Tips on Carefully Choosing your River Outfitter River rafting is one of the most popular activities in the Durango area. Whether you are going on a river trip for the first time with your family or you are an experienced river adrenaline “junkie”, it is important to carefully investigate the quality of the outfitter supplying and guiding your trip. Determine which outfitter can best fill your needs and provide a safe and enjoyable trip. Consider the following factors in choosing your outfitter: 1. Does the outfitter stress safety? 2. Does the outfitter offer a variety of trips so they can fit an adventure to the group, or do they fit one experience to all groups? 3. What is the outfitter's reputation? Check with America Outdoors (423-558-3595), the national professional rafting association. 4. Ask local lodging properties about the service reputation of the outfitter. 5. Check the outfitter's safety record with the river's regulating agency. The U.S. Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management managing the river area can provide the information. 6. How many years has the company been in operation? 7. Are their cancellation and rescheduling policies clear and in writing? 8. What equipment do they provide? Helmets should always be provided on class IV and V Rivers. 9. Do not shop on price alone; low price often means underpaid guides with minimal experience and lower quality equipment. 10. Ask about minimum age limits. Do the limits change depending on water flow? Quality outfitters change the age requirements or river segments depending on the water level and speed of the flow.