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Whitewater Rafting Vacation? Know What to Bring!

Going whitewater rafting? If you haven’t gone before (and even if you have) it’s easy to forget everything needed to make your rafting vacation a success. Whether you’re going on a one day trip, or you’re planning on a few days of paddling, you want to be sure to have all the essentials covered.

Whitewater Rafting Vacation? Know What to Bring!

When packing for your whitewater rafting trip, you’ll need to travel light. You don’t want to load your raft down with unnecessary items, and you’ll want to have enough room so that you and your raft mates are comfortable while rafting down the Merced River. With that in mind, only bring the essentials. Most rafting tours provide food, drink, and shelter for multi-day trips.

What follows is a checklist of items to take along with you on your rafting vacation.

Gear needed for a rafting trip

  • Proper foot gear – Leave the flip flops at home. Instead bring something more secure that you don’t mind getting wet, for example, an old pair of sneakers or a sturdy pair of hiking sandals or water shoes.
  • Swimwear or shorts and t-shirts – You’re going to get wet, so bring along one to two swimsuits, or a couple of pairs of shorts and t-shirts you don’t mind getting wet. You’ll also want at least one pair of warm dry clothes for night time. Keep at least one set of clothing dry.
  • Waterproof case for phone – It’s probably best to leave the gadgets home. If you’re bringing your cellphone or camera, make sure they’re in waterproof cases. Sunglasses with strap: If you’re wearing sunglasses, or even eye glasses, make sure they have a strap to keep them on your head. You’ll be jostled around in the raft.
  • Sun protection – Bring along sunblock, a hat or visor to keep the sun out of your eyes (preferably one that is strapped securely on your head), and even a long sleeved shirt if you really want to be protected from the elements.
  • Plastic bags or several “dry” bags – You’ll need bags for stowing. Bring along at least three “dry bags.” One for dry clothes you have yet to wear, one for the dirty clothes, and a smaller bag for personal items.
  • Windbreaker – It gets chilly at night, and sometimes during the day too! Bring along a windbreaker or jacket that can get wet. Personal care items: Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, hairbrush and other essential items.

Though you want to travel light, there are a few optional items you can bring. For example, a book to read if you want to relax in the evenings, cash for tips and incidentals (that you will need to secure away in a dry bag), and bug repellent. You really won’t need to bring much as you’re going to be spending your days paddling and enjoying the scenery, and your evenings relaxing. Get the most out of your California whitewater rafting trip. A little care with packing and planning will ensure that you are comfortable on and off of the river.

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