What Was The Deal With The “C” Word Survey?

The “C” word drags up all sorts of connotations – a quiet snigger here or a look of – “What, you are not going to talk about that word in a River Valley Newsletter are you?”

Well we are going to go ahead and do it. We are going to talk about the “C” word.

You see we sent out a survey about people’s thoughts on the “C” word, because we had some really burning questions. Questions we wanted answers to. In general those questions revolved around the reluctance of many people to consider what is involved when experiencing the “C” word.

We used words like, wet, cold, uncomfortable, comfortable, a heap of fun and many more in our survey.


Oh, you thought the “C” word was that other “C” word didn’t you?

No the ‘C” word we are talking about is – Camping. Of course you knew that.

In particular, we are talking about multi day rafting and horse trekking trips. Not we hasten to add “Car Camping” at a beach side Holiday Park.

Why Did We Want To Know Some Things About Camping?

When you spend a chunk of your life camping out on river banks, you tend to forget that other people have a very different perception of how much fun that is compared to your own experiences. We also wanted to know what the general reluctance amongst many people to experience this type of trip was based upon.

In other words, what was turning them off about being a participant in an experience that we think is one of the highlights of outdoor adventure.

What Questions Did We Ask?

We asked a number of questions, but the most important ones involved, food, comfort (especially sleeping), toilet arrangements, and a general overall perception of the type of experience. As the survey was linked to from our facebook page the results probably do not mirror the wider population.

However they are none the less valid because these are people who are more likely to want to experience this type of adventure, but may be held back by some issue.

What Is The Overall Perception of a Multi Day River Trip?

Even we were surprised to see that over 80% of respondents thought this type of multi day trip would be a “Heap of Fun”. As this question also allowed you to tick multiple boxes, we also found that 20% of respondents viewed that the trip would be ‘Cold” and the same number thought it would be “Uncomfortable”.

An even higher percentage – almost 25% thought it would be “Wet”.

We should have expected that, as it was a river trip we were asking about!

How Important Is Good Food?

The results for the importance of good food were not unexpected. Fully 75% of respondents considered it “Important”, while 25% considered it “Very Important”

To reinforce this overall view of the importance of good food, one person wrote – “Being able to sit down to QUALITY camp fire food would be a bonus, not boil in the bag stuff as I had with another company. Banter and Company is important.”

Do You Really Need A Good Night’s Sleep?

A good night’s sleep on a multi day river trip can be due to a number of factors, the most important being the quality of the sleeping pad and sleeping bag.

In our survey, 75% of respondents really felt that a good night’s sleep was important, while 25% did not think it mattered too much at all. It is fairly easy to see which group will be up most of the night prodding the fire and drinking beer!

Whats The Deal With The “Groover”?

The term “Groover” was originally applied to the use of rocket boxes (empty steel ammunition boxes) that with the addition of a plastic liner became portable toilets. In the early days toilet seats were not carried, hence the user of the “Groover” would end up immediately after use with parallel imprints on the back of their thighs and butt cheeks from sitting on the top of the lidless box.

Our respondents were not too worried at all about the toilet issue, with over 80% saying that it was not something that really worried them.

How Do River Valley Multi Day Trips Stack Up On These Concerns?

Wet, Cold & Uncomfortable – River Valley supply excellent on river gear to keep you warm, and as long as you stay in the boat, you will stay mostly dry. Our trips carry all the conveniences of modern multi day trips – fold up chairs for sitting around the fire, camp shelters for escape from sun or rain.

To sit on a riverbank in a comfy chair, staring into a fire, with a cold drink in one hand and good company around you is one of the simple joys of this type of trip.

Food – There have been many advances with the ability of a river trip to deliver great food. We take a complete camp kitchen with us, and with excellent Dry and Cold storage, you can expect to eat fresh throughout the trip. Breakfast will be cooked or continental, a picnic style lunch at midday, while dinner will be three course.

Don’t expect to lose too many calories!

A Good Night’s Sleep – The days of sleeping on thin closed cell foam sleeping pads are thankfully gone. We supply thick self inflating sleeping pads, upon which you can relax from within good quality waterproof tents.

Camping while you were growing up was never like this.

The Toilet – Depending on the trip location and the party size, we provide the most suitable solution for this, at times, weighty problem. No it will never be quite like spending time in your own bathroom, but often this will be more than compensated by the view.

Multi Day Adventure Trips Have Come a Long Way

The advances made in camping equipment over the last few years have changed the way that we can enjoy the outdoors on multi day trips. However, while these advances such as truly comfortable sleeping pads, light weight waterproof tents and folding chairs have increased our creature comforts, they are not why we are there in the first place.

No, we are there to settle into the Rhythm of the River, to see what is round the next bend, to listen to the murmur of the current, endlessly telling it’s story, to relax around a campfire amongst friends.

These things are the true joy of Multi Day Adventures.

How do you design a survey to understand that?

You can find out more about joining us on one of River Valley’s Multi Day Trips this coming summer by clicking here.

Early morning at a riverside camp on the Ngaruroro River, NZ

Arnie rowing a gear raft on a multi day river trip, NZ

A convoy of rafts and inflatable kayaks on the Rangitikei River

Janey with a fully loaded gear raft

Andy and Ross preparing a late night supper on a multi day rafting trip.

Riverside camp with kitchen and camp fire setup.

Riverside camp in the Headwaters of the Rangitikei River, NZ

What will you find around each corner? Mokai Gravity Canyon?