Weather conditions and temperatures on the river change seasonally, so it is important to dress with the seasons when going on a rafting trip on the New River or Gauley River. Both river and land have qualities that require preparation. While white water rafting it is impossible to dodge water, so it is important to be prepared. While on shore temperatures during the day may get hot, but as the sun sets so do the temperatures. It is very important to dress with the seasons and even times of day while whitewater rafting.
If you are rafting in the warmer summer months it is important to dress lightly. You should wear a bathing suit and some old sneakers or river shoes for the river. You may also want to bring a pair of shorts, a t-shirt, a hat, and sunglasses. Since whitewater rafting trips are on the river for hours, with about one break in the shade, it is still important to bring and wear lots of sunscreen.
During the cooler months of the year like Spring and Fall heavier clothes are ideal for rafting adventures. A hat, and wool or polypropylene socks over your bathing suit are essential for your Spring and Fall rafting trips. Try to avoid clothing made of cotton because cotton will not dry quickly once it is wet in the river. Materials like wool and polypropylene or fleece will dry quicker and will make you a much happier paddler. If you can a wetsuit or nylon paddling gear would be best. They are designed to keep you warm in the cool water. Some rafting companies have wet suits and/or paddling jackets available to rent starting at $10.
What you wear on the river can make a difference in your entire rafting experience, how much fun you have and safety. Make sure you are prepared for the weather conditions on and off the river by dressing appropriately for your river adventure!