosity, your younger brothers ID exploits, are they on any of they payette rivers? I used to be a photographer for bear valley rafting up in banks, loved that job! You river hippies are good people.

kernraftingdotcom2 karma

Yep, some of them are from the Payette. I'm pretty sure though that the majority of those photos (if that's what you're referring to) are from the Middle Fork of the Salmon.

NF of the Payette...yikes!

Cardboardboxkid3 karma

Is there any rivers you are "afraid" to go on? Rivers for the elite or something like that? If so then do you ever want to attempt them?

kernraftingdotcom4 karma

Not necessarily. Anything that's guided, I feel comfortable on. With that being said, exploratory runs I'm not a huge fan of. There's usually a good reason for why a river/creek hasn't been done yet. The main thing is, just have a good team. If I'm doing something big, then I want to be able to look around my raft and know that I can count on every single person there.

Cardboardboxkid2 karma

Why don't you like exploratory rafting? I know very little to nothing about rafting.

kernraftingdotcom3 karma

It's just uncharted, there's little info about the runs, and by now, if it's never been done, it means that A) access is bad and/or B) it is a dangerous river.

Cardboardboxkid1 karma

What about ones that do have info but are just really difficult runs?

kernraftingdotcom2 karma

Forks of the Kern and Cherry Creek come to mind. These are both CA rivers.

The Forks is a two to three day class-V trip. It's beautiful back there, with some of the most fun, continuous whitewater I've ever been on.

Cheery Creek is a one day run. I've never been down it. Big class-V though.

Xerozoza3 karma

What sorts of things do you hear about rivers out in West PA/WV? My sister worked for a rafting company out here for a while and needless to say I've been interested ever since.

kernraftingdotcom3 karma

I've heard mostly positive things. Great whitewater. I tend to lean towards longer trips though. I think the season isn't as long too? I'm not too sure.

Melonman641 karma

Not OP but from PA and have been on the Yough and have friends who guide on the Lehigh. Lots of good whitewater!

kernraftingdotcom1 karma

Nice. Thanks for stepping in

eraof53 karma

Will you do the same thing with your family ?

kernraftingdotcom7 karma

No kids yet, but ideally, yes. I had a blast growing up, and would want my kids to have a similar experience. Obligatory photo of us getting babysat by riverguides.

trillian_linbaba3 karma

Hey Matt. My husband and I used to raft in Canada before we had kids. Now my girls are 10 years old, and my husband thinks they're ready to go whitewater rafting this summer. Although they are relatively athletic and adventurous (good swimmers and skiers), I'm terrified they'll get flung overboard. So here are my questions:

  1. Do you get lots of kids of that age group on rafting trips?
  2. Anything in particular you suggest I ask our river guide before booking a trip?
  3. Is my husband completely wrong, and should we sit out a few more summers till the kids are, like, 30 or something?

kernraftingdotcom3 karma

Is my husband completely wrong, and should we sit out a few more summers till the kids are, like, 30 or something?

You're cracking me up!

Seriously though, here are my answers.

  1. Some trips have lots of kids on them. These are great family trips. I would call the outfitter and inquire about which dates have families such as your own on them.

  2. I would ask about the guides, about the food, what the water is like (temperature, rapids, etc). More importantly, I would do some careful research into the company. Check their reviews, look at their photos, etc. You have a young family, you want to make sure that the river guides are phenomenal role models for your kids. Check reviews to see what they say about the guides, this is what will matter most for your trip.

  3. Go now. 10 is a great age. They will be talking about this family vacation and how much fun it was for years. My first trip was when I was six months!

BlackGuyOne3 karma

Any bear or other dangerous animal encounters in life?

kernraftingdotcom5 karma

I would say Moose is the most dangerous. Haven't seen one in years though. And never seen an aggressive one. Black bears are common but they're usually just doing their bear things.

spell193 karma

Have you ever been on the oocoe river?

kernraftingdotcom3 karma

Never. Pitch me on it!

never_a_good_idea3 karma

I recently got into whitewater kayaking. After taking some classes I can roll my boat go from point A to point B in a straight-ish line ... but there is a ton of stuff I have no idea how to do. How do I get better without drowning myself?

kernraftingdotcom5 karma

Paddle with friends that are better than you. And in general, always paddle with a buddy. See as much water as you can. You'll get better.

Facerless3 karma

What are some common rookie mistakes?

kernraftingdotcom3 karma

Overconfidence. Be humble your first year or two, and try to learn as much as you can.

jclark583 karma

Favorite river to raft? (does not need to be one that you guide)

I've rafted the main salmon, middle salmon twice (6 ft and 2 ft) and the Selway (1.8 ft). All were in small private groups.

Edit: also done private day trips on the south fork of the Payette (canyon run) as well as multiple runs on the upper Snake river near Alpine WY.

kernraftingdotcom2 karma

You've hit some fun rivers! I would check out the Illinois if I were you. Rogue river is a cool multi-day too.

I have no favorite river, but the Middle Fork of the Salmon holds a special place in my heart.

chuck1513 karma

Hi! Thanks for doing this AMA, rafting and whitewater kayaking are some of my favorite hobbies I just wish I could get out more to enjoy them.

What advice would you have for some one who has no previous experience working in the outdoor adventure industry but is looking to break in?

kernraftingdotcom4 karma

Do you have enough guiding experience to feel comfortable calling an outfitter and asking for a job? If the answer is no, then you'll need to go to a whitewater/guide school. If yes, then you will still need to prove you're capable handling a raft and will need to get checked off by that outfitter. Also, keep a river log. Every trip, water level, date, how many miles, etc. It's like a resume, but for whitewater.

Edit: No experience, then yes, I definitely recommend the guideschool route. Most companies have them. You go through their program, if they think you're a good candidate to guide, then they will offer you a job.

HRHill3 karma

Have you ever had a group that made you just have to stop the trip as soon as possible?

My brother in law made this happen once, he pretty much did everything the guide told us to not do and we had to just end the trip at our halfway-lunchtime spot.

kernraftingdotcom5 karma

WHOA. Please continue this story.

JarekBloodDragon2 karma

I live in Portland. I assume you do rafting here in Oregon on the dechutes river? How would you rank it compared to other popular white water rafting rivers?

kernraftingdotcom5 karma

Dang, I've never been on the Deschutes. Friends say that it's a terrific run. Most of my Oregon runs have been in Southern Oregon. Portland...you have some amazing whitewater options that are all so close by. I wouldn't mind spending a winter there.

InfernalWedgie2 karma

Which would you rather carry on your raft: 1 horse-sized duck, or 100 duck-sized horses?

kernraftingdotcom4 karma

Off topic, but every year our neighbors horses somehow get onto our property and my Mom feeds them apples.

catpooptv2 karma

Which business name in Idaho?

fishingbdiddy2 karma

Have you ever heard of a Bellyak?

kernraftingdotcom2 karma

Nooo....please explain

fishingbdiddy2 karma

Oh man. It's awesome.

It's essentially a boogie board/kayak hybrid. Made out of kayak material, but you lay on your chest and paddle with webbed gloves. It has cut outs and pads for your chest, legs, arms, etc.

Everyone that I've ever demoed them to absolutely loves them. Check out www.bellyak.com

kernraftingdotcom1 karma

Very cool. Looks like fun. Bookmarked for later.

AlcoholicZach2 karma

Have you had an experience rafting in Colorado at or around steamboat springs? If so any recommendations? The fiancé and I are planning our honeymoon out that way in the summer and want to go rafting. Thank you for your time!

kernraftingdotcom3 karma

I have a friend who's Dad has a big operation in COL. I want to say they run trips near Steamboat. I'll pm you their info shortly. I have no personal experience of rafting near that area.

Colorado is a great place for a honeymoon, enjoy!

GrillinGuy2 karma

Do your guides have to buy "Swim Beer" if they accidentally fall out of the raft?

kernraftingdotcom2 karma

Haha, no, that's more of a private trip kinda thing. Booty beers are classically the punishment of choice. SFW - not my video

Hellkyte2 karma

Do people ever quote deliverance while getting ready?

kernraftingdotcom1 karma

I've actually never seen that movie. Maybe I'll watch it tonight. But yes, the popular quotes from that movie gets thrown around occasionally. There was also a shirt, "paddle faster I hear banjo music" that made it's rounds a few years ago.

panchojulio2 karma

Have you ever considered riding a log raft down the Mississippi River after being inspired by Huck Finn? Would it be possible to build my own log raft and use it to raft down most rivers, whitewater included?

kernraftingdotcom3 karma

Interesting visual. No, I've never considered that. I'm a big fan of the tech we have: Self bailing, inflatable rubber rafts.

I would say, yes it's possible, no it's not recommended, and yes, please film this adventure.

pipedreamSEA2 karma

Is it true that there are 3 answers to all questions on the river? Specifically:

  • It varies
  • Just around the bend
  • About 45 minutes

kernraftingdotcom2 karma

You must be a guide! I honestly try to give the most accurate answer to every question. Sure being funny is great, but for most guests river rafting is a totally foreign experience so people are naturally curious. Taking advantage of that curiosity with bogus answers or by making fun of them isn't recommended.

This does relate to some of my favorite questions ever asked...I'm sure another guide in here will fill them in.

Edit. Fine, I'll kick it off: Is the river on a track?

tomasaur2 karma

I was looking at Grand Canyon river rafting trips, but I am stopped by the $2000+ price tag. Are there any Canyon trips that you love to do that are more reasonably priced? Or, are there more inexpensive ways to rafts the Grand Canyon.

kernraftingdotcom2 karma

To be honest, $2,000 is very reasonably priced for a trip of that nature. I understand what you mean though, that's alot of money.

I would take a look at the Rogue River. That's a beautiful multi-day and it fits most budgets. I can't think of any rafting outfitter that runs the canyon for much less than what you discovered.

robershow2 karma

Hey, I've done rafting 3 times, once in Argentina, Costa Rica and NY. They've been mostly 3-4, some 5s. Do you think I'm ready to go on a level 5 rafting trip?

kernraftingdotcom2 karma

Running a class-V trip is a serious undertaking. It is very much a team effort, where guides and guests need to depend on every single person in the boat. To help with this, we run and swim test folks prior to launching our class-V trip on the Forks of the Kern. We phone screen them to make sure that they are in excellent physical condition, and often encourage people to have some rafting experience. Given your experience, and assuming you're in great shape, then I would say you're probably good to go. For these trips, I like talking to to people on the phone about them, just to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Ohreallylar1 karma

Can I come work for you?

kernraftingdotcom3 karma

We have a whitewater school coming up, shoot me an email and I'll get you some information.

milkywayyzz1 karma

Thanks for doing this! This brings back tons of memories.., when I was 14-18 my best friends parents owned an outdoor store where you could sign up for rafting trips on the north fork, middle fork and south fork of the american river in california. Looking back, I definetly took it for granted. When ever they had boats that needed spots filled, I was able to go... so basically I was on the river the whole summer for 4 years. Have you ever done those rivers and if so are you familiar with the north fork?

kernraftingdotcom1 karma

A long time ago we outfitted on the American river. Which store did your friend's parents own?

I'm not familiar with the North Fork. Never guided out there, just private trips on the South Fork and the Tunnel Chute section.

that_is_so_Raven1 karma

What are your thoughts on Breaking Bad?

kernraftingdotcom6 karma

Never seen it. I don't watch much TV

Mario_love1 karma

I just moved up to california (North - San Fran), where would be a nearish place where I could potentially go Kayak camping? Preferably a relatively calm river?

kernraftingdotcom1 karma

The American river is a popular option. I'm not sure of your skill, but the South Fork has some whitewater but is very manageable. How far north of SF? If you're in the Arcata area, then you have a plethora of rivers and creeks.

cmal1 karma

[deleted]

kernraftingdotcom1 karma

Hmmm, I think you mean Middle Fork of the Salmon?

The MF is beautiful. Incredibly clear water, fun whitewater, everyweek the river is different. Amazing fishing. Beautiful scenery. And you are really out there. Just surrounded by wilderness. Photo Photo2 Photo3

SilentlyCrying1 karma

Where in Idaho? Ever have a close call?

kernraftingdotcom2 karma

We operate on the Main Salmon and Middle Fork of the Salmon rivers. We are based out of Salmon, ID.

Close call? No. It's all about safety, safety, safety.

Are you from Idaho?

lapekes1 karma

Never have been - always wanted to go.

Up for bringing a newbie out ith you this summer?

kernraftingdotcom2 karma

We take plenty of people that have never been. Find a date, book the trip, and in 20 years you'll still be talking about that "incredible rafting vacation you took in 2015. "

ksmog1 karma

Hey man, thinking about becoming a guide myself. Any tips or suggestions as far as what to do to get started? (I've never been) also, how do you keep busy in the winter?

kernraftingdotcom1 karma

Welcome to the best job you'll ever have. First, where are you located? I would find the best/closest river to you and then start calling the outfitters. The question to ask is, "Do you have a guide school?' And "Do you hire out of that guideschool" If they answer yes to both of them, ask to have them send you a packet about the class. Don't stop there though! Continue to call other outfitters. Make a list, of schools, and then from there, research each company and then choose the one that you think will be the best fit for you.

As for keeping busy, it all depends. Some are in college, so they're in school. Others work at ski resorts. Some are travelling nurses. My suggestion is find a skill that pays well (programming comes to mind) that you can do anywhere.

Melonman641 karma

Rafting has always been a hobby of mine and there never seems to be anyone to talk with about it, so thanks for doing this AMA! I have a couple of questions, if you don't mind.

  1. What sort of rafting is there in California? I just moved here a little over a year ago and it seems like I should be heading towards Sacramento, but I'm not sure.

  2. I'm thinking of doing a trip on the Salmon soon (maybe this summer, maybe next year). Why should I go down the river with you guys over someone else?

kernraftingdotcom2 karma

Hi there.

  1. CA has tons of rafting options. The real question though, is where do you live? Your location matters on what trips I would recommend. I don't want you to to drive 12 hours when you have a decent river in your background.

  2. Great question! We work very hard to make sure that our rafting trips are superb. Our guides are fun, outgoing, great with kids, and come from a wide spectrum of professional backgrounds. (Doctors, MBAs, nurses, to name a few.) Our food is spectacular and has been highlighted in Rachel Ray's magazine. Our equipment is new, and upgraded often. Finally, the rivers we run are spectacular. Amazing scenery, rapids, fishing. Gin clear water.

carvedog1 karma

Matt's Dad has a really fun book to read for all you river rats. Also his brother Skip was upgrading tents for their Idaho operation. I think they were giving them away if you could pick them up. I couldn't and asked him if he would ship. He did and we still have two lovingly maintained older outfitter tents that have been used by me for another 40+ nights each. This family is legit and they run a good show. Don't know Matt personally but the fruit doesn't fall far....

kernraftingdotcom1 karma

Thanks for the shout out! My Dad's gear sales attract plenty of attention. We once accidentally sold a guides truck, but that's another story.

Melonman641 karma

Thanks!

I'm on the coast, a little south of San Francisco. Nothing immediately nearby, so I am okay with driving a bit to get to some rivers!

kernraftingdotcom2 karma

Check out the Tuolumne. It's a beautiful two day trip.

schadly1 karma

[deleted]

kernraftingdotcom1 karma

Never done it. Shoot me a link.

1moar1 karma

Are you hiring?

kernraftingdotcom1 karma

Send me an email. Do you have guiding experience? If not, I'll get you some information about our whitewater school.

ManicExpressive1 karma

I grew up doing all summer long backwoods canoe trips up in Canada as far North as a few degrees into the Arctic Circle, and as an adult I really want to bring my Colorado raised wife up there some time to see genuine wilderness and teach her the joys/terrors of whitewater canoe: do you guys do outfitting/repro drops up in Canada and if so what territories/regions do you all work out of?

kernraftingdotcom1 karma

Wow, that sounds amazing. No, unfortunately, our company is strictly whitewater in Idaho, Oregon and California. I've had friends work for NOLS that have led some trips similar to that.

Do you have any photos to share of the Canada canoe trips?

joedeltron1 karma

You do any packrafting or packraft guiding?

kernraftingdotcom1 karma

Those look like fun boats. I was on an Illinois river trip where a guy used one. The volume of river made the raft an inappropriate choice. Lots of swimming.

I think they're a great option for getting to previously very difficult areas.

malawisativa1 karma

Do yo ever troll a line and catch fish while rafting?

kernraftingdotcom1 karma

Nope. All fly fishing.