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Whitewater Rafting Idaho | Spring & Fall Trips vs. Summer: What to Wear


Phew- it has been a wild ride here at America’s Rafting Company lately. You may have thought that we disappeared off the face of the earth- but, really we just disappeared to the deepest gorge in North America- Hells Canyon. Sidenote: Hells Canyon is deeper than the Grand Canyon- that is a little known fact. Whitewater rafting Idaho is not only a great summer trip, but is very enjoyable in Spring and Fall! We just got back to the office and settled after three back to back rafting trips- we were in Hells Canyon rafting for 10 days straight and are looking forward to another 4 more before we retire the boats for the season. When talking about our recent news, I get a lot of the same questions.

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I have had many people ask me what the heck we are doing on the river when it’s this cold? Well, my friends- there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear! So, my answer to their question is: heck yes! We are still enjoying Hells Canyon rafting in October and on into November. In fact, Parker and I have visited the deepest canyon in North America in January! Yes, that’s right folks- I have been whitewater rafting in January and I lived to tell about- in fact, I would take that trip again in a heartbeat! The canyon is so deep, that the air temperature stay quite warm, and as long as you’re geared up appropriately, you’ll have the time of your life!

So, when booking trips for Spring and Fall, we have a different packing list prepared, because it’s important to be prepared for any kind of weather- rain, sun, snow, hail, etc. The elements are unpredictable in the canyon- so we always prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Layering your clothes is key! Having a moisture-wicking bottom layer, a fleece mid layer and a water proof outer layer is what we recommend, that way, you’re ready by a huge wave of Snake River water to hit you and when you land, you’re ready to shed a layer or two and do some exploring. There is of course the element of safety- the life jacket, which in the cool weather doubles as an insulator. The thick padding on our Type V pfd’s (personal flotation device) will not only keep you above water should you fall in, they’ll keep you warm while sitting atop the boat.

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Along with layering, you’ll want to think about your feet. The boat is a self-bailing boat, meaning that the water is draining on it’s own, but there is a certain amount of river water that stays in the boat, which makes it hard to avoid wet feet all day long. It’s wildly important to have a warm waterproof shoe on. I typically wear my BOGS, they are tight fitting and keep me warm. Other types of acceptable shoes include river booties, rain boots with wool socks or something lined in gore-tex.  Just like any other outdoor activity, as long as you’re packed and dressed appropriately, you’ll enjoy yourself that much more, the same goes for whitewater rafting. Having the right gear can make all the difference!

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