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March 15th, 2020
Big family enjoying a Lower Pigeon River rafting trip.

What To Wear When White Water Rafting

September 11, 2013 March 15th, 2020

White water rafting in Gatlinburg combines the thrills of an amusement park ride with the natural beauty of the Smoky Mountain area. As you plan your visit to Smoky Mountain Outdoors, be sure to pay special attention to what you will wear. Choosing the wrong clothing can put a serious damper on your white water rafting adventure. To help you make the right clothing decisions, we have provided some fashion advice for your next trip down the Pigeon River.


The number one priority for your clothing is comfort. In the summer months, this means staying cool and protecting yourself from the sun. T-shirts, shorts, and swimsuits are all good decisions when preparing for your rafting trip. Instead of wearing flip flops, put on a pair of old sneakers or water shoes. Be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen and consider wearing sunglasses with a retaining strap. A baseball cap can also be useful for keeping the sun out of your eyes. Additionally, bring a towel and a change of clothes and shoes for after the trip.

Spring and Fall

The key to dressing for success in the spring and fall is layering. Your base layer should be some sort of synthetic long underwear such as Under Armor or Nike Dri-Fit. The synthetic fabrics used in this clothing are very resistant to water, which is perfect for rafting. Your next layer should be made of fleece to keep you warm. Although it may be comfortable, do not wear cotton clothing in the cooler months of year! Cotton absorbs more water than other fabrics, which will make you cold and miserable. Also, stay away from wool and denim. Finally, Smoky Mountain Outdoors will provide you with free nylon jackets and pants to wear over your clothes. As in the summer months, bring a towel, dry clothes and dry shoes.

For more help on what to wear white water rafting and how to prepare for your trip, read our blog, “6 Things to Remember When Going on a White Water Rafting Gatlinburg Trip.”

With the right clothing in tow, you’ll be ready for an incredible day of white water rafting in Gatlinburg. Smoky Mountain Outdoors offers exhilarating rafting trips along both the Upper and Lower Pigeon River. Visit our Trips page to learn all about our variety of white water rafting adventures.