For those who love the excitement and rush that comes with any adventure sport, there’s nothing better than taking on the forces of nature in the form of whitewater rafting! This is an activity that is fun for both experts and beginners. Even if you have no prior rafting experience, you can enjoy this event. However, there are certain precautions that one should take to make sure you have a pleasant and safe experience. Take time to review the following whitewater rafting safety tips described below to before your trip:

Wear A Life Jacket

It seems like a no-brainer, but wearing a life jacket is the easiest way to stay safe while whitewater rafting. A rafting outfitter is required to provide type V life jackets or personal floatation devices to all visitors going whitewater rafting. A type V life jacket represents the foam density and pounds of floatation in the device. It is the most secure kind of jacket you can wear. So, once you are near the river’s edge, be sure that your life jacket is on and it is effectively fitted. Please note that in order for a “proper fit”, a life jacket needs to fit snug. This will make sure that your life jacket does not float up and go over your head if you jump into the water. To do its’ job, your lifejacket needs to stay securely in place around your midsection. Always wear your life jacket any time you are near the water or in the rafting.

Watch Your Step

This is another one of those rules that may seem like plain common sense, but it does need to be mentioned. You don’t want to ruin or put a damper on your rafting trip because you fell or missed a step when climbing into the raft. Hold on and stay alert until you are properly seated.  Be cautious getting around when on the riverbank and especially when getting in and out of the boat. The rocks, which are along the edge of the river, are very slippery, so take your time. “Low and slow” is a motto that river guides often use, move gradually and crouch down low when the terrain or rocks are particularly dangerous.

Listen to Your Guide

This is especially essential when it comes to a paddleboat, where each has a paddle. The guide will be calling out commands such as left side, right side, etc. They do this to be able to get around securely through a fast, prevent rocks and make sure you are having the most fun possible.

Sit in a Recliner 

If you do occur to fall into the water and you are approaching a fast, you will want to try to get back to the boat as soon as possible. Sometimes it is not always possible to get back in the boat; you may have to float down the river for a bit before being pulled back into the boat. Remember you have a type V life jacket on that will help keep you afloat. Also, all you need to do is sit returning in a La-Z-Boy recliner position with your feet out in the front side of you and float down the river. This position makes sure that if there are rocks in the river, you can push off of them with your feet, not your head or tailbone. You will also have a clear view of what is down the river

Pay Attention to Your Surroundings 

Familiarize yourself with your surroundings both in and out of the water. Your guide will point out local risks of your immediate area, such as snakes, poison ivy, poison oak, etc. Just be conscious of the land, and it risks.

Hire A Guide 

Whitewater rafting can be quite a difficult task if one is not experienced of what exactly to do. If you are a beginner or do not have much experience, then hiring a guide will be one of the best decisions that you can make. A guide can take you to excellent spots and also make sure that you are safe and secure throughout the whole journey.

Make Good Choices 

The most difficult rapids should be maneuvered only after one becomes an experienced rafter and becomes more relaxed with the sport. Do not try anything crazy and dangerous, as your safety should be the first and major concern throughout your entire experience. If you put safety first, not only will you have a great time, but also you’ll be back to enjoy the rapids again and again!

Finally, here’s one last tip for a great whitewater rafting experience: try out the rafting experiences offered in the beautiful Smoky Mountains! Reserve your spot at Maggie Valley’s Creekside Lodge by calling 800-621-1260. Call today and let our friendly staff point you to some of the best rafting spots in the Smokies! After a long day of exciting river adventure, relax in the family-owned get-away at Creekside Lodge in Maggie Valley. Make your plans today and then get set for some excitement, fun and relaxation!