My first trip

Here are some handy hints to making your first weekend trip away a success.

1. Getting ready for the trip
Make sure you have checked all your kit in advance, there is nothing worse than arriving without that vital bit of kit.
Kit not correct = No paddle, unless some kind soul will lend you something.

Basic kit list

  • Boat – Check it is correctly fitted out. Download Boat Loan Form
  • Paddle – Correct length and not left handed unless you are!
  • Helmet – Check it will not push over your forehead
  • Bouyancy Aid (BA),  Cag & Wetsuit or Drysuit,  River Boots or Old trainers
  • Thermals and Spare thermals for day two Not cotton – these get wet and cold (well colder than thermals)
  • Spray deck that fits your boat
  • Warm clothes to change into off the river (Fleece(s), Raincoat, Buff)
  • Dry bag for your sarnies and spare thermal
  • Energy bars, Flask for hot drink in your boat ( Ribena, hot chocolate etc )
  • Personal first aid kit – simple and small (plasters and paracetamol)
  • Torch and earplugs for bunkhouse
  • Spare thermals for day two – You need a decent breakfast before you paddle – Porridge, Muesli. Beans on toast is my favourite at the moment.
  • Food for the evening if you are planning to eat at the bunkhouse
  • Map – for drivers

2. Arrival at bunkhouse
If a bunk has kit on it, no matter how little it is reserved.
Put some kit on an unreserved bed and it is yours.

3. First night
Make sure you have brought your ear plugs. YCC appears to attract noisy snorers
If you go to bed late, be considerate.

  • Don’t talk loudly outside dorms
  • Don’t turn the lights on – you have your torch
  • Don’t wake people up

4. YCC Running Club
If you like running bring your kit.
The fitter less slobby members always go for a cheeky 5K run at about 7am each morning.
This sets you up for the day, and gives you that sense of inner calm and superiority over the other more tired and hung-over members of your group.

5. First Morning
Have a good breakfast
Make sure you have sufficient food for the day – you will be out all day and need energy
I recommend energy bars, snacks and hot drink
Get kitted up at the bunkhouse
Be ready for 8.30 unless told otherwise.

6. 8.30 – 9.00am each morning
The night before you will be told when the river briefing is usually 9pm
Here you will be told the river, groups and if you are a driver the get-in location. (where the river trip starts)
At the briefing you should be ready to go because as all experienced members of YCC know YCC is a no faff straight to the river club.

7. At the river
Car drivers will run the shuttle. This is where we get as many cars to the get-out (where the river trip ends) as possible.
If you are left at the get-in, take the drivers boat and kit to the rivers edge. Saves time and its nice!

8. Start of trip
Get in your group and your river lead will brief you.
Your river lead is now your benign dictator. For the rest of the trip you do everything they say, when they say. They will keep you safe and make sure you have a nice day.

9. On the river
Have fun
If you don’t want to run something, don’t. It will still be there next time.
If you are feeling cold, uncomfortable or unwell, tell your river lead.

10. End of trip
If you are a driver and your car is at the get out, have a thought for those who gave you a lift back. Make sure they are alright and offer to shuttle them back to the car.

11.Drying Room
There is never enough space in a drying room, so be considerate and tidy. Remember where you hang your stuff. Think about putting your name on stuff. Some people bring coat hangers

  • You can hang up;         Thermals, Cags, Wetsuits or Drysuits, Socks, Towels
  • Don’t hang up:             Spray decks, BA’s, Helmets

Fill boots with newspaper when you get back and take it out just before you go to bed if you want dry boots.

12. Leaving the bunkhouse

  • Strip your bed
  • Tidy your room
  • Help tidy the bunkhouse
  • Help with the washing up
  • Check you have got everything – particularly from the drying room!

13. Finally
Have fun – that is the aim of the weekend.