How to Prepare for 2024’s Rafting Season

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How to Prepare for 2024’s Rafting Season

Winter months can be tough when the lakes and rivers we all love so much are chilly or frozen over but there are several things you can do while you wait for the snow and ice to melt to prepare for 2024’s rafting season! 


Plan ahead. Take some time now to check out potential rafting trip dates and narrow down your selections. Book ahead if possible or be ready to book as soon as your outfitter opens for the season so you have the best chance of getting a reservation on your preferred dates. Take a look at when you and your loved ones have time off, what season you want to raft during, and make note of travel times and directions to and from the outfitter’s headquarters. If you want to make your trip into a full weekend experience, do some research online to find great local places to stay and things to do while you are in the area.


Take inventory of what gear you currently have, what your outfitter will provide for you, and what you may want to purchase for your trip. Doing this early will give you ample time to shop around and order something online if you can’t find it in a store near you. It also gives you time to get comfortable with your gear and make sure everything fits and operates the way you want it to. 


Exercise. Yep, maybe you love it or maybe it’s not your favorite word to hear, but either way, there are some simple things you can do no matter the level you are at to help strengthen your body so that your time spent on the river is more fun and the time afterward leaves you feeling less sore. 


Upperbody and core strength training and endurance exercises like old-school push-ups, pull-ups, and planks are great for building muscle through your arms, chest, abdomen, and back and will help you paddle like a pro this upcoming season. If you are not used to these exercises, it is completely fine to start out with push-ups on your knees and use a chair or band to give you a boost with pull-ups. Core exercises like planks will help you feel more stable and have better control of your entire body as you move and balance while navigating the whitewater this season. 


Don’t forget to get in some cardio training as well. Feeling out of breath just a few minutes into your trip puts a damper on the fun sometimes so find a jump rope, treadmill, elliptical, or get out and go for a brisk walk, jog, or hop on a bike and show your heart some love. Find a way to make it enjoyable so that you don’t dread every minute of conditioning. Do it with a friend, watch a show, or turn on a podcast while you move to help you focus on something fun and you may find yourself enjoying cardio sessions!


The important takeaway is to remember to start where you are and build up from there, even small efforts can make a difference on the river!


Learn the language. River lingo is fun and can enhance your experience! Do a little bit of online research to find and understand some of the most common terms you may hear from river guides, other rafters, or on outfitter websites as you prepare for your next adventure! When you raft with Thunder, your guide is specially trained to answer your questions, make sure you feel comfortable and safe, and help you have an awesome time so if there is something you don’t understand, feel free to ask!


We are so excited to see you on the river this upcoming season and can’t wait for all of the adventures to be had and the memories to be made! Catch you on the river soon!

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