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What to Wear, and What Not To Wear Whitewater Rafting

Royal Gorge Rafting Group

If you’ve ever contemplated climbing into a raft and hitting the rapids, you absolutely should. Soaring over the waves is a one-of-a-kind experience, whether you’re enjoying a set of easy rapids or you’re tackling something a little more challenging.

However, if you’re not properly dressed to go white water rafting, you might find an otherwise enthralling adventure dampened by the elements. Here are a few tips on what to wear when white water rafting.

Whitewater Rafting Wetsuits

Take the Weather into Account

It’s important to check the forecast before you head to the river. The time of year that you’re white water rafting is the single most important factor when planning your outfit.

Just as with any other activity, the time of year you head out will have an impact on how you dress.  A crisp spring day early in the season might require heavier layers than a trip taken mid-summer. Renting a wetsuit, or bringing your own, might be a good option this time of year.  If in doubt, give us a call – we would be happy to give you some clothing tips.

Pack Your Bathing Suit

It’s always a good idea to pack your bathing suit and wear it underneath the rest of your gear. No matter the weather, you’ll be grateful to have some clothes on that can dry quickly.

Give Thought to Your Footwear

It’s important to wear something that’s designed to stay on your feet and grip well in wet conditions. In warmer weather, a simple pair of sports sandals with a heel strap, some sort of water-shoe, or old tennis shoes should do just fine. In colder weather, it’s smart to wear some close-toed shoes with wool socks to keep your feet as warm as possible.  Most rafting outfitters will have neoprene booties available for rent or for purchase if you don’t have the proper footwear.

Just Say No to Cotton Clothes

Most rafting experts will tell you that cotton clothing has a tendency to get wet and stay wet. That’s why it’s important to wear materials like wool, fleece, polyester, or any waterproof or quick drying fabric.

What to Avoid When Heading to the River

Most white water rafting veterans avoid wearing the following clothes or bringing the following items:

  • Flip-flops, Crocs, high heels, and cowboy boots
  • Heavy clothing like jeans, leather, or cotton sweaters
  • Tight or constrictive clothing that hampers movement
  • Jewelry, keys, smartphones, or wallets

You’re All Set!

A properly planned outfit can make all the difference when you’re headed out on your next white water rafting adventure. If you follow those simple steps — and keep a dry change of clothes back in your car — then there’s no doubt you’re ready to enjoy your next white water rafting adventure.

Royal Gorge Rafting Group