What to Wear River Rafting in Moab, Utah
You’re riding the river under the perfect blue sky. It’s as good as life gets! But, only if you’ve made a few basic preparations, like taking the kinds of clothes and other river gear you need to bring. That can be the difference between a beautiful day of white water rafting at Moab and an uncomfortable, shivering and/or sunburned episode. So, good job doing your research by reading this information on what to wear rafting. Way to prepare for a great time out on the river!
Whitewater Rafting Clothing Basics
You’ll need to prioritize safety and comfort in choosing which clothes to wear for whitewater rafting. Bring layers of clothing to stay dry and warm. Choose the fast-drying wool-based fabric or synthetics like nylon or polyester, not cotton. To be sure you have everything you need to make the most of your time on the water in warm or cold conditions, use this river rafting gear checklist:
Warm Weather Rafting Clothes
On rafting trips in water of 70°F or above, there’s little risk of hypothermia from prolonged exposure to river water, rain, and wet clothing in the outdoor air.
|Bottom and Mid Layer:
|Wear a swimsuit and a fast-drying top and shorts, leggings, or lightweight pants to protect your skin from direct sun and to avoid having just a swimsuit against the rubber raft and the direct sun.
|Bring a summer rain jacket in case of rain.
|Change of Clothes:
|Bring dry clothes so you can change after you’re back on the river bank.
Cold Weather Rafting Clothes
On rafting trips in water under 70°F, staying cold for too long from being drenched by cold rain or river water can lead to hypothermia or other severe health effects.
|Bottom and Mid Layer:
|Wear rain pants, or better, wear splash pants, which seal around the ankles to help you stay dry. They’re great for layering over shorts when the weather changes.
|A water shirt, rain jacket, or a paddle jacket (which is most effective for keeping dry in wet conditions).
|Wearing a wetsuit and wetsuit booties allows a thin film of water inside the suit and in the booties. That water becomes warm and helps keep you warm. Wear an underlayer like shorts or leggings of fabric that won’t ride up or bunch up inside the suit.
|Like wetsuits, dry suits are made for protection against cold in wet conditions. But, unlike wetsuits, dry suits are sealed around the neck, wrists, and ankles to keep water out, and people normally wear one or more layers of clothing under the dry suit.
|Paddle gloves help hands and arms stay warm in cold, wet environments. They also provide the additional benefit of protecting your hands from blistering due to friction from paddling.
All Weather River Rafting Items You Need
So, now you’ve got your river rafting clothes ready for a warm or cold day on the water. But, whatever the weather may be during your river rafting experience, here are some important items you need to bring with you.
|Polarized sunglasses help reduce reflection and glare coming off the river. A retaining strap is essential for wearing glasses on the river. Get one that secures firmly to your sunglasses and floats if it drops in the water.
|Wear a paddling hat or other hat with a chin strap to keep your hat secure. If you wear a baseball cap, test to be sure it can be adjusted tightly enough to keep it in place. Whichever kind of hat you choose, just be sure it can be kept from blowing away in the breeze or washing away in a wave that sprays over the raft. If you’re wearing a helmet, adding a cap visor helps with sun protection.
|Wear durable, supportive water shoes for walking in a rocky unstable river bed, or wear water sandals that have heel straps to secure them on your feet. Or, you can just wear a pair of old athletic shoes that you don’t mind using in the water. In cold weather, wear wool socks under your sandals or shoes.
|If you choose tops and bottoms with pockets, zippers are an ideal way to secure the essentials, such as a whistle, car keys, credit card, etc. This is the surest way to avoid having these items end up in the water and lost forever.
|Bring a waterproof bag for your extra clothing layers, snacks, etc. Also, bring a waterproof case for your phone, car fob, etc. Don’t forget to bring high-SPF sunblock.
River Rafting Safety Gear
Here are some additional items you will need to have with you during your river rafting excursion. If you have a professional white water rafting guide, some or most of these items might be provided for your group:
|Personal Flotation Device (PFD)
|Even shallow slow currents can be a safety risk. So, be sure you have your life jacket on at all times while you are on the river. Your PFD should fit snugly and be adjusted to stay on well. Plus, of course, you’ll need a personal flotation device (PFD) that is Coast Guard Approved.
|Wearing a paddling helmet is a must for any whitewater river rafting trip for adults and children alike. On professionally guided rafting tours, your guides will probably provide a selection of helmets for you, but, when in doubt, ask in advance.
|Protect yourself from the intense sun with a hat and sunglasses, and high SPF sunscreen. Even during cloud cover, you are well advised to shield your skin. Consider a rashguard (a.k.a swim shirt), for sun protection and other great benefits mentioned.
|First Aid Kit and Whistle
|Be sure that your group is taking at least one well-supplied first aid kit and an emergency whistle or other fool-proof loud noise maker to communicate in loud rapids if necessary.
You’re Ready for the River!
You’ve got your river rafting gear ready to go. Now you just need a reservation with the Moab area’s only licensed river rafting guide service. This is the way to pack the most excitement and fun into your Moab whitewater rafting experience. Whether you’re out for an afternoon of family fun or a multiple-day rafting adventure, we make it the most fun and the safest experience you can have on the water at Moab!
To reserve your river rafting dates at Moab, call Red River Rafting Tours at (435) 259-4046, or contact us here on our website anytime!
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