Most serious adventurers love rafting. After all, it’s hard to beat the adrenaline rush of riding the waves down some fearsome rapids. However, this isn’t to say that all rafting is high-octane. If you’d rather enjoy a serene paddle down a gentle stream taking in the scenery, there’s a rafting excursion for you. Either way, all rafters will agree, a journey down a river by raft is an amazing way to experience the wilderness. Therefore, if you’ve caught the rafting bug, you might be thinking about investing in your own raft accessories. Below, we run through what to consider, the basic kit, and recommend our favorite raft gear brands.
Why invest in your own rafting gear?
Whether you’re an experienced rafter or just getting in to it, buying your own gear is a great investment. That said, raft accessories are expensive – so it’s not surprising that even some of the most enthusiastic rafters stick with rental equipment. Therefore, when choosing your kit, it’s important to make sure you make the right selections. However, once you’ve got all your own gear, you’ll be able to enjoy much more freedom when it comes to determining the time and location of your rafting adventures.
The essential raft accessories
The problem with raft accessories is that there’s a lot of components – and once you’ve figured out everything you need, there’s a lot of choice. The selection can seem a little intimidating, but with the right advice, you can make sure you get the best possible equipment for your budget. Remember – rafting gear is intended to keep you safe, so investing in decent kit is important. Below is a list of essential rafting accessories to get you started:
- Rafting lifejacket or PFD – Your lifejacket is arguably your most important piece of equipment. When looking for a lifejacket, make sure you choose a brand that’s designed specifically for whitewater rafting.
- Helmet – A good helmet is a must. Head injuries are a serious risk, so make sure you buy the best helmet you can afford.
- Wetsuit – Neoprene wetsuits are the most popular rafting garment. A good wetsuit is particularly important if you’re going rafting in a cold climate.
- Booties – Rafting booties are important to protect your feet from any rough surfaces on the river bed or shore. Go for a durable neoprene pair for the best possible protection.
- Dry bags – If you’re going on a multi-day rafting trip, a clean, dry place to store your gear is essential. Invest in dry bags of varying sizes so you have a place for everything.
- Dry boxes – Again, if you’re going on a multi-day adventure, dry boxes are a great solution to ensure kitchen gear and food stays dry. If you own your own raft, you can get custom boxes that fit the raft frame. Furthermore, you can also get dry boxes that double up as coolers.
- Rafting straps – If you’ve got a lot of gear with you, you’ll need to make sure it’s tied securely to your boat.
- Knife – As most explorers know all too well, it’s never a bad idea to have a high-quality Swiss Army knife handy.
Our favorite rafting brands
There’s a lot of options out there, but below is a list of trusted paddling supply stores that offer high quality boats and accessories. Through these suppliers, you should be able to find everything you need for your next whitewater adventure.
Water sports and other adventures in Patagonia
Patagonia plays host to some of the best water sports in the world. The region has loads to offer adventurers who love to take to the water. From kayaking on turquoise lakes, taking on wild rapids, or drifting past towering glaciers, Patagonia is second to none for water sports. However, it doesn’t stop at on the water; Patagonia also boasts some of the world’s most spectacular hiking and climbing. From Mount Fitz Roy to the Torres del Paine, Patagonia should be at the top of every nature lover’s bucket list. For about the amazing adventures Patagonia has to offer, check out our guide.