The Essential River Rafting Guide: What To Bring And What To Expect

If you like going on adventures, river rafting is both exciting and a good physical workout. It will teach you to work together with with others to have an awesome experience. Once you go on your first rafting expedition, you will definitely come back for more. Packing the right equipment will make sure you will enjoy your rafting adventure.


You will definitely be getting wet, so a swimsuit should be at the top of your list. A good pair of comfortable waterproof shoes are also needed since you will be hiking some of the time. A spare set of dry clothes are a requirement for an overnight adventure. These should be kept in a waterproof bag so that they stay dry. An extra bag should be brought along to keep wet clothes separate from your dry ones.

Water and Snacks

Bringing a large bottle of water is essential on your river adventure. Keeping hydrated is necessary while on your expedition. Rafting also burns a lot of calories so bringing some good quality energy bars that will keep you going.


A good sunscreen is required so you will not get sunburned. This is very uncomfortable and you will be miserable and not be able to enjoy your activities. A good moisturizing lotion should be packed so your skin doesn’t dry out. Wet wipes and toiletry items should also be packed for unexpected pit stops.


A good pair of sunglasses is a great item to have along. This will cut down on the glare and help you see what’s ahead in the river better. Taking a flashlight will help once it gets dark and camp is set up. A life jacket and other safety equipment should be provided by the agency where you get the raft.

Learning the Language

You will need to know what the commands are for proper control of the raft. You will need to know which way to lean and be prepared for crashes into rocks. Controlling the raft is a team effort and you will be required to paddle when it is needed.

Getting Wet

You will definitely get wet when you go river rafting. It’s even possible you will get ejected into the river. If this happens, swim all the way to the shore using the current. Do not try swimming against the current, it is very strong and will wear you out quickly.

Be Prepared to Help Carry the Raft

There will be obstructions in the river at times due to trees falling across the river and other debris. The raft will need taken out of the river and carried to a new launch area. Carrying the boat through brush isn’t easy and will require the whole crew to help carry it.

Going river rafting is a great time to meet new people. Come prepared and you will have a great time letting the river take you where it wants you to go. This is an adventure that will keep you coming back for more. Always wear your life jacket and listen to the one in charge of the boat. They have a lot of experience and they are there to keep you safe while showing you how to have a good time.

This article, Colorado’s top vacation destinations this summer, was written by Ryan Thomas for Rocky Mountain Whitewater Rafting. Rocky Mountain Whitewater Rafting has guided thousands of whitewater rafting trips on Clear Creek and throughout Colorado.

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