Spring white water rafting tips to stay warm
You have made the decision to go rafting this spring, awesome! Here are some spring white water rafting tips that will help, and keep you comfortable. Do you know what to expect as far as weather for your trip? What you should wear to make any of our American river rafting trips more comfortable? As the expression goes, “If you don’t like the weather in California, wait 24 hours”. This is totally true on a spring white water rafting trip in California. During the months of March, April, and May, we can have great warm weather, cool and cloudy, rain, and then a downright cold winter storm all in the same week.
A trip down the South Fork American river’s, Gorge Section, can be actually super fun and exciting when it is raining. It brings a different element to your trip. As long as you are dressed well, and you follow the spring white water rafting tips, which I will cover later, you are good to go. We even have had folks jump into the river and swim some of the easy rapids (class 1 and 2). They said that was a super fun experience.
Normally, however, weather during the Springtime on a California white water rafting trip is warm and sunny, we live in California right? BUT? We will cover more spring white water rafting tips below.
How to dress for a spring white water rafting trip?
The first item of clothing you do not want to bring is, anything cotton. Cotton absorbs water and has no insulating properties. A light-weight rash guard, fleece, or synthetic long sleeve shirt if great for an undergarment. The part of you the gets cold the quickest is your feet. Wool or pile socks are a great start. Wetsuit booties or socks are the best items to have to keep those toes warm (we have the wetsuit sock booties for sale in our Camp Store). Don’t forget the neoprene gloves if it is going to be really chilly.
Wet Suits and Splash Jackets
Wetsuits are a must for all cool weather, spring rafting trips here in California. They provide a layer of insulation protection from the cold water and give you that skinny jean feel! Wetsuits come in different styles, from shorties that cover your upper body to just above the knees. These are good for warmer spring days when it’s not raining or very cool. Farmer John wetsuits are the “norm” for most river rafting trips. They provide protection from your ankles up through your shoulders, but do not have any sleeves. They give you free range of movement to be able to paddle on your river trip. On top of the wetsuit, we layer you with what is called a Splash Jacket, which is a rafting windbreaker. This nylon splash jacket keeps the wind or breeze from getting to the most important parts of your body, a must to have if it is cloudy or a bit breezy.
Now if it really going to be chilly, and the sun is not about to come out on that spring white water rafting trip, you will need another layer under your splash jacket. We provide a nice fleece sweater. Fleece, like pile, or, polypro, provides warmth even when it gets wet. It has a wicking feature that moves the water away from your skin to the outside of the garment, thus, giving you a dry feel.
Wear the right gear for a great experience
Bringing and wearing the proper clothing and gear for a spring white water rafting trip can mean the difference between a super enjoyable experience, or one of misery. Some companies, like Whitewater Excitement, provide wetsuits, splash jackets, and fleece sweaters, free of charge to our guests when needed and the conditions merit. Please, it is not necessary to wear a wetsuit when the weather is warm or hot (unless you are on one of our more adventurous class 4 high water trips). It can be unhealthy and dangerous to wear one, as your body can get too hot. Believe it or not.
If you have any questions about what to wear, you can always give me a call, or drop me a note. It would be my pleasure to help you wherever the river takes you.