Going Rafting? Tips for your Trip . . .

So you’ve planned a rafting adventure, but you’re uncertain about what to wear to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable trip.  We can help.  

Rafters stopped for lunch and watching the action

Here’s a list of necessities and comfort items that you should think about bringing, depending upon the season.

Appropriate Clothing

In the summer, this means wearing swimming trunks or a bathing suit.  It’s fine to wear cotton fabrics at this time of year, but some synthetic fabrics are actually much cooler and comfortable when wet.

When rafting in the spring or fall, think about renting a wetsuit if you don’t have one. Synthetic materials, such as those found in polar fleece or even a wool sweater, will serve to help keep you comfortable. Cotton is to be avoided due to its inability to dry quickly or help retain body heat. Also, a water proof rain jacket can mean the difference between being comfortable or cold. Most outfitters also rent these if you don’t have one.


Anything from your old lawn mowing tennis shoes to a slip-on water shoe will work, but try to avoid flip flops or sandals that don’t have a heel strap.  Trust us, you’ll lose these on the river.

You can combat colder water with a neoprene bootie or a thick pair of wool or synthetic socks with your shoes or sandals.

Other tips:

Wear sunscreen, even if the weather is going to be cool.
Sunglasses should be secured with a strap; otherwise there’s a good chance you’ll lose them in the river.
A hat  is always a good idea.  In colder months, a synthetic beanie is your best bet.
In cold weather, gloves are a must.  Look for a thin synthetic or neoprene pair.
If you have longer hair, you’ll most likely want to pull it back while rafting.

Most guides have a dry bag or box where you can store items, such as the rain jacket or an extra synthetic shirt.. Also, don’t forget to bring any necessary medications and mention any pertinent medical conditions (no matter how minor they may seem to you) to your Trip Leader and your specific guide.

What else should you bring?  An enthusiastic attitude and the idea that you will enjoy yourself. Our whitewater is some of the best in the country and no matter what stretch of which river you are on, it all flows through some beautiful scenery.

So don’t forget to look up from the water every now and then and enjoy this part of West Virginia.

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