Although it’s always good to bring everything you need for your day on the Yampa, there are a few items that are better left at home. As a general rule, if it’s not absolutely essential, leave it. The items listed below are commonly lost in the Yampa turing into litter, these items either pose an environmental hazard, or a hazard towards the safety of other river users.
- Flip flops – Flip flops are a poor choice of river footwear to begin with due to the fact that they leave the wearer’s feet vulnerable to injury by sharp submerged objects, and they have a tendency to fall off the wearer’s feet and turn into just another piece of trash floating in the water
- Alcohol – Alcohol is also prohibited, someone on a tube, kayak or paddle board who’s under the influence poses a risk not only to themselves, but anyone else in the river. The bottles and cans leftover often find their way into the river as more trash.
- Glass items – Glass items should also be avoided. Stepping on a broken piece of glass can cause a deep cut on someone’s feet, and can potentially punch a hole in an inflatable watercraft.
- Coolers – Coolers need to be left at home as well, if dropped into the water, coolers are prone to popping open in rough currents, spilling their plastic wrapped food and beverages into the river as trash. Instead of a cooler, use a burlap sack or cotton mesh bag for bringing food. Bags like these can be easily tied shut and if they are lost they can biodegrade.
- Styrofoam – Styrofoam should be avoided at all costs, its high buoyancy make it easy to lose in the quicker currents, it doesn’t biodegrade so it will remain in the Yampa until someone removes if, and they are easily broken apart, turning one big piece of litter into hundreds of smaller ones.