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What to Know Before Your First White Water Rafting Trip

Adventure tourism opportunities abound in beautiful Montana, especially for white water rafting enthusiasts. If you’ve never done it before, perhaps the most important thing to remember is to be humble. Remind yourself that you’re a beginner, and don’t try to take on more than you can handle. You’ll need to join a group led by an experienced, trained guide.

Where to Go

White water rapids are classified on a scale. Class one rapids are ideal for beginners , as they feature low waves. Class six rapids are the most challenging, with large, fast waves that are probably going to throw you overboard once or twice. Since it’s your first trip, look for a guide who is taking out a group on class one or two rapids. You can move up to the more difficult rapids once you have some experience.

How to Dress

Always expect to get drenched during a white water rafting trip, even if it’s a slow section of river. Wear synthetic, water-resistant shorts and water shoes. Choose a shirt made of synthetic material. Ladies usually prefer to wear one-piece bathing suits under their clothing. Leave your jewelry at home. You’ll be required to wear a life jacket at all times, and probably a helmet too. Every so often, tighten the straps of the life jacket—the water loosens them. Wear inexpensive sunglasses with a retention strap, since the water reflects the sun’s glare.

What to Bring

White water rafting is hard exercise. Bring a generously proportioned water bottle with a secure lid. You can use a D-ring to strap it into the raft. You’ll also need plenty of water-resistant sunscreen.

Ready to take on the great outdoors? Rivers Lakes Oceans—NLTC in Kalispell, MT has all of the rafting supplies you need, plus white water package rentals. You can call them to inquire about availability at (406) 314-6200.

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