The jet boat is blasting through Hells Canyon. Around you roars the raging Snake River. Sprays of water splash up the sides of the boat and you lurch to one side, bumping into your friend. They laugh, you blanch. As the boat bucks against the rapids, your stomach turns. The nausea seems to bubble up from inside you like the turbulent thrashing of the eddies along the bank. Yes, even when you’re not at sea, you can get motion sick from traveling on small boats. Killgore Adventures runs jet boat tours of Hells Canyon nearly year-round, meaning we’ve dealt with our fair share of “seasickness” even here in landlocked Idaho. We want you to enjoy your tour, so here are some easy ways you can treat your motion sickness. 

What Causes Motion Sickness While on a Boat?

Motion sickness while on a boat is simply a miscommunication of senses between your brain, eyes, inner ear, and your sensory nerves. When you sit in a jet boat, you don’t always see the movement of the boat itself but your inner ear feels it. The two senses compete against each other, one saying there isn’t movement, the other saying there is. The result is that nauseous, dizzy, achy feeling. 

If you get motion sick, don’t feel too bad. It’s estimated that nearly everyone will experience some degree of motion sickness during their lifetime. In fact, even the most experienced of river runners, like the guides and outfitters at Killgore Adventures, get motion sick sometimes. They’ve just learned handy tips that help them mitigate or manage their motion sickness. 

Prevention is the Key

Like most things, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to motion sickness. Before you step aboard the jet boat, make sure you’re well rested. We know you’ll be excited for your tour of Hells Canyon the night before, but make sure your excitement doesn’t keep you from getting a good night of sleep. 

Go With the Flow

It might seem counter-intuitive, but it’s important to let your eyes wander as you travel along the river. Fixing your eyes on something “stable” can actually worsen your feelings of motion sickness. Looking at a fixed object like a large rock in the river can exacerbate the miscommunication between your brain and your senses. Instead, look straight ahead to the front of the boat. That seems to help most people and keeps them from fixing their eyes on one thing for too long.

Treat Your Stomach Kindly

While you might not want to think about your stomach while motion sick, you can treat it right by taking a few steps. Eating a few bites of something relatively bland, like some bread or crackers is a great start. Taking a few sips of water can help too. That said, don’t help yourself to a fatty meal, or heavy drink while you’re on the boat. This can actually make your feelings of seasickness worse.

Try Some Over-the-Counter Medicine

A quick trip to the drug store will reveal dozens of remedies for motion sickness. While these work to varying degrees for different people, they can’t hurt to try. Just make sure you take them a few hours before the start of your jet boat tour in order to give them time to take effect.

Avoid Strong Sunlight

Motion sickness on a boat can be exaggerated by getting too much sun and becoming dehydrated. By staying out of direct sunlight and regularly sipping water, you’ll stay cool and hydrated, which should help to minimize the sensations of being motion sick.

Don’t Get Embarrassed

Even the most veteran of river rafters get motion sick sometimes. There’s no need to get embarrassed. If you need to vomit, just ask for a bag or trash bag. Our crew members can help you take care of yourself. 

Explore Hells Canyon Today

Do you have a cast-iron stomach? Are you undaunted by motion sickness? A jet boat tour of Hells Canyon with Killgore Adventures is fun for everyone. You’ll be shocked at how smooth a ride our jet boat offers, even when powering up the most intense sections of the Snake and Salmon rivers. Book your Hells Canyon tour with Idaho’s #1 adventure company today!