Rafting Whitewater- What to bring to the American River!

Many of our guests ask what to bring when rafting whitewater here on the American River at the Mother Lode River Center. To help out – we’ve put together a list of the things you definitely do not want to forget!

  1. Waterproof camera– this may be the last bastion of the cheap, disposable waterproof camera! Cellphones are water resistant, not waterproof, and once overboard are gone forever. That said, many guides carry theirs but have figured out a way to secure them reliably, such as a waterproof Pelican box. A GoPro can be ideal if properly mounted.  No need to bring along your fancy SLR. Finally, consider buying commercial photos- high quality, no lost gear, and they last a lifetime!
  2. Water shoes – old tennis shoes or water shoes are perfect. Stay away from flip-flops, Crocs or anything that can easily get pulled off your feet by the river current. Ideal river shoes are snug to your feet, provide traction when walking on slippery rocks and protect the tops of your toes from sunburn.
  3. Sunscreen/chapstick – summer sunshine in California can be incredibly powerful, so be sure to pack and apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before any outdoor activity. We recommend at least SPF 50!
  4. Comfy clothing – when you finish any activity, whether it be whitewater rafting, a ropes course challenge or the zip line, you’ll want to be able to relax in some comfortable clothing for the evening. Think fleece, sweatpants, wool socks…you get the idea.
  5. Baby wipes – that’s right! They’re easy to transport, easy to dispense and offer the perfect solution for cleaning your face, hands, body – you name it. Just what everyone needs when spending a night outdoors.
  6. Hat / headband – when you’re on a river trip, there’s no need to fuss over your physical appearance. Grab your favorite baseball cap or straw hat and you’re ready to go. TIP! Hats and headbands will easily fit underneath all our helmets – protecting your face from the sun and elements. A great solution for those with fair skin.
  7. Insect repellant – the last thing you want to worry about at night is fussing with annoying mosquitoes or gnats. Be sure to grab some repellant for your bag to keep those bothersome bugs at bay.
  8. Trash bag – it’s inevitable. Between the wipes, the exploded sunscreen, Kleenex and everything else, we always manage to end up with some ‘micro-trash’. Be prepared with a plastic grocery bag or similar alternative to eliminate waste and prevent littering!
  9. Flashlight – for those trips to the restroom at 2AM! If you regularly wake up to use the restroom, you’ll want to make sure you have a flashlight to guide your walk to the restrooms.
  10. Journal or notebook – life and vacations are an adventure! Write it all down and cherish your memories forever. This way you won’t forget a single moment! Read stories to one another on the drive home!

Picture of Scott Underwood

Scott Underwood

Company owner Scott Underwood has enjoyed the privilege of helping Mother Lode share his love of rivers with over 290,000 people. He is proud to have helped facilitate the writing of over 29,000 letters which, in turn, have helped save 15 rivers along the Sierra.
Activites at Mother Lode

On The American River

At The Adventure Center

Team Building & River Skills

50th Anniversary Ropes Rafting

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