You may learn about the thrill and joy of taking a whitewater rafting trip before and want to experience it by yourself. Be aware that the trip can be dangerous, especially if you show up unprepared for what lies ahead. Before you can the adrenaline rush you wish for, stay safe first with the following tips:
Bring The Clothing Gear
Clothing gear you need to bring to a rafting trip including those to wear while on the river and after the trip is over. Plus, there are several items you need to take in the raft also.
Firstly you need to be prepared to get soaked. And well, you will get wet – that is part of the fun so you do not really need waterproof clothing. However, gym shorts or water-resistant shorts are recommended. Bring along water-friendly shoes also (no flip-flops pleas):– they should be sturdy enough.
When you get wet, you will want your clothing gear to dry off as quickly as possible. As a result, you can wear bathing suit or synthetic clothing. Make sure that you avoid cotton clothing.
If the weather is cold, you can wear a long sleeve shirt, synthetic or wool socks, windproof and waterproof pants and jacket. A change of clothes and a towel are necessary when you set your feet on land again.
A hat with brim and a pair of sunglasses (with retainer strap) will come in handy in sunny weather. But you will most likely need to wear a helmet instead.
Lifejacket: even if you are a great swimmer, having a lifejacket on all the time does not hurt. It will keep you afloat in dangerous situations. Always check and tighten the jacket so that the straps will not lose.
Other things you need to bring are:
A waterproof bag: obviously you need it to keep your belongings
Water bottle: It is essential to stay hydrated all the time
Snacks: if they are not provided during your trip
Medication: if any
Sunscreen: do not rake this lightly because you can get sunburn much easier and quicker than you think. Even a small tube (with a high SPF) is enough to keep you rafting experience enjoyable; or else, the sun can burn your skin.
Camera: if you want to keep the memories, it is fine but make sure the camera is waterproof and secure.
So what you should not wear or bring to the raft: leave jewelry and cash behind because they can get lost or wet.
Pick The Right Rapids For You
Rapids are classified on a scale of 1-6 in terms of increasing difficulty. When you are a beginner, the rule of thumb is to start slowly. Get familiar with whitewater rafting with slow currents and low waves in level I and II first.
This is an adventure sport that involves lots of risk; therefore do not put yourself in danger and choose the highest level from the start. Are you sure you can withstand large, frequent waves and deadly waterfall? You need to know what you get yourself into and bring proper safety equipment with you on the trip.
Get A Guide
When you first start out, it is advised to hire a guide. Granted, you may handle well on your own if you just slowly float down a river with no strong current or wave; however, you never know what may happen. A guide is the person who will lead you out of danger, help you get out of the water and lead you on the right way for safety.
Listen to your guide and follow the instruction because your guide knows that he or she is doing.
By being co-operative here, we do not mean that you listen to your guide only. Having good teamwork is the key for a safe and comfortable trip. Everyone, including you, need to stay in sync and paddle together to make the raft move smoothly.
Understand How To Keep The Balance
It is simple: if you do not keep your balance well, you can fall into water anytime.
Depending on your sitting location, you can tuck your front foot in the foot hold or under the air tube; however make sure your foot is not trapped. When you sit of the raft, choose the outer rim if possible. And when you feel insecure, just try to stick your paddle in the water to get an extra bracing point.