Rafting is a weekend sport.
And, contrary to what its name suggests, it has nothing to do with barreling down a rushing waterway on an inflatable.
In fact, rafting is not even weather-reliant. It takes place indoors. It requires minimal pre-planning and zero special equipment or ability.
The premise is simple: You spend all day in bed; eating, drinking, watching movies, making out, whatever. Just keep imagining that the “floor is lava” and you’ll do fine.
I didn’t invent it. The idea was passed down by some sage friends, but it’s since become a cherished tradition. I couldn’t have been more delighted to discover that Top Chef judge Padma Lakshmi is also a practitioner.
She calls it a bed picnic and describes her longstanding ritual on a recently released episode of Hot Ones by First We Feast [1:45].
“It’s basically when you get up in the morning, you make your bed, you have a shower, you put on a pair of crisp pyjamas or whatever you like, and then you make a bunch of different sandwiches and you cut them nicely and you pretty much create a platter of sandwiches… make a huge pot of tea, and maybe even [do] a marathon of some show you like.”
Host Sean Evans pipes-in to add, “I think a lot of people do that on Sunday but they don’t have the dignity with it, you know, I think a lot of people are just in their sweats with their laptops open just eating on their beds.”
To which Lakshmi gracefully responds, “You actually think of it as the activity so you feel no guilt or shame it’s not like oooh I was such a schlub today and I just stayed home, you say, no I’m having a bed picnic.”
Rafting, being the less-posh/more rugged Canadian version of “bed picnicing”, totally allows for sweatpants.
I like to swear off cooking for the day too – so, no sandwich platters – though a trip to the grocery store in advance is recommended just to stock up on provisions; booze, a crossword puzzle, snacks.
Relying entirely on delivery during a spontaneous rafting session is totally acceptable too… It might not be as dignified but it’s totally on-theme.
Most important to Rafting is the intent behind it. Intend to do nothing, and then really do it.