Little known river rafting fact: Much of the rigging and packing process is focused on the accessibility, safety, and cool storage of The Beer. This process requires some real problem-solving because nothing’s better than a river-water-chilled beer when you’re sun-soaking like a salamander on your raft. Sure, sunglasses, sun hats, and screen are the Three ‘S’s of river rafting heat protection, but a good beer, or soda-pop in Mike’s case, is by far the best cool-down tactic.
As I sipped on a crisp craft Odell’s APA, and floated on a quiet part of the Platte River in Wyoming, I started to think of all the river rafting terms that conjured up ambrosial brews in my imagination. It was a fun way to pass some of the time spent hard-rowing through afternoon headwind.
Hope you learn a little something about rafting lingo, and get a kick out of these as much as we did!
River Rafting Terms for Craft Beers
The Bootie Beer is an unofficial rule of the river: If you bail from your boat or flip your raft, you must chug a beer from a fellow rafter’s rank footwear. Why? Some say it’s punishment for risking the safety of yourself or others in your group. When you flip, you swim to safety, often through rough water. The members of your group, too, might need to jump in and chase down your boat and gear as it rushes away down river. Once everyone and everything is safely back on shore though, a fun way to shake off the swim is to cheer on your buddy as he chugs that beer from your boot.
The Drag Bag
This beer would be appropriately named after the river rafting beverage container: the drag bag. A drag bag is a drawstring net clipped by a carabiner to the side of the raft. You fill it with your favorite canned beverages and let it drag alongside the raft in the river. So the river water keeps the beverages naturally cool! When you’re ready, you plunge your hand into the river, pull up the bag, and pull out a can. Although, the drag bag comes with risks. Rocks in rough water can puncture precious beers, which means your beverages might sink or swim!
When the surface area of the water , it makes a series of waves that crest and break in quick succession. Sometimes, they’re big enough to be low-risk rapids. Wave trains are fun, navigable by a beginner oarswoman like myself, and provide decent splashes. I can imagine a red Maravia bouncing over a wave train on a label for a wheat craft beer. Can’t you?
What’s your favorite float beer or beverage to bring on a river rafting trip? How do you keep it cold or accessible on your raft? What are the best river rafting beverage accessories? I’ve seen some pretty inventive ones!
As always, pack out your cans, be responsible when having fun, and stay safe, friends!