As participation in outdoor recreation grows in the United States, whitewater rafting remains among the most popular activities. Enticed by the opportunity to experience amazing views of natural wonders while navigating swift-moving rivers, outdoor enthusiasts flock to scenic waterways for exhilarating experiences. If you are interested in going on a whitewater rafting excursion, make sure you have the right equipment, prepare properly, and learn some basic safety tips.
Equipment You Need for Whitewater Rafting
While a whitewater tour operator will have some of the essential supplies you need for your trip, here is a list of other items you need to bring. Make sure to buy your clothing and footwear at a reputable sporting goods store with a broad selection of clothes specifically designed for rigorous outdoor activity.
- Water shoes or sneakers with a good grip. The shoes you select should stay on your feet and protect you from rocks and sharp objects. Avoid open sandals or flip-flops.
- A rafting helmet
- A heavy-duty water bottle
- Sunglasses with a rugged strap
- High SPF sunscreen
- A bathing suit
- A wet suit
When to Go Whitewater Rafting
The season for whitewater rafting runs from mid-spring to late summer. However, this may vary based on the location you select and the type of rapids you want to experience. In North America, early spring will provide the highest water levels, but the water will also be very cold. Summer is an ideal time as the water will be warmer. However, it is also the busiest season so plan your trip well in advance.
Before you head to the rapids, keep these safety tips handy:
- If you do not know how to swim, take lessons before you embark on your trip. This is crucial in case you fall out of your raft. If you fall out, stay calm.
- Learn how to paddle properly before your trip.
- Never take off your life jacket when you're inside the raft.
- Always wear your rafting helmet.
- Check the weather before your trip and stay abreast of any weather changes.
Make sure you book your trip with a reputable trip operator. Your local sporting goods store may have some suggestions for you. And last but not least, have fun on your trip. Whitewater rafting trips are thrilling adventures that will provide you with a lifetime of memories.
Contact a white water rafting company in your area to learn more.