Your adventurous heart and mind have decided on making your next trip a whitewater rafting day trip. Hooray! You’ve chosen well and are in for a unique and thrilling experience that will leave you wanting to come back to the river time and time again. While wanting to go and actually going are two different things, we want to assure you that planning a whitewater rafting day trip is easier than it sounds. We’ve put together a quick-start guide to help you successfully plan and carry out your dream trip, so grab a pen and paper and let’s get started!
Step 1: Choose the Right Trip
The first thing to do when planning a whitewater rafting day trip is to pick the right trip for you and/or your group. You’ll need to decide where you want to go, what level of intensity you want to experience, and what your overall budget for the trip will be. If you are planning to go with a group, you’ll need to make sure to select options that match up well with everyone’s preferences and abilities.
If you know you want to raft the Ocoee River, there are multiple options to suit many different ages and ranges of experience. After you’ve found the right trip for you and your group, contact a rafting outfitter and book your experience. It is generally recommended that you book your rafting trip as soon as you want to go as peak season trips fill up quickly.
Step 2: Know What to Expect
Once you have chosen a river to raft and have booked your trip with a rafting outfitter, visit the outfitter’s website and read up on river conditions, specific supplies recommendations, and typical weather patterns for the season you’ve booked in. Contact the outfitter with any remaining questions and to confirm when and where you need to meet them for your day trip. Once your questions have been answered and you are generally aware of what to expect, you can start packing!
Step 3: Know What to Pack (and what to leave at home)
Many river outfitters will give their guests a list of items to pack when they book a trip. If yours doesn’t, make sure you know what the weather and water temperature will be like during your day trip and pack appropriate clothing. Outfitters commonly rent wetsuits and splash jackets, especially during colder or wetter seasons. Avoid cotton clothing that will weigh you down and can chill you in colder temperatures. Wear or bring secure footwear- no flip flops- and don’t forget a water bottle and sunscreen!
Sunglasses are also nice to keep the glare out of your eyes and you’ll want a dry change of clothes to put on after you get out of the river. It is fairly common for outfitters to include a mid-day meal in a full day rafting trip, but you should double check with your outfitter to find out if food and snacks are provided or if you need to bring your own.
In general, it is a good idea to leave electronics and valuables at home. The same goes for any and all types of alcohol as most outfitters prohibit drinking while whitewater rafting.
Step 4: Plan Logistics
Now that the river portion of your trip is planned, you’ll need to arrange your transportation to and from the river and any lodgings you may need if you are rafting a river far from home. It can be a good idea to contact your outfitter for suggestions on where to stay and what to eat as the locals often have the best inside advice to make the most of your experience. If you plan to stay in the area for multiple days or your rafting trip isn’t going to take up the entire day, do some research on local attractions and events to fill in the time surrounding your whitewater rafting trip.
Step 5: Listen to the Guide
When the day of your trip arrives, don’t worry about feeling nervous, everyone gets an adrenaline rush and can feel jumpy when they are about to embark on an adventure. Embrace the nerves and make a special effort to listen to your guide and all their instructions. Your guide is a professional at running the section of river you are about to embark upon. Your guide generally will go over what to expect and what to do if something doesn’t go as planned. They know everything you will need to know to have a successful and fun trip!
So, where will you be going? Whitewater rafting day trips are one of the best ways to immerse yourself in nature. They also provide opportunities to build relationships and challenge yourself to push boundaries of what you thought you could accomplish. Planning a whitewater rafting day trip is easier than you thought, right? See you on the river soon!