A rafting trip only enjoyable if you arrive prepared for the day (or week) ahead. Accidentally leaving something at home, while permissible for hiking and biking trips, can make or break your day. Cold water, high speeds, and long trips necessitate a well-packed and planned outfit and drybag. Below, I have listed a few items which prove to be absolutely essential while out on the river.
What to wear–Avoid cotton at all costs; it gets incredibly cold when wet and does not dry very efficiently. If possible, opt for a wetsuit. If not, wear a windproof and waterproof jacket, waterproof pants, and water shoes. If you don’t have the option of renting or purchasing water shoes, opt for synthetic or wool socks. Wear a bathing suit under your gear.
Your footwear should be very sturdy–sandals with straps, wetsuit boots, water shoes, or sneakers are all perfectly safe options. Additionally, be sure to wear a hat with a brim (to limit sun exposure), sunglasses with a retainer strap, and sunscreen.
What to bring–In your dry bag, you should pack additional sunscreen, a minimal first aid kid, and snacks, such as granola bars or fruit. Be sure to bring a water bottle but avoid putting it in your drybag. Instead, try to find a water bottle with a carabiner–this will allow you to attach it directly to the raft.