Part of the rafting experience is the scenic riverside and views you see as you float down the water. The the pro and con of these scenic views is that you usually get to experience them because you are in an isolated part of the world. The pro side of this: It’s beautiful and you aren’t distracted from your rafting trip. The con: you are isolated and if an emergency occurs, you can be seriously screwed.
I know this from personal experience. In early July while I was on the Nanny, I got my shoulder messed up on a customer trip. I later learn that I had torn my rotator cuff slightly. Of course I wasn’t able to guide the rest of the trip after that and we needed to get some help to guide my raft down the rest of the way and get me off river. The bad thing about this whole situation is that we had no way of contacting the outpost so they could send someone. Lucky for us the river ran along U.S. Route 74. One of the other guides were able to flag down a car so that we could use their cellphone. All of this could have been easily avoided if one of us had a walkie-talkie or a waterproof cellphone. The customer group I had on this disastrous trip were the ones who pointed this out.
If a group of customers point this out, it does call for a bit of thought to be given on the subject.
For those of you who have smartphones you usually try to keep them away from water as much as possible. Well that is no longer a problem with awesome companies like LifeProof and Otterbox. I personally now have a LifeProof for my iPhone. My main motivation to spend the money on this case is from the experience I discussed above. I would definitely advise guides to invest in some for of communication like this. You don’t even have to have a smartphone. Many phone companies carry a waterproof “dumb” cellphone. Granted, not everywhere will have cell service, but in today’s world that is becoming less and less of a problem.
So, just a word of advice from one guide to another, always be prepared in anyway possible for random emergencies on the river.