Rafting on Tara
*not in Bulgaria
Rafting is a wonderful way to mentally relax from the busy everyday life and raise the adrenaline. It is a great group sport and always leads to team building. The full dose of freshness from the river will tone you and charge you with positive emotions. Rafting clears your mind of stress, meets new people, touches the unknown and it doesn’t matter how old you are, because rafting is suitable for everyone.
What is rafting? Short history
Rafting comes from the English word “raft”, which means raft. It is also known as “whitewater rafting” because of the color of the foaming waters in which the rafters descend. The prototype of this sport was born in North America as early as the 18th century, when local loggers carried logs along the river to save on transportation costs. The official beginning is considered to be as far back as 1811, when it was the first documented attempt to descend the Snake River in Wyoming, USA. A little later, around 1840, the rubber shelf appeared, whose fathers are considered to be John Fremont and Horace Day. They were part of the US Army and this invention was used for military purposes. It was only in the middle of the 20th century that rafting established itself as an extreme sport and gained popularity.
Rafting equipment in Bulgaria
- Neoprene suit
- Neoprene boots
- Life jacket
They are a mandatory part of rafting equipment. The vest and helmet, once put on, must not be dropped into the river. Different clothes are used on different continents depending on the climate. Drysuits are used in Alaska and Canada, while T-shirts and shorts are used in South America and Africa, and to make us comfortable in Europe, Asia and Australia, we use neoprene. Neoprene is a type of synthetic rubber. It keeps you warm, elastic, soft and porous – all these qualities make it suitable for diving and rafting suits.
The modern shelf is an inflatable boat consisting of a very durable, multilayer rubber (Hypalon) or vinyl fabric (PVC) with several separate air chambers. The size varies from shelves for 12 people to easily portable shelves for one person – packrafts. They fold and fit in a small backpack and are convenient for long hikes to rivers in the mountains away from civilization. All equipment and the boat itself are maximally lightweight and equipped with many features to facilitate the carrying of luggage for multi-day boat trips. The latest models have dry zippers in the chamber itself and allow you to put some luggage inside the boat and then inflate. Boats left in the sun fall slightly because the air in them heats up and increases in volume, and the glue or damaged part of the material may not last and explode.
Typical shelves are available in several different shapes. In Europe and Australia, the most commonly used form is the symmetrical shelf, operated by a paddle with a single stern blade. The shelves are driven by ordinary oars or long oars. In Russia, the most common shelves are handmade and are often catamaran-style with two inflatable chambers attached to a frame. Catamaran-style shelves have become popular in the western United States and are called cataracts.
Like all outdoor activities, rafting teaches a balance between the use of nature and its conservation – sustainable development. In addition, rafting contributes to the economy of many regions, which in turn can contribute to protecting rivers from hydroelectric power plants and pollution. The most important thing is that once you touch the wonders of the rivers, a part of your heart stays there. And because “there is a heart” it becomes important to keep these natural landmarks clean and intact.
Rafting locations in Bulgaria
Only a few years ago, no one in Bulgaria knew what rafting was, while now this sport is gaining more and more enthusiasts who are irrevocably in love with it. The rafting season begins in March and ends in November when it gets too cold to raft. The most preferred place in Bulgaria for rafting is the bed of the river Struma, which has two routes – upper and lower. Other suitable places for rafting in our country are the rivers Arda and Iskar.