Helen Feng

May 26, 2023

New York Adventures Guide #2: White Water Rafting NY

Embarking on a white water rafting trip promises an exhilarating adventure, stunning scenery, and an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re a first-timer or an experienced rafter, being prepared with the right gear and equipment is essential for a safe and enjoyable journey. In this article, we’ll guide you through everything you need to know before going on a white water rafting trip.

Best White Water Rafting NY

While the Lehigh River is not located in New York, it is one of the most popular white water rafting destinations that are easily accessible from NYC. Here are some reasons why Lehigh white water rafting is often considered as one of the best white water rafting near NYC:

1. Scenic Beauty: The Lehigh River flows through the picturesque Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania, offering stunning natural beauty along its course.

2. Varied Rapids: The Lehigh River provides a range of rapids suitable for different skill levels, making it an ideal destination for both beginners and experienced rafters. The river offers a mix of exciting Class II and Class III rapids, providing a thrilling adventure while also beginner-friendly.

3. Accessibility: The Lehigh River is easily accessible from various parts of New York and the surrounding areas. It is within a few hours’ drive from major cities such as New York City, Philadelphia, and New Jersey, making it a convenient destination for a day trip or weekend getaway. (Wonder how to go there by a bus from New York? Check out our Whitewater Rafting NYC Day Trip!)

4. Well-Established Outfitters: The Lehigh River is home to several reputable rafting outfitters that provide professional services and guided trips. These outfitters offer experienced guides, top-quality equipment, safety briefings, and comprehensive instruction to ensure a safe and enjoyable rafting experience.

What To Bring On A White Water Rafting Trip

Being well-prepared with the right gear and equipment ensures a safe and enjoyable white water rafting trip. Here’s our comprehensive list of things to bring on a white water rafting New York trip.

1. Proper Clothing: Wearing the right clothing is crucial for your comfort and safety during a white water rafting trip. Opt for quick-drying materials that offer protection from the sun and water. Shoes like flip flops should be avoided. Here’s what to pack:

- Swimwear or synthetic quick-dry shorts and shirts.

- Lightweight, moisture-wicking, long-sleeved shirts for sun protection.

- Neoprene wetsuit or splash jacket for cold water rafting trips.

- Sturdy water shoes or sport sandals with secure straps for foot protection.

2. Personal Flotation Device (PFD): A properly fitted PFD, also known as a life jacket, is a non-negotiable item for white water rafting. Ensure it is approved by relevant safety standards and fits snugly, allowing for freedom of movement. Your rafting outfitter will typically provide PFDs, but if you have your own, ensure it meets safety requirements.

3. Helmet: A high-quality helmet is crucial for head protection during white water rafting. Choose a helmet designed specifically for water sports and ensure it fits securely and comfortably. The helmet should have adjustable straps and provide ample coverage for the head.

4. Protective Gear: Depending on the intensity of the rapids and the specific requirements of your trip, additional protective gear may be necessary. Consider bringing:

- Neoprene gloves for protection against cold water and potential abrasions.

- Elbow and knee pads for added protection, especially for more challenging rapids.

5. Waterproof Bag: Keep your personal belongings safe and dry by packing them in a waterproof bag or dry bag. This bag will protect essential items such as your phone, camera, extra clothing, and snacks from getting wet during the rafting journey.

6. Sun Protection: White water rafting often takes place under the sun, making sun protection crucial. Pack the following items to shield yourself from harmful UV rays:

- Broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF rating.

- Sunglasses with straps to secure them during turbulent rapids.

- Wide-brimmed hat or a cap with a brim to protect your face and neck from the sun.

7. Water and Snacks: Staying hydrated and energized is essential during physical activities like white water rafting. Bring plenty of water in a reusable, leak-proof bottle. Pack lightweight and non-perishable snacks like energy bars, trail mix, or dried fruits to keep your energy levels up throughout the trip.

8. Personal Essentials: Remember to pack the following personal essentials for a comfortable and hassle-free white water rafting experience:

- Towel for drying off after the trip.

- Change of dry clothes for after the rafting adventure.

- Extra cash for any additional expenses, such as gratuities or souvenirs.

- Personal medications or first aid supplies, if required.

Water Rafting NYC Safety Guidelines

White water rafting can be an exhilarating adventure, but it’s important to prioritize safety at all times. Here are some essential safety guidelines to follow on a white water rafting trip:

1. Choose a Reputable Rafting Outfitter: Select a reputable rafting outfitter that prioritizes safety, employs experienced guides, and follows industry standards. Research reviews and check for certifications to ensure you’re in capable hands. (Our Whitewater Rafting NYC Day Trip) partners with the best rafting outfitter in the Lehigh River!

2. Listen to Safety BriefingsPay close attention during pre-trip safety briefings conducted by your rafting guides. They will provide important information about safety procedures, paddle techniques, river hazards, and emergency protocols. Ask questions if anything is unclear.

3. Wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD): Always wear a properly fitted personal flotation device (PFD) or life jacket while on the raft.

4. Proper Gear and Equipment: Use the appropriate gear and equipment provided by the outfitter. This may include helmets, paddles, and wetsuits or splash jackets for colder water trips.

5. Paddle and Balance: Learn and practice proper paddling techniques before setting out. Paddle as a team and maintain good balance in the raft to avoid capsizing or losing control. Be attentive to your guide’s instructions on when to paddle and when to hold on.

6. Stay Hydrated and Protected: Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated during your rafting trip. Apply sunscreen before embarking and reapply regularly, especially on exposed skin.


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