Whitewater rafting is an experience of a lifetime! I’ve never spoken to someone coming off of the river who didn’t have an amazing time. Most people come off the river itching to take another trip. One thing is for certain, if you show up unprepared, it could turn into a negative experience. Like most outdoor activities, there are a number of things that you will need in order to keep your experience positive. I am not the type of person who over prepares for really anything, but for safety sake, and to make sure you have the best experience possible, treat your rafting trip like you are a prepper, gearing up for a zombie apocalypse. I’d much rather see someone show up with a pack full of equipment, than show up the morning of their trip wondering if they should have maybe left the flip flops at home, or something equally lacking in the common sense department. There are a number of things that I would consider necessary to pack before you even leave the house. I have compiled a short list for my readers, so when you do book a trip you have a checklist of sorts to follow.
· Proper footwear (sneakers, water shoes, sandals with straps)
· Sunglasses with some sort of retainer, such as a pair of chums
· Sun Block
· Bug repellent
· Water bottle with a carabiner
· Quick dry shorts or a swim suit
· A synthetic top
· Synthetic long underwear
· Wet suit (which you can rent from us)
· Wind proof/water proof jacket or poncho
· A set of dry, comfy clothes to change into after the trip
· Waterproof camera
· Thin hat
You will also need to have a helmet, life vest, and paddle, which are all provided by Northeast Whitewater. All of the above items are available for purchase in our shop, and can be purchased prior to your trip.
Not only did I want to give you a list of things you should bring, but also, a few things you should leave behind. Again, use some common sense. You are going to be on a rushing river all day long, so it probably isn’t going to be a good idea to take your cell phone and wallet along with you for the ride. We have a key box at our base where you can keep your keys, so keep your valuables locked up in your car, and leave your car keys with the office person. To keep things simple, just don’t bring anything of value along with you; you aren’t going to need any of these things anyway! I know some of you would rather leave your right arm behind than detach from your cell phone, but give it a try! You might actually get a chance to enjoy your surroundings, instead of checking your Facebook page every 3 minutes.
Some of these items obviously only apply when certain weather conditions deem them necessary. A wet suit is not something you are going to need in late July when it is 90 degrees and rising, unless of course you’re like me, and get chilled as soon as your big toe touches the water. Nor will you need a poncho or waterproof jacket when there isn’t a cloud to be seen in the sky. Use some common sense when packing for your trip, but as I said, better to be over prepared than to be caught in a situation mirroring my test taking days back in college. I hope this helps you as you prepare for an experience you will not soon forget, I hope to see you on the river, and soon!