COVID-19 & What to Expect This Season

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“With few safe options available, we decided to try an outdoor four day, chartered, Safari Camp Trip with Momentum River Adventures for a girls trip celebrating some very special birthdays. From day one the guides took utmost precautions to ensure our safety & health. Not knowing what to expect, we were all blown away by how incredibly well our team of guides took care of us.”
– 2020 Guest

 

We are extremely excited to get people outside this season and we believe that unplugging and showing people our wild areas is more important now than ever. We could see and feel that in every trip we ran last year.

We are also very aware that the thing we all want to move past the most is COVID. Unfortunately, our trips can’t cure a global pandemic – COVID is very real and has an effect on almost every part of life. And to ignore that is not only dangerous to our personal health, it also ignores the immense sacrifices of our medical communities across the country and the world.

However, an outdoor trip is one of the best and safest ways to travel and get away. And all of the benefits of being unplugged – waking up to the sun and the sounds of nature, lazy days on the water with family and friends, an amazing meal with the sky as the dining room ceiling – still very much apply.

In 2020 we were among the leading adventure travel companies when it came to COVID safety.  We worked closely with health experts and state and federal officials to develop safety protocols and guidelines. Protocols that included bi-weekly testing of guides and staff – something that very few other tour companies were able to do.  We tried to make our trips as safe as possible while still highlighting what makes getting out in wild places so healing, so relaxing, and so fun.  And judging by the reviews and notes from our 2020 guests we feel like we did a pretty good job.

In 2021 we will again respond using the most up-to-date information and tools available and update our protocols accordingly. As it has been since the beginning of the pandemic, things change quickly. However, we will have more tools at our disposal – more knowledge, better access to higher quality masks for transportation, better access to rapid testing, etc. Many of our guides work in rescue, healthcare, and education in the off-season – so they are already vaccinated. We are hopeful that these tools along with a rapid vaccination rollout will allow us to run more ‘normal’ trips as the season moves on.

As we learn more we will update guests in the 4 to 5 weeks leading up to trips with our most up to date practices.

Here are our current guidelines:

 


Trips in April and May:


 

 

NOTE: It is important to understand that, just as we cannot remove the risk of falling out of a raft on a river trip, we also cannot completely remove the risks from COVID-19 on a trip – that would be impossible in the current situation. Going on our trips means that guests assume the inherent risks associated with COVID-19 during the current pandemic.
Unvaccinated people that are considered “high risk” as defined by the CDC (Center for Disease Control), including those 65 years and older, or who have underlying medical conditions, should seriously consider the additional risks inherent in joining a trip.

 

Staff and Guide Vaccinations, Testing, and Screening:

Many of our guides work in rescue, healthcare,and education in the off-season – so they are already fully vaccinated. Every guide who is not fully vaccinated will be tested before every multi-day trip. We also have strict staff guidelines at work, including screening, mandatory mask-wearing, as well as guidelines for staying safe outside of work.

 

Guests – Leading up to your trip:

For overnight trips we are asking that all guests who are not fully vaccinated:

–  Be very careful in the 14 days leading up to the trip – basically ‘stay at home’ as much as possible.
–  We are also strongly urging unvaccinated guests to get tested a few days before the trip – to reduce risk, and for the small communities that we will travel through. Testing is now widely available and easy to get.

 

Guests – Leading up to your trip:

Before all trips guests will be asked the following:

1. Have you recently experienced any of the following symptoms?
– Fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher) or chills.
– Cough that you cannot attribute to another health condition.
– Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing that you cannot attribute to another health condition.
– Sore throat that you cannot attribute to another health condition.
– Muscle aches that you cannot attribute to another health condition, or that may not have been caused by a specific activity (such as physical exercise)
– Loss of taste or smell.

2. Have you been in contact with an individual who has been ill with flu-like symptoms in the last 14 days?

3. Have you been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 30 days?

Guests who answer yes to #1 or #2 will not be allowed on the trip, as well as anyone in their household, or anyone who traveled with them prior to the trip.

Guests who answer yes to #3, will be asked for clearance from a physician stating that they are non-contagious.

Please understand that if a guest does not pass the pre-trip screening the guest and anyone else who is traveling with them will not be able to go on the trip.
We strongly recommend trip insurance.

 

Social Distancing and Masks:

Guides and staff will always be social distancing – they will be wearing buffs or masks in any boats with guests, anytime there is a chance they will be less than 6′ feet away from anyone, and any time they are preparing or serving food.

While guests won’t need to wear face coverings continually, there will usually be some circumstances where all guests will need to do so:
–  Anytime they are in close proximity of people not in their group.
(NOTE: fully vaccinated people from different groups do not need to wear masks around each other)
–  On most of our trips, guests and staff travel through small communities – some of which have not had major outbreaks. Because of that, we will also all wear masks in any store or public place during the trip.
– In vehicles or charter planes: Guests and guides will be required to wear n95 or medical-grade masks anytime they are in vehicles or charter planes. We will follow the state guidelines to try and keep 3′ distance between passengers in different groups. But medical-grade masks have proven to be very effective in situations where this is not possible.

CHARTER TRIPS: With charter trips, it is up to the group on how they want to handle social distancing and face-covering among group members on the trip. If the group size is under current local gathering recommendations then, outside of the above exceptions, your group is welcome to do what is comfortable. Or, if your group wants to keep social distancing guidelines (6′ between groups, buffs or masks when that is not possible) we will help facilitate that as well.

 

Keeping Things Clean:

Additional precautions have been implemented to further clean and disinfect all surfaces such as vans, rafts, aircraft interiors, door handles, paddles, etc. And you will see guides frequently cleaning items throughout trips.   All staff will have food-handlers certifications and be following the similar food service protocols that are required of restaurants.

And of course, there will be a LOT of handwashing and hand sanitizing. Be ready to hear “wash your hands everyone!” regularly : ).

 

Additional Items to pack:

–   A mask or buff
–   An N95 or medical grade mask for transportation
–   Personal hand sanitizer (we will have refills)

 


 

As always, we are so excited to get outside and show people wild areas. Our guides are some of the finest anywhere – guides who have run some of the most difficult and beautiful rivers in the world, who love to share these places with others, and who are friendly and warm-hearted. Our trips have always been a mix of service, relaxation, excitement, and wild beauty – a chance to step out of civilization for a short time and step into a more simple and uncomplicated life.

That has not,
and will not change.

 

 

“You run the best business and hire the best people I have ever been with on the river. Runner up isn’t even close… Great entrepreneurship, customer service, and execution skills are rare, but you have them all going on inside the same shop.”
– 2020 Guest