Experiencing a guided whitewater rafting trip can be one of the most exciting thrill rides you’ll ever take. But, to ensure that you’ll have a trip that exceeds your expectations it’s important to prepare yourself ahead of time. Whether you’re planning a raft trip that is just for the day or for a week there are few things to keep in mind that will keep you safe, comfortable, and having a great time.

High Desert River Outfitters have been providing full service guided rafting trips for almost 30 years and we believe that our success is due in large part to our commitment to provide our guests with the knowledge and know-how to prepare them for a trip of a lifetime they’ll be talking about for years.

If this is your first whitewater rafting experience you will have many questions about what to expect and what you’ll need to bring with you on your trip. So, to help you with your planning here are a few things to keep in mind that will ensure that your trip is a fun and memorable one!

Everyone can go whitewater rafting. Although, there are certain expectations every outfitter and guide have about the people they’ll safely be taking down the river. There isn’t necessarily an age limit on who can go rafting, but safety regulations do require that all children weigh at least 45 pounds and can fit properly into a Type V U.S. Coast Guard approved life vest.

Whitewater rafting is considered an ‘extreme sport’ much like skiing, snowboarding, and mountain biking. You should be physically able body to participate in a mildly strenuous activity, but you don’t have to be a ‘world class athlete’ or ‘daredevil’ to have a good time.

The type of clothing and footwear you choose for your rafting trip can be the difference between miserable and memorable. Your first layer of protection should always be the application of sunscreen that is at least 30 SPF. Even on relatively cloudy days the UV rays can still penetrate the cloud cover and burn you before you realize it.

Your first layer of clothing should be some type of bathing suit. You will get wet and a your swimsuit will be a lot more comfortable than that old pair of comfy jeans. For women, we recommend a second layer on the bottom to protect your bottom while sitting on the raft. A pair of comfortable trunks or shorts designed specifically to get wet and dry quickly are your best choices.

Shirts and top layers should be made out of synthetic material. DO NOT WEAR COTTON. Cotton feels amazing after the trip when it is dry and warm, but when it is wet you will just be cold and damp. Synthetic materials dry quickly keeping you warmer and more comfortable.

Footwear should be appropriate for getting wet and protecting your feet when walking around the boat ramps and loading in and out of rafts. Sandals with straps or water shoes that lace, velcro, or slip on are recommended.

Wearing a hat or visor is recommended if the forecast is for clear and sunny skies, as well as, a pair of sunglasses. However, if your sunglasses are very expensive, prescription, or have sentimental value you will definitely want to get yourself a leash for them.

Bring a water bottle. It’s important to stay hydrated when you are on the river and the sun is beating down on you all day. Although the splashing of water from the rapids is refreshing and cools you off it’s easy to forget that you are actually dehydrating on the inside.

After an exciting day of hitting rapids and swimming in the river nothing feels better than slipping into warm dry clothes after the trip. Now you can break out those comfy jeans, cotton t-shirt, and tennis shoes for the ride home. Not a bad idea to throw in some snack foods to hold you over until you get home.

By preparing ahead of time for a fun day on the river you’ll ensure that you will be comfortable and safe. Check out a complete checklist of items to bring with you on your rafting trip.

We look forward to seeing you this summer!