River Shoes Versus Trip Type
The optimal shoe or sandal for a river trip is influenced by the type of trip and location of the trip. One and two day trips have different concerns than week long trips. The environment also impacts you choice of footwear.
Shorter Trips: Shorter 1 and 2-day trips typically have many more rapids per mile. This means feet tend to stay wet the entire day and trips are more likely to use paddle rafts. For these types of trips shoes work best.
Paddle raft trip: When paddling in a raft it is nice to have closed toed shoes to stuff under a thwart. On the flip side oar trips lend themselves to being nicer in sandals
Cool Weather Trips: Shorter trips are also more likely to be early in the season when the weather and water is cooler. Wear shoes with wool socks or neoprene socks keeps feet and therefore bodies warmer.
Desert Rivers: Foot rot and fungus can be a problem. Sandals allow feet to stay drier providing worse habitat for those nasty little creatures.
Leave The Cotton At Home
The most important rule to remember about layering for spring river trips is no cotton, down to socks and underwear. Cotton is a negative insulator. This means it absorbs heat, cooling you further. Since the key at this time in the season is to avoid losing heat, cotton should be left at home.
Choose materials that will help insulate and keep the body warm even when wet. For that, look at wool or synthetic fabrics like polyester, capilene or fleece.
Another thing to remember is the body can cool down a lot easier than it can warm back up, so dressing for warmth on spring whitewater trips is key. Heres how to do it right
Is Ocoee Rafting Safe
The Ocoee Adventure Center staff will do everything possible to provide you with a trouble-free river experience. The safety of our guests is the foremost concern of our staff. The sport of whitewater rafting has inherent risks that are beyond human control and must be assumed by the participant. All participants are required to sign a waiver of liability/assumption of risk document. Each group will receive at least 2 safety briefings to make sure everyone is comfortable before putting on the river.
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Big Question What Should You Wear On Your White Water Rafting Trip
Picture this with me youve booked a trip of a lifetimea white water trip in fact, on the mighty rivers of Utah, Colorado, or Idaho. Now youve got to figure out what to wear when rafting. Youre going to want to pack light and for a mix of weather. Itll be hot, but it could get cold. It also might rain, the weather in the remote southwestern wilderness can be unpredictable. But with a little planning, the packing will be no problem. Bring a quick-drying cover up like asarong orsun shirt to protect yourself from the sun.
Speaking of sun, make sure you bring a hatto give you some relief from its unforgiving rays. Youll also want to take 1 or 2 pairs of quick-drying shorts andt-shirts. Even if you dont plan to swim in the river, theres a good chance youll get wet while rafting.
What Shoes Should You Avoid To Wear When Going For White River Rafting
There are some footwear choices that you should completely avoid when going for adventurous rafting tours.
Some of the shoes types that you should stay away are as follows.
1. Common Flip-flops: Avoid wearing flip-flops or general use sandals for these tours.
They easily come off your feet when they are exposed to high water currents.
Even Crocs footwear are not good options when you go out for these tours.
They easily slide on slippery grounds and you really dont want to have any accidental slips or slip injuries for sure.
2. High Heels: Avoid using high heels or any other open toe shoes.
These types of footwear types expose your toes and other foot parts.
Your feet have high chances of getting injuries due to poor foot stability and support when you raft in high current rivers.
You definitely need the shoes that are more stable and highly supportive in nature.
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What To Bring Whitewater Rafting
Welcome! We are so excited for you to come and experience one of our amazing river trips! We want everyone to be prepared and know what to expect. Here are some tips on What to Bring, and What NOT to Bring on your white water rafting trip with Raft California!
Raft California will provide the following gear/items for all our rafting trips:
Top Brands Of River Shoes
With so many brands to choose from, which is the best? That will really come down to personal preference. Each brand has its own materials, style and fit. Ill highlight the best of each company and some cons, but note that those are person dependent.
This is list is by no way inclusive of all brands. However, I have highlighted the tops brands for the best water shoes for kayaking, white water rafting, waterfall rappelling and more.
Keen Water Shoes
Keen Sandals are incredibly popular and one of the first brands mentioned when discussing water based activities. They are a comfortable and functional shoe for white water rafting, kayaking, fishing and canoeing. They are a good combination of sandal and shoe and is one of the few to provide toe protection.
Customers love Keens for their traction and grip, even when wet. The laces provide a customized fit and Keens work well whether you are in the water or along the shore.
One item to note, youll need to order a 1/2 size larger. There is a nice arch deign, which provides not only comfort, but also stability within the shoe.
Owned by a Portland, Oregon based company, the company strives to make a difference in the community. They frequently donate shoes and monteary funds to those in need. They are trying to limit the use of PFCs as well as using tanneries that reduce their use of chemicals to help protect the environment and watersheds.
Chaco Water Shoes
Astral Water Shoes
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Proper Footwear Is Essential
For shoes, wear either sandals or an old pair of tennis shoes.
That old pair you cut grass in should do the trick. Crocs now offer a Swiftwater collection that is more suited for whitewater rafting than their original styles, if you are looking for something stylish.
It also might seem tempting to go barefoot, but for safety reasons its best to wear something.
The White Nile Uganda
The Nile is a north-flowing river that flows into the Mediterranean sea, with its drainage basin covering eleven African countries.
The rapids of the river range from grade 3 to 4, and their length is roughly 6,650 kilometers and suit just about every experience level for rafting.
Nile whitewater in Uganda has the best season for rafting, and such seasons include January, February, and June to September.
The primary source of the river is in Jinja 1-5 hours from Kampala, Uganda.
Packing list for White Nile rafting in Uganda
There are notable items you need to pack while going for whitewater rafting in water Nile Uganda, and they include lightweight slacks, sweaters, swimsuits, pair of sports sandals, and sturdy boots.
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Proper Footwear Is Important
Wearing sturdy footwear is extremely important! Sturdy footwear can be sneakers, strapped sandals, or wetsuit booties that wont fall off. Some of our favorite brands for good water shoes are Chaco, Teva, Keen, and Astral. When picking the right shoes, choose a pair thats light-weight, moisture-wicking, and/or quick-drying. For those who might be worried about getting cold feet, consider investing in a pair of neoprene socks. NRS makes a great pair that is super thin but also warm. You wear them just like socks: put them under your river shoes and youll stay pretty warm. Grab yourself a pair at one of our favorite local shops in Buena Vista, CKS Main Street. These guys have tons of other gear available in store, and they also have great rafting shoe options. The Trailhead in Buena Vista also has great water shoe options, as does the local Outdoors & Mountain Market in Leadville.
Can You Wear Crocs Or Flip Flops For Whitewater Rafting
No. In case you fall into the river, your Crocs or flip flops will come off in the current and float away. Swimming in the river while barefoot leaves your feet vulnerable to being cut or bruised on rocks. In case you swim to shore instead of the raft, your shoeless feet will be stepping on small rocks and tree branches.
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Other Considerations For Early Season River Trips
Most outfitter-provided helmets will generally be entry-level and have few insulating properties. If youre frequently rafting or recreating on stretches of river that require helmets, investing in a whitewater-specific helmet could be a good call. Plus, many options offer a marked increase in insulation compared to generic rental helmets.
If youre getting out early in spring there may still be snow on the ground. If the weather is close to freezing or the water is still near alpine temperatures, a drysuit may be a better option for the final layer. A drysuit is basically a water-resistant full body snowsuit. There are gaskets at the wrists, feet and neck that keep water out and a large waterproof zipper sealing the whole garment up. In that case you would skip the wetsuit and simply layer non-cotton layers underneath the drysuit.
Now that youve packed for success youre ready for your spring river trip. Dont forget to bring comfortable warm clothes to leave at the takeout!
*PLEASE NOTE THAT SOME OF THE LINKS ABOVE ARE AMAZON AFFILIATE LINKS, AND OARS WILL EARN A SMALL COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE AFTER CLICKING THROUGH THE LINK.
Adam Edwards is a writer and outdoorsman based in Portland, Oregon. When hes not enjoying the regions world-class rivers and streams he can be found exploring the trails and trees of the Pacific Northwest.
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- Minimum Age: 6
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Bandana And Cooling Towel
To finish off the river rafting look, add two things to your neck. The first is a bandana, because COVID, and it blocks dust, allergies, and unpleasant outhouse smells. Finally, get yourself a cooling towel, especially if youll be heading to a hot area. These neat little towels get soaked in water, and then go around your neck. They have the interesting effect of keeping you cool for a long period of time, without the water leaking on you. Highly recommended if youre easily bothered by the heat.
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What Shoes Should I Wear Rafting
Good shoes are important on rafting trips because you are frequently moving in and out of the boat as well as swimming . Most shoes with a foot strap will work, but not all shoes are created equal for rafting.
Our Favorite River Shoes, from Left to Right: Astral Brewers, Keen sandals, and Chaco Sandals
Both shoes and sandals work well for rafting trips. Because you need to brace your feet under the middle tubes of the raft, shoes are great because they cover your toes. Many technical brands add extra traction for slippery rocks or uneven surfaces, providing more stability when exploring new terrain.
A pair of Astral Rasslers, great shoes made for water that cover your toes
During hot summer weather, sandals that stay on your feet are also a solid option. While less likely to cover the toes, there are still many brands out there with great traction and sporty straps. If you show up with flip-flops, you will likely be asked to change as flip-flops do not stay on your feet in whitewater.
For a more comprehensive shoe list, check out this article devoted entirely to types of whitewater rafting shoes.
What Should I Wear When Rafting In Cold Weather
Most companies that run early season rafting trips or work on rivers known for cold temperature will provide you with neoprene booties, wetsuits, and splash jackets . While the list for warm weather rafting still applies, you may want to add your own extra layers. Again, only wear synthetic materials, please do not wear cotton on these rivers. Wool, fleece, and long sleeve layers can be great additions to the neoprene. Finally, those dry clothes after a trip will become essential after a fun but potentially chilly day on the water.
The crew is outfitted in splash jackets and wetsuits on a cold day. Get those hands back on that T-grip!
What you bring rafting can depend a lot on the weather, water temperature, and season. A well prepared rafter will contribute to a safer trip. Remember, the outfitter will supply all the safety equipment.
Have a great day on the water! What else do you bring on a rafting trip, comment below!
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Clothing For Hot And Sunny Days
- Buy a good sun hoodie or quick dry rafting shirt. Youll see many guides living their summer days in sun hoodies and potentially some UPF tights underneath a good pair of board or water shorts.
- Sunglasses.Polarized sunglasses are worth the extra money, and you will wear them again. You will be able to see more on the water, and they can prevent headaches. Make sure you have a solid attachment for your shades in case you fall out of the raft. We recommend chums or croakies.
- Rafting in a hat is nice. Sometimes people show up with huge sun hats, or something more along what river guides call the beekeeper look, . At a minimum bring a baseball style hat. Also know that a rapid may blow it into the river and you may never see it again. So dont bring your favorite one, bring a back-up and its better if your hat has a retention strap.
- While it may not seem necessary in the heat of the summer, always bring a warm beanie! Heat escapes our heads quickly, and this is a small item that can dramatically improve your comfort. Look for synthetics or merino wool.
- **A note on helmets: if you are required to wear a helmet while running rapids, a baseball cap typically fits well under most helmets giving some sun protection.
Best Types Of Footwear For White Water Rafting
In my experience, there are a few types of shoes that are best for these sorts of trips. With that in mind, I recommend the following:
- closed-toe hiking sandals
- hybrid water shoes
- trail running shoes
The hiking sandals and water shoes are great because they have soles that offer a good grip on the slick surfaces you will encounter. They dry quickly and you can easily clean them once the trip is over. Trail running shoes are good because they are quick drying and tend of have soles that grip slick surfaces. However, cleaning them is not as easy and quick, but you sort of expect trail runners to always be dirty, right? A lot of people choose Chacos for their rafting trips, but I dont recommend them for this. Chacos are great for kayaking trips, but not white water rafting.
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Dress For The Weather
Be sure to check the weather before your trip. Its now mid-May, so we dont anticipate any particularly cold days, but if its raining or unusually windy, youll want to dress appropriately.
You might also want to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and towels / a change of clothes for the car.
We have a changing rooms so you can get suited up once you arrive! And if you leave something behind, weve got you covered at our gift shop.
Best Waterproof Camera For Still Photography
Spoiler alert the waterproof Leica we tried was not great at photos or videos. It looks cool, but we dont recommend it. Instead, get an Olympus Tough camera. This rad point and shoot cameras are nearly indestructible, and they shoot really really good still photos. It can also shoot 4K video, but stills are more its strong points. We were first sold on the Olympus Tough over the GoPro back in the day , and it looks like Olympus Tough is still going strong. Check out some sample photos taken with the Olympus TG-2 here, but we warned that theres a newer TG-6 camera out that will perform much better.
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Livingstone Falls Dr Congo
Livingstone Falls is another whitewater rafting spot on the lower cost of River Congo that gives high float personal flotation devices before rafting.
The tour operators at Livingstone Falls pick their visitors from their lodges between 7:30 and 8:30.
Again, they offer brief comprehensive safety tips and provide them with helmets and paddles before exploring whitewater rafting in the Livingstone Falls.
Livingstone Falls comprises a series of massive rapids on the lower course of River Congo in west equatorial Africa suitable for whitewater rafting and swimming under the falls.
Location: Downstream from Malebo Pool, Lower Course of the Congo River, extending to Matadi in Bas-Congo, DR Congo in West Equatorial Africa.
Items to take along
While preparing for a whitewater rafting trip at Livingstone Falls, you should pack the following items
Half-day river rafting is a two to three-hour rafting that is perfect for first-time explorers and non-swimmers.
Visitors gain transportation opportunities from the base to the rafting spot, a bottle of drinking water, eligible guides, and rafting equipment.
There is a need to bring sunglasses with straps, shoes that can get wet, sunscreen, and a towel in the car.
Details of the half-day river rafting trip
Duration: 2-3 Hours depending on Water Level
Start Point: Real Adventures Base Camp
Minimum: People 4
Transport included: from Base Camp to start location and back to base Camp.