River rafting is one of the most popular adventure sports in India. The diverse topography of the Indian landscape with its many rivers and tributaries presents some of the most challenging routes for rafting. Red Chilli Adventure is an adventure tour company based in Rishikesh in the northern state of Uttarakhand. We have been arranging river rafting tours across north and north-east India almost every day for the last 17 years. We are passionate about rafting and are constantly looking for new people to share our passion with. Rafting is a sport that can be enjoyed by both first-timers as well as seasoned rafters. If you’re curious to try rafting for the first time, here’s everything you need to know:
Anyone can go rafting. If you are in reasonably good health without any major physical disabilities, you can find a rafting trip that’s right for you. River rafting has different grades of difficulty, so you can choose a trip based on your level of experience. International rafting standards usually fix the minimum age for rafting at 5 years. This is because the smallest life jacket size fits a five-year old. However, this may vary from company to company. So, call your tour operator at the time of booking to find out their child policies. Physically fit senior citizens too can enjoy river rafting. If it’s their first time rafting, then a Grade II or II+ trip may be a good way of easing into things after which they can progress to the higher grade trips.
Rafting involves riding down the waves of a river in an inflatable raft, with a few rapids along the way that you encounter. It is a wet and wild adventure full of thrills, fun as well as disciplined manoeuvring. Trained rafting instructors accompany you on every trip to ensure your safety on the river. However, as with all adventure sports, rafting entails some element of risk and that is what makes it so exciting. The chances of any real danger are small with the most common injury from a rafting trip being sunburn. So, sign up for a family rafting trip and enjoy some great thrills with the whole lot!
If you are a first-time rafter, you can choose to ease into the trip and get comfortable on the water with a Grade II or II+ trip. Rafting trips are usually graded by the class of rapids they cover and how strenuous they are. Grade II and II+ rapids are easy to moderate level and great for beginners to get a taste of the sport. If you are confident on the water and feeling adventurous, you could go straight for a Grade III+ rapid or higher. Rafting instructors brief you about the correct paddling techniques and safety guidelines before you start. Generally, for any trip above Grade IV, it is advised to have prior rafting experience as the higher-grade rapids can be tricky and cause the raft to capsize. It’s important to know how to deal with such incidents and the right ways to manoeuvre your raft.
Most river rafting companies provide all the rafting gear and equipment you need on the river, so you don’t have to carry much else besides your sunscreen! These include paddles, safety aids, life jackets and helmets.
Yes. Non-swimmers can also go rafting. All rafters are required to wear life jackets that keep them afloat even if they find themselves in the water. Your rafting instructors give you a detailed brief about safety guidelines and what to do in case of a capsize at the start of each trip. Our rafting instructors are fully trained and IRF (International Rafting Federation) certified for Rescue 3 courses. They accompany you on every trip along with a safety kayaker to ensure your safety on the water.
The best time to go rafting in north India is from the middle of September till the end of June. In the monsoon months, the river is remains unfit for rafting.
Most rafting tour companies don’t permit cameras or any video recording devices on the raft. This is in keeping with standard safety guidelines. However, at Red Chilli Adventure, we help you capture some of the memorable moments from your trip. Our safety kayakers carry waterproof cameras to click photos of you and your companions live in action! These photographs can be collected at the end of the trip for an added fee.
On your first time rafting, remember to dress according to the temperature of the water and not the general air temperature. This is because rafting involves getting wet. The kind of clothes you wear depends on the time of year as well as the kind of river you’re manoeuvring. Some rivers offer a steady succession of rapids where rafters get wet almost constantly. Here, wearing a wetsuit, sometimes with a paddle jacket is advisable. However, on rivers where rapids come in longer intervals, wetsuits can be very uncomfortable. It’s a good idea to check with your tour operator before packing for the trip. In warmer weather a t-shirt and shorts and comfortable running shoes are fine. Avoid sandals that can come off in the water. Also, if wearing sunglasses or hats be sure to use cords to avoid losing them.
Trekking is a sport that requires little to no specialised training and can be enjoyed by first-timers and pros alike. There is a sense of universality to the sport which is probably why trekking is so popular worldwide. High-altitude trekking especially has many takers with adventure enthusiasts travelling around the world in search of the best trekking routes and the most challenging terrains. The Indian Himalayas present some of the best high-altitude trekking trails in the world. The mountain range and its surroundings offer a great variety in terms of gradients, altitude as well as accessibility. Red Chilli Adventure offers a wide range of trekking tours across north and north-east India. Here’s everything you need to know about your first time trekking with us:
Red Chilli Adventure offers trekking trips all round the year. Our treks are spread across Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and parts of the Himalayas. Tours are usually run from March to December. In the winter months of January and February, most trekking routes particularly in high-altitude areas remain inaccessible due to snow. In the spring months of March and April, trekking trips are particularly rewarding for the spectacular new blooms and foliage that appear with the onset of warmer weather. The monsoons from mid-July to September are again considered off-season for several trekking routes. The inclement weather makes it difficult to traverse the terrain which gets muddy as well as slippery and can be unsafe especially around hilly slopes. Trekking gets a burst of new life in the autumn months from mid-September to December. The drier weather and dipping temperatures are more amenable for high- altitude trekking excursions.
Anyone in reasonably good health can go on a trek. As such, there is little chance of any physical danger on trekking trips. Common problems on treks include exhaustion, muscle cramps and in some cases altitude sickness. However, a moderately fit person used to walking regularly should be able to enjoy trekking. A family trekking trip can be enjoyed by different generations and is a great way for you to spend quality time with your loved ones.
Trekking trips are spread over multiple days and involve overnight stays at camp. Hiking on the other hand is a one-day affair. You could walk for as long as six hours in a day but if your trip is completed the same day, then it’s more likely to be considered a hike. Both trekking and hiking can be enjoyed by first-timers and don’t require any special skills or training.
Trekking and mountain climbing are two very different sports. While high-altitude trekking does occasionally involve traversing hilly terrain, mountain climbing requires a special skill set as well as equipment.
Treks can range from a quick 3-day tour to an extended 18-day expedition. The duration of a trek depends on location as well as accessibility. Several high-altitude treks especially in the Himalayas stretch over multiple days to acclimatize you to the changing altitude and air pressure. We also include rest days in between to let you explore local villages and other points of interest. You can choose a trek that you’re comfortable with, to get the most out of the experience.
A typical day of trekking could involve anything between 3 to 8 hours of walking, depending on the level of the trek. Easy treks preferred by first-time trekkers usually involve 3-4 hours of walking each day. With Moderate and Difficult grade treks, the hours increase. The longer hours don’t just mean bigger distances covered. They also take into account ground conditions, gradient, and atmospheric pressure among other things.
Most trekking trips include overnight stay in camps. Trekking tour operators like Red Chilli Adventure provide all camping gear and equipment like tents (on twin share basis), and sleeping mattresses. Our porters are available to set up the tents and get the campsite ready for your arrival. We provide separate tents for kitchen, dining and toilets. The equipment is transported on mules and all camping logistics including recce of the campsite are conducted before the trip. Our accompanying cooks prepare meals at the campsite and our camp manager is available on call for any kind of assistance.
The cost of a trekking trip in India depends on the duration of the trip, and accessibility of the place among other factors. At Red Chilli Adventure we offer trekking tours from as low as Rs. 12,500/-. This is a 3-night, 4-day tour and is a great choice for first time trekking. Longer treks like the Kalindi Khar trek in Uttarakhand stretch over 17 days and cost Rs. 1.45 lakhs. You can choose a trek based on your budget and time commitment. All our trekking tours include food and accommodation, all permits and entrance fees, transport to and from the starting point of the trek, camping and climbing equipment and porter charges.
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