Colorado White Water Rafting Packing List

Written by Ben Sack, 03.16.2017

If you’re traveling, you probably want to travel light. Luckily, we’ll take care of most of the equipment for your Colorado white water rafting trip. There are a few things, however, that you may want to be sure to pack – many of them which will be handy on your other Centennial State adventures!

Here’s the short list:

While we all love wearing Crocs and sandals off of the river, they don’t make the best white water rafting shoes. You will need to use your feet to help you stay in the raft, and it’s for that reason that you’ll want a sturdy, secure shoe on your Colorado white water rafting trip. If you don’t own a pair of secure water shoes (we like Salomon, NRS, and Keen), then the best option is often a pair of breathable sneakers, much like running shoes. They will keep your feet warmer and protected, especially as you enter and exit the raft.

It’s best to bring along layers on your whitewater rafting trip, starting with a base layer of a bathing suit. Add layers of synthetic clothing (“workout” wear is often made of a poly / lycra blend and is perfect) for sun protection. If it’s a cooler day (or the clouds are threatening to roll in), it’s best practice to bring along at least one cotton or fleece layer. We also rent splash jackets for cooler days, and those will keep base layers underneath dry.

If you love your glasses or sunglasses, it’s always a good idea to keep them on a strap. We like Chums, which keep your sunglasses on your face or around your neck if you decide to go for a swim. We carry them in our gift shop if you forget them.

At Echo CanyonBring_Header-1 River Expeditions, we start our journey at over 5,000 feet in elevation. It’s easy to become dehydrated, and nobody likes elevation sickness on vacation (or ever). Keep a water bottle close at hand. You can bring a plastic disposable bottle and it will stay down by your feet in the raft. A better option is a secure water bottle, like a Nalgene, that can be clipped to the boat with a carabiner.

You won’t need it on the raft, but a change of clothes is a must for after your rafting trip. We have comfortable, clean changing facilities at our office, and you’ll want to slip into something warm before heading to 8-Mile Bar & Grill for something ice cold. Don’t forget a change of shoes, too!

Other things you may want to consider bringing:

If you have any questions about your Colorado white water rafting trip, please refer to our FAQ page, or give us a call. We’d be happy to help! 1-800-690-3246

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About the Author

Ben Sack is the General Manager of Echo Canyon River Expeditions, Colorado's largest white water rafting outfitter. He's also a raft guide, a photographer, and he loves exploring Colorado and beyond with his wife and two boys.
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