Seems so simple! how do i adventure for little cash?

Travel Forums North America Seems so simple! how do i adventure for little cash?

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1. Posted by jimhowe (Budding Member 20 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!


The world and all it's glories are not made exclusively for the mega wealthy, this i know. I'm going to the East Coast USA soon, for as long as possible. I was planning on hitchhiking everywhere, taking a tent, and generally bluffing my way places.

However, the other side of the coin is that i'm an adventurous person, and i know being there is gonna make me want to do more involved things than bumming rides places. One thing i've always wanted to do is go rafting down the grand canyon, just paddle my way down, love the rough bits, enjoy the calm bits, generally camp out and get down that mother one way or another. The thing is, the only prices i can find for people offering such a tour are like £3000 dollars. thats nonsense money. Yes, i do realise that i cant just jump in a boat and tackle the class 5 rapids, i'll die. but still...its just paddling, surely there must be another way.

I guess the best possible outcome would be that someone who can handle a raft doing that sort of thing wants to do the same thing, then we just pay for provisions and hire of boat, that sort of thing. Anyone...?

Anyway: ANYONE with any ideas, stick em down, whatever. begging, borrowing, volunteering, i'll do whatever.

Thank you


2. Posted by Calcruzer (Travel Guru 2007 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Gee, if it was just that simple--just get a little raft and go the over 180 miles in a few days or so.

Now if you just didn't have to worry about 100 foot waterfalls along the way or rocks where boats can't actually get through or rapids that will throw your raft about 20 feet in the air and then submerge you underwater on the other side--and if you didn't have to worry about flash floods or rattlesnacks or the temperature being in the 100s in the summer and 40s in the winter--and if you didn't have to worry about all your supplies getting swept away or submerged with your boat (or the same thing happening to you), and, if when you had trouble, you could just quickly jump up the 2,500 feet of height that the canyon walls are for most of your journey, it would be just that easy.

If you want to understand how foolhardy your plan is, read the following account of John Wesley Powell and his party--who were the first white men to successfully travel down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. There were 10 men who set out on this trip--and only 7 returned alive. Amazingly, John Wesley Powell was one of them, despite the fact that he had started the journey with only one arm. (He had lost the other one at the Civil War Battle of Shloh.)

Here's a place where you can get a summary of his trip (which actually went over 800 miles since they started in Wyoming) and finished on the far edge of the Grand Canyon. It was a 4 month trip--although they went through the Grand Canyon in about 28 days.

And here's where you can actually watch a movie online about the trip:

P.S. I do appreciate your sense of adventure--but it needs to be tempered with a bit of caution and planning.

3. Posted by Calcruzer (Travel Guru 2007 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

As far as your reular plan--which is to grab a tent and camp wherever--that is possible--but you need to do it outside of the cities (especially the big cities) and try to do it primarily in state parks or state "recreational areas" or forests (since the fees any small or non-existent), while fees in the national park are a lot higher (mostly since the campgrounds are much more "improved").

Good luck.

4. Posted by jimhowe (Budding Member 20 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

ah, i meant that post to be tongue-in-cheek enthusiasm, but after your response, ive read it back and it looks like im being stupid. sorry, i know that i can't go down the whole thing, and i have actually heard of the John Powell expedition. 'One way or another' was meant to mean walking past the aforementioned savage parts of the river. nuances of 'its just paddling' are also lost in print. sorry.

thanks for the heads up though, there are things i didnt know, like some of the camping info. on the rafting though, i meant to say that it has always been a dream of mine to go down part of it, and there are tours that go down parts, but i just wondered if it was possible to do any of them for a bit less, because i can't really afford what the major tours offer.


5. Posted by fabyomama (Respected Member 560 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

You ever get that feeling that if someone says you shouldn't do something it makes you want to do it all the more?

Seriously though, there must be hundreds of people who have already done this off their own backs - from the 'money no object, got all the latest gear, professional independent', to the 'on the bones of my arse, completely mad'.

Good luck with it scratching that itch. Great idea I thought. ;)

6. Posted by Adri204 (Budding Member 82 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

The thing is im all for Adventure and im from Alaska and I do Class 4 and Class 5 rapids. I would advice you to check out 1 day to 2 day rafting adventures that wont cost thousands of dollars. The rapids thier havent changed and do kill people who dont know what thier doing and that is a FACT!!!

Adri :)

7. Posted by Calcruzer (Travel Guru 2007 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Well, I wasn't trying to kill your sense of adventure--after all, that's what this site is all about. I just wanted you to be more careful is all I was saying.

Adri makes a good point--which is that there are many 1 or 2 day rapids trips (both near the Grand Canyon and in other parts of the country) that would allow you to become a river rapids veteran.

I took one of these trips on the American River in northern California. And they have similar ones in Wyoming on the Snake River just south of the Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Parks, and in Utah through the Glen Canyon (Lake Powell) area--which is one of the areas the Powell expedition went through. (It is much safer to go through this area today, since they built a dam downstream that makes most of the water much higher (and therefore smoother for most of the lake area).

Also, going in the summer is the best time, since the rivers can be pretty cold in the springtime when the snow has only just melted. I found this out the hard way, since when I took my trip the water was still in the mid-40s (which in celsius is about 8 degrees).

Also, there are places that will allow you to do cheaper 1 day rafting adventures near the Grand Canyon--here's two examples (notice that I am not endorsing these groups, nor do I know how well they do their trips--I'm just showing you that you can do this or less. I think these places charge about $300 to $350 for a one-day trip)

P.S. Even people who don't do the "adventure" thing still need to be careful. There are about 2 people that die at the Grand Canyon each year because they aren't careful when taking pictures--and they fall off the edge of the canyon (which has no railings for most of the canyon's length). Considering that over three million visit the canyon each year, this is not a large percentage--but it still is a sad situation every time it happens.

[ Edit: . ]

8. Posted by jimhowe (Budding Member 20 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

no totally, i do appreciate that.
thanks for those links, i'll check em out for sure. i guess the only thing is to look around when I'm there, but i think i'll try to tool up an extra few hundred bucks so that i can do a day trip. Just have the total urge to have a long camping/canoeing/rafting trip, but a day certainly wouldn't be bad. i did assume actually; do people actually camp out in the canyon itself? i assumed they did.

anyway, cheers guys i'll check it out and take care
thanks fer ya help


9. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 2015 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hitching in the USA - not the way to go! For every ride you get, you'll spend 8 hrs trying to get that ride. These days, people are very very careful about who they give rides to.

10. Posted by jambo101 (Respected Member 414 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Lots of the interstate system has a no pedestrian rule so hitching rides around major urban areas could prove problematic.If your plans include the East coast i;d focus just on that as the Grand Canyon is 3000 miles away.Save that for a more financially secure future visit..Let me save you $3000 =
For about $40 you can rent a canoe or kayak and spend the day floating down the Suwanee River in Northern Florida =