Author Topic: 3 days on the San Juan, Tips?  (Read 2082 times)


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3 days on the San Juan, Tips?
« on: April 15, 2019, 11:18:42 AM »
Coming up in two weeks, Bluff to Mexican Hat in 3 days.  Supported by a few rafts so I will only float with a 25l dry bag. 

class I and II and they plan on 2.5 days so pretty slow or short days on the water.

I have camped off my board on lakes, lots of single day whitewater raft trips but no slow river overnighters before.

Any tips?  I am kinda wondering how much time to spend standing vs kneeling knowing it varies for everyone.

I bring back some pics to share.


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Re: 3 days on the San Juan, Tips?
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2019, 05:16:21 AM »
I did 10 days on the San Juan last year at around the same time. I paddled a canoe because I didnít want to stand that long. My feet begin to fall asleep seems no matter what I do when paddling for an extended period of time on my stand up. I was surprised at the number of sweepers I encountered, and I chatted with most of them. Lots of cute girls. It was tough duty. Many said they did both a lot of standing as well as sitting/kneeling. I imagine you could also tie off to one of the rafts and ride for periods as well. River trips are about grooving with your pals. Youíll probably also be doing quite a bit of stopping and exploring because thereís so many petroglyph and pictograph panels as well as Indian ruins along that stretch. That will give your feet a break, too. Itís a great trip. The stretch of river below Mexican Hat is amazingly different from the upper and just as beautiful. Youíre gonna love it. Pics, please!

Ichabod Spoonbill

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Re: 3 days on the San Juan, Tips?
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2019, 08:10:20 AM »
I did four days on the Hudson. No rapids, but definitely some rough conditions. Sounds like you have an amazing trip planned! Few things I learned:

-Water is the most delicious of liquids.
-You will need salt and vitamin C. The taste of those sweet energy bars will get disgusting after a while, but you will crave these other tastes things. A friend loaned me some vitamin C powder for my water pouch which made a huge difference. Also, bring jerky or fish to balance out that sweet taste.
-Keep a goto bag for stuff you will need during the day. Make it easy to open and close.
-I was having trouble with circulation in my feet until I just wore my Tevas. It felt a little dumb, but it worked.
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Re: 3 days on the San Juan, Tips?
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2019, 04:20:11 AM »
Stand until you get tired, then sit or kneel. Raft supported trips are like car camping: tons of gear, leisurely pace. I wouldn't even take a drybag on your board.; you will be able to paddle over to a raft at anytime to get what you need.  When I paddle with rafts, I don't even carry a water bottle on my board.


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Re: 3 days on the San Juan, Tips?
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2019, 11:45:48 AM »
Pictures to come, but a few thoughts from just off the water.  There is was very little glide, we had 3500 cfs and headwinds around each bend at a bout 15mph.  The physical aspect was at the edge of the envelope for us.  When we left the forecast was 2300CFS and mild weather.

travelling with rafts is a blessing and a curse.  I did not have to put anything on the board except a 20L drybag.  We moved at different speeds than the rafts and I was pinched into lines that I did not want because the mother ships moved slower than us, this created some challenging conditions, but we were also surrounded by rafts ready to help.  We just need to explain this on the next trip that sups will move faster and need to take different lines.

Due to the winds we sat down alot, and ended up riding in rafts about half of the water miles.  While I was a bit put out at first to be off the board I was able to fully appreciate the beauty of the canyon without having to constantly read water and set up for the next bend. For the last few miles I was able to launch the board off of the back of a raft while in the river and have some good float time into Mexican Hat.

I want to do more river trips, but man did I learn a lot on the first one.  Enough to know that I still have even more to learn.


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