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The Perfect Fall Outfit for River Rafting

When you head out for your fall river rafting trip, remember to wear appropriate attire.  The temperatures are dropping, the water is getting colder so you can’t just head out in shorts and a bathing suit. Wrong materials or not enough layering can leave you uncomfortable and cold. So, think warmth, comfort and practicality when you pack your bags.

Choosing the right materials for your river attire

Instructional rafting course

Even the most family friendly river rafting adventure requires paddling. Don’t let your clothing restrict your movement or your blood flow.

We already told you to think in layers when it comes to fall. It won’t be hard. You’re already in layering mode from everyday fall life, so just stay on that track when you pack. That brings us to the materials you’ll need and how to layer them.

We know cotton feels great and you’re tempted to make your first layer a soft cotton tee. Don’t. As soon as that t-shirt gets wet it’s going to stay wet…and cold. Very cold. So, drop the cotton and reach for something synthetic that is fast drying and will keep you warm when you’re wet.

And don’t forget to treat your legs and feet to the same comfort as your upper body. Your feet will get wet as well. Everything will get wet. Again, wool will do the trick, but a wet, woolly sock will feel like a lead foot once it gets wet. 

A stylish, warm, fast drying hat to keep your noggin warm is another great fashion choice for river rafting in Colorado in the fall.

A stylish, warm, fast drying hat to go along with your splash jacket is another great fashion choice for river rafting in Colorado in the fall.

Once you’ve got your fast drying, warming, water resistant base layer, that’s when you can start reaching for your comfortable, soft fleece as your second layer. Picking fleece material instead of wool is because it weighs a lot less and you avoid that awful itching that you get from wool. Dry wool is bad enough, think about how miserable you’ll be with wet, scratchy wool on your body?! Trust us, a good fleece is the way to go.

Finally, rain and wind is not uncommon in the fall. A lightweight windbreaker or splash jacket should complete your third and last layer of clothing. This can help protect you against the cold splash of the rapids.

And that should do it. Remember that it’s all about comfort, warmth and practicality.  You’re going to get wet, you may have to take a swim, the temperature could vary and you’re going to be moving and active. Too many layers will restrict your movements, cut off your circulation and prevent your body’s natural blood flow to keep you nice and warm. And any rafter knows that there will be plenty of blood pumping adrenaline rushing through your body. Don’t restrict this process by piling on too many unnecessary layers.

And for goodness sake, avoid wearing jeans. If you do go for a swim, jeans are the worst! Stick to synthetic materials. Make sure your clothing isn’t too loose. True, they shouldn’t be so tight they cut off your circulation, but you want to leave your parachute pants behind. As clothing gets wet they expand, so loose dry clothing is going to be a nightmare once it gets wet.

Wherever the river may take you, we hope you stay warm, safe and have a rapid good time!