Beginner Whitewater Rafting Techniques
Whitewater rafting is an excellent activity for beginners and experts alike. It is an exhilarating way to get out on the water, enjoy nature and have fun with friends and family. However, rafting can get dangerous if it is not done properly. Follow these whitewater rafting tips and tricks to keep your adventure safe and fun.
Five Whitewater Rafting Tips for Beginners
One of the best things about whitewater rafting is that beginners will always have a guide with experience. However, you should still have the confidence and skills to navigate the water safely. Keep these five whitewater rafting safety tips in mind during your excursion.
1. Know How to Swim Safely and Properly
Before you head out on the water, ensure you have strong swimming abilities. You may not always be in the boat or have something nearby to grab onto if you fall out, so if you do find yourself in the water, float on your back with your feet up and facing downstream. If you don't know how to swim or doubt your ability to swim in strong waters, take swimming lessons before your trip.
2. Always Wear Your Life Jacket and Helmet
Commercial rafting trips require life jackets and helmets, and we still recommend protective gear for private trips you take. These safety devices can save your life if you fall overboard, so ensure both your lifejacket and your helmet fit securely and are in good condition.
3. Understand Commands Such as “High-Side”
When rafting with a guide, you will hear them shout commands to keep everyone safe and prevent accidents. Your guide may instruct “high-side” to urge participants to move quickly to the particular side of the boat. This weight distribution will help keep the raft from flipping over.
4. Don't Panic
If something does not go according to plan on your rafting trip, stay calm and think through the situation. Panicking can make it harder to figure out what needs to be done, such as swimming to shore or finding your boat.
5. Properly Vet Your Rafting Guides
Before you head out on the water, verify your guide has up-to-date training on the latest safety procedures and ample experience. Ask them about their training certifications, including certifications such as CPR and how long they have worked in this field. If they do not have the answers you are looking for, look for a whitewater rafting guide elsewhere.
Book Your Stay Near Glacier National Park's Premier Rafting
Need a place to unwind after your Glacier National Park rafting excursions? West Glacier KOA offers premium Tent Sites, Deluxe Cabins and RV Sites with amenities for your comfort. Bolster your rafting know-how at the onsite Rafting Clinic with the Glacier Raft Company or hang back for the many on-site activities. You do not have to go far from the West Glacier KOA to enjoy some of the best parts of Montana.