Most Americans (nearly 80%) enjoy the outdoors and nearly 30% either have tried white water rafting or want to. This is also a great way to get exercise. The average person will burn between 350 and 410 calories an hour rafting. If you are considering a fun adventure for your friends or family, river trips may fit that bill.

Tips for Your Whitewater Raft Adventure

Protect yourself from the sun. All water sports trips, and these include river trips, should include a plan for sun protection. Remember when you are on the water, the sun will reflect off the surface and you get a double whammy. Pack plenty of sunscreen and apply it often. Even if it is waterproof, one application will not be enough. Even if you do not normally burn or do not feel it is really hot, this will make a big difference in how you feel afterewards.

Be prepared to swim. You should have a personal flotation device and the goal is to stay inside the raft but you should know that swimming may not be in your plan but it can be required. If you are not a strong swimmer, or if you do not swim at all, make sure you tell your guide this before your trip begins. This will influence the advice they give you if you do fall in. Be careful about where you place your feet as they can get stuck under rocks along the river’s floor. Keep your balance with your paddle, it will make a difference.

Balance yourself. You have several ways to keep yourself balanced and braced in your raft. Keep your feet firmly planted in front of you, either in the foot hold or air tube.  When you hit faster water, if you paddle harder, you will help keep yourself in the raft. Keep yourself on the outer side of your seat. This will give you a better position to paddle and again, help you stay in the raft.

Pay attention to instructions. You will need to work with (not against) the other people on your raft. That may sound simple but can get more complicated on the river. Listen for your guide’s instructions as they can help keep everyone paddling correctly. Sync your paddling with the other people in your boat to make the ride smooth for everyone.

River trips can be a really fun way to spend time with friends and family. They offer a great way to see the country. Rafting in the Grand Canyon is one of the best ways to view that natural wonder. Grand Canyon white water rafting trips are extremely popular for a reason, they are a lot of fun. It is important to follow instructions and prepare your group so that your trip is the best it can be.

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