White Water Rafting in Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg, TN | Raft Outdoor Adventures

Rafting is one of the most exciting travel adventures and it’s accessible for the whole family! Rafting the Pigeon River is no exception to this. We take hundreds of guests- newbies and seasoned vets- out on the river daily and they return with smiles on their faces. Having a great first rafting trip comes down to two things: being prepared and having a good attitude. We’ll break those down a little more in this blog post.

Always Be Prepared

More than just a scouting motto, being prepared for your rafting trip is the best way to make sure you have a great time. Being prepared for your first trip means knowing a few key things: what to wear, what to bring with you, and what to do.

What should I wear?

While the exact recommendations will vary seasonally (Check out our cold water rafting guide for what to wear during colder months!), make sure you wear clothing that you don’t mind getting wet. A good rule of thumb is to leave anything you would be upset to lose or get wet in your car. In the warmer months, a t-shirt and athletic shorts are excellent choices while rafting. You can consider wearing a swimsuit underneath your clothing or swim trunks in place of gym shorts. In addition to choosing the right clothing, make sure you have appropriate footwear. Water shoes or outdoor sandals with a heel strap work best, but anything that you won’t easily lose will work. Do NOT wear flip flops! The most important part of any rafting outfit is your lifejacket and helmet. For your safety, we require all rafters to wear both while on your rafting trip. Raft Outdoor Adventures will supply your helmet and lifejacket, and will make sure both are appropriately fitted before you go out on the river. If the weather is cooler, we also have paddle jackets and wetsuits available to rent.

What should I bring?

Because your clothing will get wet, bring a set of clothes to change into. You will be much more comfortable knowing that dry clothes are waiting at the end of your trip, and we have changing rooms at the Outpost for your use. Another thing to bring is sunscreen. Apply beforehand and put it anywhere that will not be protected by clothing, even if you don’t think you’ll need sunscreen. We are out on the river for several hours at a time, and people often don’t realize they’re burned until well after their trip. Apply sunscreen in places you may not think you need it- for example, you’re sitting in a raft and the tops of your thighs may see more sun than they’re used to!

You should also bring your signed waiver with you for your trip.

You should not bring anything you wouldn’t want to lose in the water. Also note that you may NOT bring any alcohol or drugs with you. If we suspect you have consumed anything that may impair you before your trip, you will not be allowed to raft and will not get a refund.

What do I do if…?

We get a lot of “what if” questions, many regarding safety and concern about what exactly will happen on your rafting trip. These hypothetical questions are difficult to answer, and depend on you and your guide. Your guide is an expert in safety and very familiar with the river. They will go over various safety tips, paddling techniques and what to do if you should fall out of the raft or the raft should capsize. Raft Outdoor Adventures always has your safety and best interest in mind, so we make a point to answer any questions you may have during our trip talk and out on the water. We are trained to take good care of you, but knowing what exactly will happen during each trip is impossible! One of the best things you can do to make sure your trip is great is entirely up to you, and happens to be a very simple change that can make a huge difference.

Have a Good Attitude

Your attitude and willingness to make the trip great for everyone in your raft will ultimately decide whether you have a successful trip or not. You may be sharing a raft (and sharing the experience) with people you don’t know. Keeping an open mind, being patient with others who are new and having a positive attitude will make the trip better for everyone involved. You’re here to have fun, just like everyone else. Be kind to your guide. It’s their job to get you down the river safely, so pay attention to what they say, and treat them with respect!

With this in mind, are you ready for your first rafting trip? Book your reservation online with Raft Outdoor Adventures. We can’t wait to see you on the river!

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