Thank you for planning a trip with the Far Flung Outdoor Center! If you have questions about your river adventure, we’ll be glad to help! Give us a call at (800) 839-7238 or email us.
Starting Your Trip
Plan to arrive at 8:15 a.m. on the day of your departure at our office located (get directions) in Study Butte, one-half mile west of Highway 118 on Farm Road 170. After introductions and the transfer of your personal gear to our waterproof bags, we will depart from the office at 8:30 a.m. Please call us if you are running late. Other guests who have arrived will be more understanding.
Because space is limited on multi-day trips, we will be asking you on the first morning to separate only what you will need for the trip. You will be provided an "overnight" waterproof bag (16” dia x 36”L) that will be used to carry your sleeping bag and personal gear. Since your "overnight" waterproof bag will not be accessible during the day, you will also be issued a waterproof "day bag" that can be used to carry items such as sunscreen, camera, rain gear and/or fleece jacket.
- River sandals, water shoes or old tennis shoes (please, no-flip flops)
- One pair of shoes for camp
- Fast drying shorts/swimsuit (women may want to wear a swimsuit as their first layer under shorts)
- Short or long sleeved shirt (long sleeve is nice during the hot months of May - September)
- Long pants over fast drying shorts/swimsuit (months of November - April)
- Socks (wool or polypropylene)
- Hat or cap (we like wide brim hats in Big Bend!)
- Lightweight jacket, sweatshirt or fleece
- Good quality rain jacket and pants (months of June - October)
- Flashlight w/extra batteries (headlamps are great!)
- Sunscreen and lip balm
- Water bottle
- Sleeping bag & pad (see sleeping arrangements below)
- Small camp pillow
- Small hand towel, soap and toiletries
- Insect repellent
- Moisturizer/skin lotion
- Wet wipes (small package)
- Personal medications
- For Cooler Months of November - March: Medium weight jacket, long underwear, gloves, fleece hat and socks
- Camera with spare batteries
- Your own supply of alcoholic beverages or soft drinks; please no glass containers, other than a bottle of your favorite wine that you would like to bring. We will have special storage for wine bottles only.
- Small ice chest (no foam chests, please!)
- Book/writing journal/notebook
- Fanny pack
Many things come to mind when people contemplate a river trip. Here are some of the more commonly asked questions:
What do I wear on the trip?
Dress for the river is normally fast drying shorts, swimsuit, hat or cap, t-shirt or long-sleeved shirt and river sandals for the warmer months. In cooler months of November through March layering your clothing and limiting cotton attire while on the river is strongly recommended. If you choose to wear sandals, they should have ankle straps. You can cut down on bulk by not bringing too many changes of clothing. Generally, a fresh shirt is nice each day, but short and pants can be worn for more than one day.
What is the weather like?
This is our most frequently asked question, so we'll tell you what the experts say:
Spring (March - April) Day: 75-90, Night: 45-60
Summer (May - September) Day: 85-100+, Night: 70-80
Fall (October - December) Day: 70-85, Night: 45-60
Winter (January - February) Day: 55-75, Night: 30-50
Rainfall averages 10-12 inches per year, with the majority of rainfall during the months of July - September
What about the guides?
Our guides are outdoor enthusiasts with many years of running rivers. They'll haul the gear, organize the hikes, prepare the meals and, with a little encouragement, even provide a bit of entertainment! Realizing that personal involvement increases one's enjoyment of a trip, they will welcome your interest in learning how to row, paddle or better understand the desert plant and animal life. Our staff will enrich your experience by sharing their knowledge of the Big Bend's extensive natural and human history.
Should I tip the guide?
Many guests ask us whether tipping the guides is appropriate. If you believe the guides have exceeded your service expectations, please feel free to leave a tip (10-15% of the trip price is normal). Tipping is by no means required.
What will the sleeping arrangements be?
We furnish tent lodging. Our tents sleep two persons comfortably. If you are traveling alone, you will have your own tent. You should bring your own sleeping bag and pad. We do have a limited quantity of sleeping bags and pads for rent at $11 each. Our pads are 2 inches thick and are much more comfortable than the traditional, thin Insolite pads you take on a backpacking trip. Please contact our office at 800-839-7238 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a bag and/or pad.
What are the meals like?
Our menus vary based on current supplies, but expect something like this: Breakfast: eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, fresh fruit, coffee, tea and juice. Lunch: a deli-style spread of foods such as meats, cheese, fruit, chips, pickles, cookies, and pasta or tuna salad. Dinner: fish, chicken, steaks, pork chops, pasta, vegetables, salads, dutch oven dessert. Guests with food restrictions should let us know at least seven days in advance so we can plan accordingly. Ice water will be available throughout the day and tea and lemonade mixes are available at meals. We serve wine with some meals, but please feel free to bring your own supply of alcoholic beverages or soft drinks.
Should I bring a camera? Will there be any side hikes?
Big Bend is a scenic wonderland. We encourage you to bring a camera. We have waterproof bags available to store your equipment, but please remember this is a water activity, and there are no guarantees. Our retail store stocks a full complement of disposable cameras. There are hiking opportunities on the trip, and they vary in difficulty from very easy, to climbing over boulders or up steep trails. Remember, all hikes are optional, so you can choose to lay on the beach, soak up the rays, or just enjoy a book. Cell phones, pagers and anything Wi-Fi or internet related will not work along the river corridor.
What about the bathroom?
Because the trip will take us through primitive areas of Big Bend, bathroom facilities are limited. We use a "porta-potty" toilet system that is set up at each camp in a secluded location. The system functions just like your home toilet except it does not flush. We use a natural biotic product to break the waste down and eliminate any odors. While we are on the water, our guides will have a day-use toilet that is always available. For Ladies Only: Women who are concerned about their menstrual period during the trip should bring their own supply of femine hygiene products and a small supply of zip-lock bags which can be disposed of in the camp trash containers. We'll have additional tampons and pads available as well as a hand washing system.
To protect this great resource we call Big Bend, several protective measures are used. We carry out all garbage and human waste and strain dishwater into the river to prevent fouling of the water. Cigarette butts and other micro trash are put in pockets for later disposal.
The Far Flung Store:
We have a retail store complete with t-shirts, shorts, hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, water bottles and many other outdoor accessories. Our store will be open before and after your trip in the event you need to purchase some last minute article or trip mementos.
Multi-day river trips require a $50/person non-refundable deposit with the balance due 7 days prior to the trip (specialty trips such as gourmet, New Years, music, etc. have higher deposit requirements and earlier payment times). Because we prepare well in advance for the trip, last minute cancellations are costly. Cancellations more than 7 days prior to the departure date forfeit the deposit amount. Cancellations (including no-shows) within 7 days of the trip depature date forfeit the entire cost of the trip. (specialty trips will have stricter cancellation policies).
Far Flung Outdoor Center reserves the right to alter, modify or cancel any trip or a portion of any trip due to weather, water levels or the safety and convenience of our guests. It is the intent of Far Flung Outdoor Center to operate the river tours in cases where the safety of our guests is not compromised. Guests should appreciate that inclement weather may not be cause for a trip cancellation. In the event FFOC cancels a trip; a full refund will be given.
Trip participants must understand and appreciate that river rafting, canoeing and wilderness travel involve certain inherent risks. These risks include, but are not limited to, loss of or damage to personal property, personal injury or fatality resulting from: capsize of raft or canoe, collision with a vehicle, vessel, rock, log, tree or other obstacles; falling while aboard a raft; accident or illness in remote places with limited or no medical facilities; and exposure to temperature extremes or inclement weather.
We require all of our guests to sign and Agreement and Acknowledgment of Risk before taking the trip. From time to time, we use photographs and videos of our trips for promotional and business purposes. By going on our trip, you consent to the use of your image, without compensation, for FFOC marketing activities. See you on the river!
Call us at 800-839-7238 or email us with any questions!