Do I need to be a strong swimmer?
You will need to be confident in white water. You don’t need to be an Olympic swimmer, just able float through a rapid if you fall out.
Do I need to be super fit?
No, but you will need a reasonable level of fitness. You’ll need to be able to walk around on river banks carrying the Bug and happily swim if you fall out. As long as you can leisurely walk or ride a bike for a few hours and float on your back for 10 minutes you’ll be fine. RiverBugging is a full body workout so you can expect to be tired by the end of the day.
Is there an age limit?
No, our youngest was 4 and the oldest reckon they hunted the dinosaurs. The important thing is confidence in the water, talk to the trip leader so they can assess this before the trip.
Will there be someone to show me what to do?
Yes, we do a briefing right at the start then you’ll be put in a small group with experienced club members who will guide you.
What if I fall out?
You are strapped in with a seat belt and the Bugs are very stable. We’ll show you how to get out and back into the bug during the briefing.
What if I flip upside down?
Remember the wet exit practice from the briefing. Pull the seat belt release and float free. Make sure you don’t let go of the bug!
How big are the waves/rapids?
The rapids are suitable for beginners, big enough to be fun but not too big. You’ll be given the option to walk around any rapids you’re not confident with or go down with an experienced Bugger. It’s a beginner’s trip, no one expects you to surf monster waves, we leave that for the advanced trips!
What grade white water will we be bugging?
On a beginner’s trip it will be grade 2 or up to 3. This may sound small if you’re used to rafting but there’s plenty of fun to be had at this grade in a Bug.
What if the rapid is too big or scary?
We’ll get out and assess the larger rapids. If it’s too big you’ll be given the option to walk around it. Don’t worry there’s no pressure. Even the most experienced of us know our limits and will walk if it doesn’t look safe!
How long will we be on the water?
It varies depending on the river, weather and abilities. Around 3-4 hours is normal which includes time playing around.
Can I take food and water on the river?
There is a limited amount of storage in the bug but it’s awkward to get to. Most people don’t take water. Have a drink before you get into the wetsuit (not too much) and have some more when you get out. The life jackets will fit a couple of muesli bars or carrots. Anything you take will get wet, make sure it’s sealed up or inside a good dry bag.
Can I take a camera or other stuff on the river?
Yes, make sure the camera is really waterproof (not water resistant) or in a dry bag. Small compact cameras are best.
Can I wear glasses?
Yes, you will need to make sure they are securely attached with a cord around the neck or a neoprene glasses strap. Accidents do happen so an old set is preferred. Contact lenses are the best option if you have them.
Will I get cold?
Rivers are cold at all times of the year. During the summer months (Dec-Feb) a full length 4/3mm wetsuit is normally sufficient. At other times a 5 – 8mm diving suits are perfect. You can wear thermals under the wetsuit for some extra warmth. Booties are recommended for both warmth and protection against rocks. Splash jackets are perfect to prevent wind chill on a windy day.
What does it cost?
Trips costs include gear hire and fuel for the drivers. Weekend trips may also include a group dinner. See the gear hire page for the current pricing.