Hey! You’re a girl and you love adventure and the outdoors. We all know that with modern life being so pressurised and stressful, we find that it helps to escape the concrete jungle in exchange for being surrounded by nature.
Do you know that women make nearly 48% of our guests. And their numbers are growing. They want to share the adventures and camaraderie, learn new skills and develop confidence and also to gain new insights and experiences.
One way to enjoy the outdoors is to go on an adventure. If you are planning to conquer a raging river and do a bit of white water rafting which by the way may have been on your bucket list for god knows how long, then you’re in luck. Here are our 13 Kick-Ass White Water Rafting Tips for the Adventure Girl.
Hope you find them useful!
Tip No. 1
Remove Your Jewellery
Make sure that you remove your jewellery before you come for your rafting trip. Rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings are best kept at home. Rafting trips are normally rough. You may lose them as they can can snag or slip off and disappear into the water. They are very often difficult to find once they slip into the water.
Tip No. 2
Wear Proper Shoes
We have seen on many occassions ladies wear shoes which are not suitable for white water rafting. Flimsy sandals with straps and slippers are not suitable. Wear canvas shoes, velcro strapped sandals, or laced shoes to protect your feet.
Your shoes will get wet on a rafting trip even if you don’t go overboard but they are essential to protect your feet. A sandal should strap snugly around the ankle so it can’t slip off. If you don’t mind that they get wet and dirty, sneakers will do too.
Nowadays, river or aqua shoes come in many styles and colors and they are often inexpensive.
Tip No. 3
Pack Your Stuff in a Bag
Pack all your apres-rafting stuff into a bag – towel, a set of clean/dry clothes, hair brush, toiletries, and etc. The bag will also come in handy when you need to leave your purse, cellphone, power bank, car keys, etc when you leave for your rafting trip.
Have separate zip lock bags for different items – for clothes, for toiletries, for medication etc so you can retrieve them in a jiffy.
Tip No. 4
Watch Out for the Sun! Use Sunscreen
With our typical Malaysian climate, the sun can be sunny and cool during the early part of the morning and start to warm up by 10.00am and reach its peak around noon. And that is the time when you are under the sun on your rafting trip. To avoid painful sunburns for those of you who burn easily, pack with you a bottle of sunscreen or sunblock.
To be effective, the lotion needs to be applied at least 30 minutes before you go into the sun. Make sure you put on one which is water resistant and with a high SPF rating.
Don’t forget to check the expiry date on the one you may already have as they have a shelf life of between 12-18 months only.
Tip No. 5
Dress Appropriately for the Sport
Clothing choices can make the difference between an exciting rafting trip or a soggy ride. Choose clothes that dry quickly, breathes well and wicks away perspiration. Even better if they are SPF rated to protect you from the sun.
We recommend lycra, nylon and polyester over cotton because cotton takes a long time to dry. This is also true of underwear.
Avoid wearing bikinis, or bathing suit as they are actually not that suitable for white water rafting. If you still want to, you can wear them underneath your clothes. The more you cover the better – remember, the rafting journey can be rough and there may be incidents of bumping and scraping against rocks and boulders, and scratches from thorny plants and branches.
So try to protect your body as much as possible to avoid these typical injuries.
Tip No. 6
Remove Contact Lenses
If given the option we would go for glasses rather than wearing contact lenses. We can secure glasses with straps and bands to avoid losing them.
There’s no way to secure contact lenses. It is so easy to lose a contact lens when you get hit by a big wave of water to your face.
If you can’t see without wearing them, then you will not be enjoying the rest of your trip.
Tip: Get Croakies for your glasses!
Tip No. 7
Leave Your Cellphone on Dry Land
Unless they are waterproof (mind you – just being splash proof is not good enough) and can be secured onto your body then don’t bring them on the rafting trip. It is just not worth it to have your cellphone soaked and totally ruined or losing it on a rough stretch of the river.
If you want to take photos, it’s better to bring a waterproof camera or a gopro type camera. River guides sometimes bring a camera and pass you the photos at the end of the trip – so you may want to check with them before the trip.
Tip No. 8
Tell Someone Where You’re Going
Make this a usual habit when you go on an outdoor trip. Tell a family member or a close friend who’s not coming with you where you’re headed, how long you are expected to be away and maybe an alternative mobile number should you need to be contacted.
Remember that not all outdoor places have cellular coverage and some cellular companies may cover an area and some don’t.
Tip No. 9
Bring Friends Along
Yes, it’s perfectly okay to travel solo. On our trips you will be joining other rafters who are booked on the same trip as you. But if you bring your friends along it will be some much fun too. Make it a girls only trip or a “Girls Adventure Day” or something like that. Our rafts can fit 5-6 rafters so if you want the raft for just your group of friends and not share try to come in that group size.
Tip No. 10
So You’re Expecting?
If you are pregnant, white water rafting is definitely out for you – at least until you have your baby. The trip will be too dangerous for the both of you. It’s just not worth the risk.
Tip No. 11
Recent Injury or Post Operation?
Remember that white water rafting involves movement in the raft, falling over one another, going through turbulent rapids, walking on slipper river banks, walking on uneven surfaces etc – so if you had a recent operation and recuperating, then the sport may not be suitable for you.
Check with your doctor before you book.
Tip No. 12
That Time of the Month?
Most girls won’t feel comfortable coming white water rafting during their period. Maybe using a pad no matter how slim it may be will absorb water, come off or leak. You can try using tampon.
Or you can also try using a menstrual cup. You’re personal choice but you can give it a try – best to get used to it before the trip itself so you will know earlier if you will be comfortable wearing it. Here’s a great video on using the cup.
Tip No. 13
Hair and Hijab
For those with long hair, don’t forget to bring some hair bands. If you have plenty of hair and they are long, don’t tie it into a bun but tie your hair closer to your neck since you will be wearing a helmet during the rafting trip.
Wearing a hijab is perfectly fine. Any thin material which is quick drying is perfect.
But Muslim ladies – no niqab please – the covering over your face.
Yes we had some experience with ladies wearing niqab coming for white water rafting.
Please remove them – It will be very difficult for you to breath when they are wet. Plus, the river guide will not be able to see your face in difficult situations especially if you are under distress.
Don’t risk your life. Note: We have now stop accepting guests who insist on wearing it.
So there you go! We hope you find the white water rafting tips listed here helpful. If they are do like and share the article. If there is anything else we did not cover, do leave those tips in the comment section below!
Ok, now that you are ready for some white water action, you can choose between these 2 rivers..
Hope to see you soon!
My Adventure Host Team