Will I Get Wet On My Rafting Trip? And Other Common QuestionsJune 29, 2011
Going on an outdoor adventure can cause some anxiousness. That’s especially the case if you’re trying something new or are elected to be the one in charge of planning. For many of us whitewater rafting is old-hand, but if you’re new to the sport, you probably have questions . . . a lot of them. So here’s a little Q & A that can help you navigate the waters:
Will I get wet on my rafting trip?
We start out with this one since we get it so often, believe it or not. The answer is yes. Most trips offer chances to swim in calmer areas, so getting wet is part of the fun. You’ll also get splashed in larger rapids and possibly by other patrons.
What are the age limits?
The rivers in Southern West Virginia have some easier sections and some that are perfect for thrill-seekers. Because of the way the rivers are broken up there are trips with minimum ages 6, 12, and 16 and up.
What should we wear?
Your wardrobe for the day should always be geared toward the water and air temperatures. For spring and late fall trips, rent a wet suit from your rafting company and stay away from cotton. In summer, a swimming suit, shorts and a t-shirt are fine. Also remember to wear shoes that will stay on your feet, sandals with straps, water shoes or light weight tennis shoes will work just fine. No flip flops or you may be coming back barefoot. Don’t forget the sunscreen and if you wear glasses be sure and bring a strap to tighten them on. PDF’s (personal flotation devices) and helmets will be provided by your whitewater rafting outfitter.
What are the chances I’ll fall out?
This is a tough one. While the object is to stay in the raft, some people love getting to “swim”. Much of your training will cover what to do if this happens. As long as you pay attention to your guide, your swimming episode (IF you have one) will probably turn into something you’ll love telling your friends about.
What do the rapid classes mean?
Classes are a way to rank the rapids from easy to harder to navigate. Class I is a small, easy rapid and Class V rapids are big, adrenaline inducing and require a good navigator – it can get a little crazy but it’s always fun. Class III and up will definitely get your heart pumping!
Have any other rafting questions for us?
We’ll see you on the river.