It can be very fun whitewater rafting, but if you don’t have the proper clothing, technique, equipment, or gear, it can be miserable — or unsafe.
Here’s a list of the things you need to have for a successful day on the water:
Know how to swim
It’s best to know how to swim if you’re going white water rafting. Yes, you will be wearing a life jacket, but it’s still a wise idea to be proficient in aquatics.
If you don’t know how to swim, at least be comfortable with being in water — especially cold water.
If you fall out of the boat, listen to your instructor. If you cannot hear them, then you have two options:
- One, have your stomach facing down and point in the direction you want to go. Swim until you reach the shore.
- Two, float on your back with your feet facing down river. Bend your knees and use your hands to guide you. Don’t stand up in a river because the under current could sweep you off your feet (not in a romantic way).
Wear the proper gear
- Life jacket (PFD). Your Personal Flotation Device should be worn at all times.
- Helmet. Rocks or other river debris could really hurt if you fall overboard.
- Full-covering swimsuit. It’s best for women to wear a one-piece.
- Sunscreen. Even if it’s overcast, you can get sunburnt.
RELATED: Best places for whitewater rafting in the Smoky Mountains
Know what do if you fall out of the boat
The best thing for you to do is to follow the instruction of your guide.
Reach out for the cord that wraps the boat and hold on until your guide gives further instructions.
If you can’t hear them or you’re too far from the boat, then don’t panic and assume the position of floating on your back or swimming to shore (stated above).
Know what to do if someone else falls out of the boat
If someone else falls out of the raft, listen to the instruction of your guide.
If you aren’t able to hear them or they did not see your riding buddy fall out, encourage them to grab the cord that wraps around the boat.
If they cannot reach the cord, use your paddle to pull them closer to the raft.
If neither of these work, remind them to lay on their back to float.
It’s unsafe and hard for your guide and others in the raft to help. If you fall in, don’t fret. Instead, do your best to stay calm.
Bring a GoPro or other camera
It’s always fun to document adventures with photos and videos. Bring a camera to catch all the fun moments!
RELATED: Whitewater Rafting near Maggie Valley
We represent and offer vacation cabin rentals in three Western North Carolina communities: Eagles Nest, Laurel Heights, and Ridgewood Estates. Browse and select a luxurious cabin for one or many people in or near Waynesville and Maggie Valley. Our office is located in the heart of the Smoky Mountains between Asheville and Cherokee.