When Did Inflatable Boating in the West Begin?

Most of us have heard that boating in inflatables began after World War II using surplus military rafts. Actually, the first whitewater runs occurred almost 100 years earlier. This rubber baptism took place in 1842-43 in modern-day Wyoming.

John C. Fremont, military officer, explorer, politician and mapmaker, roamed over much of the western U.S. on both sides of the Rockies, earning his nickname as “The Pathfinder.” His maps guided many of the settlers who spread westward looking for homesteads and the prospectors who swarmed to the California gold fields.

But Fremont was first and foremost an adventurer…

Read: When Did Inflatable Boating in the West Begin? | NRS Duct Tape Diaries