What to Bring on a Whitewater Rafting Trip

What to Bring on a Whitewater Rafting Trip?

Nothing beats the feeling of going on a whitewater rafting trip. Soaring over the high current waves on a raft, bouncing, riding on rapids, and blending into the wilderness is a lifetime experience that everyone should enjoy and live. People who love challenges and adventure should go on a whitewater rafting trip at least once in their life.  

Even if you haven’t gone on a rafting trip, you might still have heard about it at least once. It is an outdoor activity where a group of people uses a rubber raft to ride extreme water. Peddling right and left and vice versa and coordinating with each member, their main aim is to conquer the rapid waves and have a breathtaking and exhilarating adventure in their life. 

Most importantly, experience doesn’t matter. Anyone can do rafting. If you have a professional guide with you, then there is nothing to fear. Just follow his/her instructions and coordinate with each other, and you will be fine. However, what matters most is your clothing. You need to know what to bring on a whitewater rafting trip and what not to bring. 

Right gear helps you to get a better experience on your trip. Otherwise, you can’t be sure what might happen to you. So, preparing fully before going on your expedition is a must. 

So, let’s learn about what to bring on a whitewater rafting trip in detail.

What to bring on a Whitewater rafting trip- Full guide

What gear and clothes you should bring depends on the weather. In summer, light gear is enough to protect you. But, in winter, you need to keep yourself warm, so you don’t suffer from hypothermia. Most importantly, the layering of clothes is crucial, so you need to know about it before going on a rafting trip. Such layering will keep you warm at low temperatures. 

So, let’s get started. 

What to wear?

Layer 1

It is also known as the base layer, and it basically includes swimsuits. You will get wet or swim during your rafting trip. So, swimsuits are very important. But loose ones are a no in your rafting trip. Wear synthetic swimwear that is durable and dries quickly. In such a case, long synthetic swimsuits are best that cover your whole body. For example, leggings.

Layer 2

Layer 2, also known as mid-layer, is essential to keep you warm during cold weather. In summer, nylon shorts and shirts or t-shirts are ok. Don’t worry about being wet in warm weather because everyone likes to swim or play in the water. So, light clothing such as shorts and t-shirts are best. 

However, such light gear won’t help you at all in winter. You need to keep yourself warm, so later you don’t have to face any complicated situations. In such cold weather, wetsuits are perfect. Not only do they cover your whole body, but they keep you warm throughout your rafting trip. 

You can check out Seavenger 3mm Odyssey Wetsuit on Amazon. It is perfect for your rafting trip. It keeps you warm, and most importantly, it is stretchy that doesn’t restrict your movements. Plus, it is comfortable, doesn’t irritate your skin, and easy to put on.

Layer 3

Layer 3 is the final and the outermost layer. For this, you need insulated and waterproof gear that protects you from getting wet and insulates you continuously. Wear a fleece jacket to keep you warm. It works best on your rafting trip. Plus, put on outfits like splash jackets or rain jackets to keep yourself waterproof. 

Many rafters wear these clothes to protect them in winter. So, you should do the same. You can check out Arc’teryx Men’s Beta SL Jacket and Columbia Women’s Arcadia Jacket II Coat on Amazon for waterproof gear. 

However, in summer, you don’t need such layering. The first layer and just the shorts and t-shirts are enough. The temperature will already be high, so you don’t need to insulate yourself. But, in winter, such layering is a must. And remember not to forget the life jacket. 

Now, let’s learn about other important gears you must bring in whitewater rafting.


A strong foothold is very important while rafting so that you don’t slip and fall into the river. You need shoes that give you outstanding balance and grip while rafting. 

Forget about wearing flip-flops on your rafting trip. You need as much protection as possible. So, go for water shoes or sandals with straps.

You can check out the following footwears that are suitable for rafting.


Socks are not that important in summer. Just a pair of shoes is enough. However, in winter, you need to keep yourself cozy, so a pair of socks is essential. Use wool socks or go for waterproof socks. For the waterproof socks, check out Waterproof Breathable Socks on Amazon.


Many rafters wear headgear to protect their head. You might get one when rafting from your guide service or the planner. In winter, headgear is essential. And also in summer, you need one. However, you can also go for a hat. It protects you from the sunlight. Check out Quiksilver Sun Protection Floppy Hat on Amazon. It is excellent for rafting trips.

Water bottle

You always need to keep yourself hydrated. So, take a water bottle on your trip. Or, you can buy water on your way if you prefer. Either you get it on the way or before the trip, a water bottle is essential. Keep yourself energized and drink as much fluids as you can. However, in winter, you might not have to drink more. So, limit yourself. 


In winter, sunscreen isn’t important. But, in summer, you need one. It protects your skin from sunlight. Moreover, it keeps your skin cool. Don’t forget to bring waterproof sunscreen and check SPF. Go for sunscreen above SPF 50 for better protection. For the perfect trip, here is an ideal sunscreen Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Water Resistant Sunscreen.


Another gear that protects you from sunlight in summer is sunglasses. It depends on people to bring sunglasses. Some prefer, and some don’t. Still, get one. It will protect your eyes from the splash of water and harmful UV rays. 

If you are taking sunglasses with you, then go for polarized sunglasses. You can check out the following sunglasses for your rafting trip. 

Waterproof camera

Bring a waterproof camera with you to capture beautiful sceneries. Snap as many photos as possible to keep those memories forever with you. However, don’t start clicking when you are in rapids. You don’t want it to drop in water. Only take it out when your raft is in normal currents. Or, you can bring a waterproof GoPro and attach it to your headgear or shoulder. 

Dry bag

Bring a dry bag on your rafting trip to keep your mobile, camera, sunscreen, etc., with yourself while rafting. You can put your small stuff in it. For that, you can use Earth Pak- Waterproof Dry Bag. It is specially made for rafting, hiking, camping, etc. It keeps your stuff and gears protected. 


Bring a towel with you to keep yourself dry. You don’t want to keep yourself wet for longer. And after a shower, you definitely need one. 


Carry toiletries like your toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, tissue paper, body wipes, etc. You are going to need these. You need to take care of your hygiene as well. 


Most importantly, take extra cash or credit/debit cards with you. You may never know when you need money. Plus, you might need some money for photos and videos from your rafting trip. 

Other additional stuff

Besides these, you might need other extra stuff such as:

  • Extra pair of clothes, footwear, socks to change later 
  • Plastic bags for wet clothes
  • Mobile
  • First-aid
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Lotion, etc.

What not to bring and wear?

There are few things that you shouldn’t bring and wear on your whitewater rafting trip.

  • Jewelry
  • Cotton clothes: It stays wet for a longer time. Moreover, it becomes heavy once it gets wet. 
  • Flip-flops, high heels
  • Clothes like jeans and leather, etc. 

In Conclusion

These are the things that you need to bring on your whitewater rafting trip. Your expedition becomes adventurous and successful when you are fully prepared with the right gear and clothing. Now, all that’s left is to organize a trip and enjoy.  

And if we are missing some gears, let us know in the comment section below. 

So, are you ready for a whitewater rafting trip?

Image Credits: teacherfuller from Pixabay

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