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What to wear white water rafting

What to wear white water rafting

As I prepped for my first ever white water rafting trip at Adventures on the Gorge in West Virginia, I questioned repeatedly what I should wear.

I didn’t know what I didn’t know about white water rafting. I may not have many trips under my belt, so I won’t be giving any advice for catching the best rapids.

However, I do feel confident in telling you what to wear white water rafting.

What to wear white water rafting

Prepare to be wet to some degree while white water rafting

I know this seems like a no brainer statement, but you will get wet when you raft, even if you don’t fall out of the boat. I don’t know why I didn’t realize that. I figured I would only get wet if I feel out of the raft, silly me.

With waves that go up over the top of you, I quickly realized on the first rapid that I would indeed get wet. Now, I choose not to get out of the raft and swim in the calmer areas of the New River Gorge like some of the other guests, so I was not soaked from head to toe.

Here is what I wore white water rafting:

I had my bathing suit under shorts that were quick drying, a short sleeved shirt and water shoes.
We were advised to wear a shirt to cut down on the rubbing that can happen with life jacket, the water shoes are well, so your feet don’t have to come into contact with the unknowns of the river.

What I would wear on my next white water rafting trip:

My bathing suit was kind of bulk and stuffing them into shorts made it uncomfortable. Since everything that I had on was quick drying I would forgo the extra layer of a bathing suit.

  • Quick drying shorts
  • Quick drying shirt
  • Water shoes
  • Go Pro ( if you have one, they are nice to have because there were so many times I wanted to pull out my cell phone and snap a picture, but of course I didn’t have it on me)
  • Sunscreen (we love bullfrog because it is a bug spray sunscreen combo)
  • Bug Spray
  • Chums for your glasses (or anything that will hold your glasses on, prescription or otherwise)
  • Dry Clothes ( you can leave these in your bus if you know you will be taking the same one back)
  • A water bottle ( I had a water bottle with a carabiner that I clipped in to the boat, just in case we flipped over)

My time white water rafting in West Virginia was an extremely fun experience. I will be the first one to tell you that I was a big old chicken prior to the start of the trip. However, with the expert guidance of a rafting guide that I felt completely comfortable with, I was ok with going on the trip. Once I got one or two rapids under my belt, I was ready for more, and enjoyed the lulls of calm in between the excitement of the rapids.

But, having the right gear for the trip, might just be the most important part.


Wondering what you should wear white water rafting? We've got the scoop on the best things to wear white water rafting! #whitewaterrafting #adventure #familyvacation