Specific whitewater rafting gear is needed to ensure a fun and safe experience. Your outfitter will provide you with some equipment such as a raft, oars and a first aid kit, but ask before arriving to your rafting destination. Your rafting outfitter will give you an entire list of items that will not be provided by the rafting operator. The list you receive will have items such as life vests, helmets, coolers and more.
Choose a water sport helmet that has an adjustable chin strap to keep it in place. Your helmet should be free of cracks and should have a foam inserts for added protection.
There are several variations of a life vest, and your outfitter will let you know if it is something they will provide. In case they don't, be sure to purchase a proper fitting life vest, even if you are a strong swimmer. The straps on the vests will vary, as well as, whether or not it will have a strap that attaches underneath the legs.
Old sneakers are more than ample for your whitewater rafting trip. Converse sneakers are a good choice, if you already have a pair. Sneakers will not fall off if the ride gets rough. You can where sandals, but it does not offer enough support or protection and can come off if you fall in the water. If you wear sandals, be certain that it has straps and around the ankle and across the tops of your feet.
First aid kid
You should carry a first aid kid on your raft, and this is another item your outfitter can supply. Even if they have a proper first aid kit, carry a zip lock bag with a few bandages, Band Aids, cleansing pads and some ointment.
Your clothing is what keeps you from overheating or going into hypothermia. Items in cotton are OK, but they will not keep you warm once wet. Cotton clothing offers no protection from the cold. Opt for wicking materials, which keeps the moisture away from your skin. Be certain to get the air and water temperatures from your outfitter before getting to the site. They may recommend long pants and long sleeves, or even a wetsuit, because of the weather.
Although water is all around you, it's still important to stay hydrated. There are several types of water containers available to keep your water fresh and cool. Personal bottles with sports lids are good for your person, but water containers are available to hold several gallons of water for the entire group.
There are several types of coolers so you'll have to decide which best fits your needs. Some offer food trays, separate compartments for drinks and have hard or soft outer shells. Choose a size that is big enough for your needs.
Be sure to pack foods in Ziploc bags. Although the cooler shuts tight, your food will be protected and you can use the locks for any trash you have left. Besides storing your foods, place your valuable items like cash or your wallet in a baggie. You don't want these items to be ruined by the water.
Lisa M. White
Copyright ©2011 CPT Lisa M. White™. All rights reserved.