F.A.Q.

Helfrich River Outfitter Inc

FAQ

How far in advance are reservations made?

One myth is that all reservations must be a year or more in advance. While we do take advanced reservations, we hope you will never hesitate to contact us to check on availability. The larger your group is or the more restrictive your schedules are, the more you will want to plan ahead. For smaller groups especially we often can find the perfect spot for you to come float the river.

What river trip should I choose?

Not sure which trip is the right fit is for you?  That’s okay!  Give us a call (800-507-9889) and we will help you pick out the best experience for you.  These links can help you narrow down your options.  Check out what dates are available, trip prices and learn about the various boat types you have to choose from. 

View Available Dates Online: Availability Calendar

Pick Your Trip Dates: Prices & Dates

Pick Your Boat Type: Boat Types

How do I reserve a river trip?

Making your reservation: Call (800-507-9889)or email (info@helfrichoutfitter.com) us to talk about trip options. Let us know what experience you are looking for and your group size so we can help you find the trip that fits you best. Visit our Booking Procedures and Availability Calendar for more specific booking information. 

What do I need to bring on my river trip?

Once you have reserved your trip, we will be sending you the complete Trip Expedition 

Guide and Planner full of useful trip details, a handy packing list, pre and post trip travel plans and all sorts of important information about your trip.  Helfrich River Outfitters provides most everything you need for your trip including all of the camping gear, meals, life jackets, fly rods, flies, etc.  If you plan to fish, you are also welcome to bring your own fly rods.  You will need to bring your personal items, such as clothing, toiletries, sleeping bag (if camping), a headlamp, camera, sunscreen, rain gear, etc. You will likely already own most of the things you will need for this trip. 

What if I have to cancel my river trip?

We encourage each of our guests to purchase travel insurance.  We expect you to do your part to protect your investment as we really do have to stick to our cancellation policy.  If you do have to cancel your trip, please contact us as soon as possible so we can help you with a solution.  Also, please refer to our full cancellation policy.  We refer our guests to purchase their travel insurance through Travelex and have seen the best results with the “Cancel for Any Reason Policy”.  Please plan to do your own research regarding the best policy for you.  Trip insurance is highly recommended to cover trip cancellation/interruption, emergency medical expenses, trip delay, baggage delay, etc. For guests flying to and from their river trip, we recommend covering your flights as well. 

What are the age requirements for your river trips?

We recognize that each child is different and matures at different levels however we suggest that kids be old enough to no longer require naps during the day.  On our multi-day trips, we suggest that kids be 5 years of age or older.  Early season trips with higher river levels are not recommended for kids under the age of 12. 

There is no upper age limit for our trips.  Regardless of age, it is important to understand the physical nature of these trips.  Please see the question about physical limitations below. 

What are the physical limitations of these river trips?

For boat safety reasons, weight restrictions may apply for drift boat trips. It is always important to remember that many of our trips take place in remote wilderness areas away from civilization. Guests should be healthy enough to take part in some physical activity. Guests with special medical conditions including but not limited to, heart conditions, pregnancy, substantially overweight, or limited mobility should consult with their physician before taking a river trip. We welcome guests with disabilities on our trips as long as a river trip is within their capabilities. We are always happy to provide you with extra assistance as well. Please feel free to call and discuss all special requirement requests with us and we will do our best to accommodate you.

What happens if there is an emergency at home while I’m on the river?

One of the best things about our multi-day river trips is the rare opportunity to disconnect.  There is no cell phone service or WiFi on the river.  We do carry satellite communication devices to connect to the office on a daily basis.  We suggest that you leave our office phone number (800-507-9889) with your family, friends, and office in case of emergencies.  Critical messages can be relayed to you on your trip by the trip leader. 

What happens if I become ill or injured on my river trip?

Our guides are all trained in first aid and how to handle emergencies.  In the event that our guides decide a higher level of care is necessary, we will assess the situation to determine the best method of evacuation based which river you are on and the location on the river where the incident occurs.  Location and severity of situation will help then decide if evacuation via helicopter, airplane, boat or vehicle is most appropriate.

How are sizes of rapids rated? How big is the whitewater on these trips?

Most rivers around the world and all of the rivers that we offer trips on are rated by the same International Scale of 1-6 with one being a small riffle and 6 being considered impassible.  Our trips are run on sections of river that are comprised of mostly class 1-4 rapids and we do not have any class 5 or 6 rapids on our rivers. 

What if I can’t swim?

Knowing how to swim is not necessary on these trips; in fact, we prefer you stay in the boat while floating on the river!  Guests can choose to get in the water and swim by choice but while floating, our guides will always prioritize keeping guests safely in the boat.  

Are lifejackets provided?

Helfrich Outfitters will provide each guest with a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device (PFD) to be worn while on the water.  Guests in rafts and kayaks will be asked to wear lifejackets at all times on the river.  Guests in drift boats will be provided PFDs and will be expected to wear them in all class 3 and 4 whitewater and are welcome and encouraged to wear them at all times if they so choose.  Each time lifejackets are worn, they should be properly bucked and fitted tight to ensure they work properly if needed. 

Can I bring my own lifejacket on the trip?

While we do provide nice type 5 lifejackets and generally prefer that you use ours, you are welcome to bring your own lifejacket.  Your personal lifejacket must be a US Coast Guard approved type three or five jacket that is in good condition with no rips or defects.  

Do I need any prior river experience?

Nope, prior river experience is not necessary.  Many guests have spent their very first river trip with our crew.  No matter your past river experiences, our crew will work hard to make your experience as fun and relaxing as possible. 

Do I need any prior fishing experience?

You do not need to know anything about fishing or to have even touched a fly rod before you show up on your Helfrich Outfitters trip.  Our professional guides specialize in coaching all skill levels from beginner to expert.  

Do I need to bring fishing gear?

While you are more than welcome to bring your favorite fly rod and selection of flies, you are not required to.  Each of our fishing boats are fully equipped with all of the fly rods, flies and everything you need on your trip.  Please refer to the trip expedition guide you receive for your trip for more specific details on weight of fly rods and recommended fly patterns. 

What if I have never been camping? What are the river camps like?

Never been camping?  No worries!  You wouldn’t believe how many guests we have had on our trips who have never been camping before and they all come off the river as “happy campers”!  Our river camp is not your typical camp.  It is more of a traveling “glamping” (glamour camping) camp.  Our Middle Fork Salmon River camps are especially nice.  Each two guests will enjoy a large tent that you can stand up in and walk through.  These tents are equipped with cots, air mattresses and a night stand with a lantern.  We provide large dinner tables with arm chairs in each camp and set up a bar table with lots of cocktail ice for you to enjoy. Our camp has a nice hot shower available each night and we even set up a warm water face wash station in the mornings where guests can freshen up, wash their faces or shave in the mornings.