What to Wear For Whitewater Rafting

It is a fact that whitewater rafting is fun and a great way to get exercise. But there is more to it than just a simple trip down the river. There are certain safety steps that need to be taken, and there are certain things to bring along. Here are some of the things to know when you head out on your next whitewater rafting adventure.








a young man in a rafting outfitWhen taking a whitewater rafting trip, you should always have your emergency preparedness. This includes having the correct clothing and other items.

Some things to remember are that you should always wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water.

Whitewater Rafting

One thing to keep in mind when you take a whitewater rafting trip is to always wear proper clothing. Whether it is shorts or pants, or a vest, you should be covered so that you can be protected from cuts and abrasions.

Also, you need to choose the right swimwear. In other words, you need to make sure that you wear a one-piece swimming suit instead of a swimsuit that has multiple pieces. This is for two reasons. First, when you are in the water, it is hard to tell if something is wrong or not because you are wearing a one-piece swimsuit.

Swimsuits can get caught in trees, rocks, and other obstacles. Second, when you get wet, they can be very uncomfortable because of the added weight that they must carry. Therefore, when you are going on your whitewater rafting trip, choose a one-piece swimsuit that fits properly and provides ample coverage from all angles.

Another thing to know about your white water rafting trip is to have a lot of sunscreen on hand. Especially if you are going at night; while it may seem silly to bring lots of sunscreen with you, the sun is very strong when you are in the water, and even the tiniest amount of it can actually dry out your skin. So when it’s hot, you need to bring lots of sunscreen.

Rafting Clothes

When you are taking part in any water sports, it’s good to wear some form of protection from the sun. Some of these sports include scuba diving and kayaking. Therefore, when you are whitewater rafting, it is best to wear long-sleeved shirts with lots of pockets and lots of light clothing to allow you to stay warm. and dry off-the-chilly. When you are in the sun, make sure you wear sunscreen, too.

young people rafting

Finally, if you are going on a whitewater rafting trip with friends, you will need to have a water rafting guide to help you out. The best way to find out about the areas that are the most dangerous is to ask a professional whitewater rafting guide, and this is probably the best investment you will ever make.

Rafting Trip

So now you know what to wear for whitewater rafting. But what you will also want to do is make sure that you are prepared for the worst and prepare yourself for any emergency situation that might occur during your whitewater rafting trip.

Always have plenty of water, sunblock, and some form of protection for your skin before you head out on your whitewater rafting trip. Also, keep a flashlight with you and an extra pair of goggles. If you are going at night, wear a flotation device in case there is a problem or if you come across something underwater that could become stuck in your raft.

Also, make sure that you are prepared for any unexpected situations and accidents that may occur. If you find something underwater, try to get it out as quickly as possible. If there are rocks or obstacles, try and stay calm.

Hopefully, by now, you have gained a better understanding of what to wear for whitewater rafting. Hopefully, you have also gained a new appreciation for the dangers of whitewater rafting.


Well, there you have it, folks! Gearing up for a whitewater rafting trip doesn’t have to feel like trying to paddle up a rapid. It’s about mixing comfort and practicality, so whether you’re hitting the river in the height of summer or the chill of spring and fall, you’ll be as snug as a bug in a rug. From the essential wetsuit to keep you warm, the splash jacket for that extra layer, to the much-needed river shoes with heel straps that won’t fall off, every piece of gear plays its part.

gear for rafting

Remember, you’ll want to wear rafting clothes that dry quickly and are comfortable to wear – think polyester and neoprene.

Cotton’s a no-no; it’s like trying to dry a wet dog; it just takes forever!

And don’t forget the dry bag, it’s as essential as the paddle in your hand. It’s the best thing since sliced bread for keeping your personal items and enjoying an extra set of clothes bone-dry.

Take heed of your river guide’s advice on what to bring and wear; they’ve been down this river trip more times than a duck in water. It’s all about the right gear, and depending on the time of year that you’re going, a wetsuit or a simple splash top might just be your ticket to a comfortable ride.

So, whether you’re a seasoned rafter or a newbie on your first whitewater rafting trip, don’t sweat the small stuff. Follow this guide, and you’ll be as prepared as a boy scout. So, strap on that PFD, grab your paddle, and let the rafting adventure begin. Remember, half the fun of white water rafting is getting wet and riding the rapids, but staying warm and safe is the secret ingredient to fully enjoying this thrilling outdoor sport!

People Also Ask

What should I wear for whitewater rafting?

outfit for whitewater river rafting

That’s the million-dollar question! The answer is as changeable as the river itself. It depends on the weather and water temperature. A wetsuit, water shoes, and a splash top are often recommended.

Remember, comfort is key, so wear something that allows you to move freely and stay warm.

Do I need to bring a change of clothes?

Absolutely, mate! After a day of battling rapids and getting soaked, you’ll be as happy as a clam to change into dry clothes. Don’t forget to pack them in a waterproof dry bag to keep them, well, dry!

Can I wear my regular tennis shoes for rafting?

As much as you love those old faithful, they may not be the best fit for a whitewater rafting trip. Wear shoes or booties with heel straps are the bees’ knees for this sort of adventure. They’ll stay on your feet, even if you decide to take an unplanned dip!

Why can’t I wear cotton clothes?

Cotton and water go together like oil and vinegar – they just don’t mix well. When cotton gets wet, it stays wet for a long time, and it won’t keep you warm. Quick-drying materials like polyester are a much better bet.

What items should I bring for a day of rafting?

Apart from your adventurous spirit, there are a few practical things you’ll need. A bathing suit, PFDs, a dry bag for your personal items, an extra set of clothes, and, of course, a pair of sturdy river shoes. Your outfitter will guide you on the specific gear you’ll need based on the river and the time of year.

Are wetsuits required for all whitewater rafting trips?

Not always. It really depends on the water temperature and the class of the rapids. For colder days or more intense classes iii – v rapids, wetsuits, and splash jackets might be a necessity. When in doubt, your river guide is your best source of information. They’ll steer you right, just like they steer the raft!


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