FacebookSkip to main content
February 27th, 2024
group of people rafting

What to Wear White Water Rafting During Each Season

February 3, 2024 February 27th, 2024

When you go white water rafting, you probably think about wearing a bathing suit and shoes that won’t fall off. But there might just be some other items you should wear or bring when you go rafting, and the weather can even affect your clothing choices. So how do you decide what to pack? Keep reading to learn what to wear white water rafting during each season we are open:


group of people rafting on the Upper RiverIf you are planning on white water rafting with us during the spring, your apparel will need to be different compared to a summer trip. While we could have warm spring days, the weather is still typically cooler compared to the summer months.

The best options when it comes to what to wear rafting in the spring are synthetic, wool, or fleece layers because they hold in body heat. Fabric you should stay away from is cotton, because once it is wet, it will not retain body heat.

For your feet, you will probably want neoprene shoes to keep your feet warm. The best types of shoes are secure shoes like tennis shoes or water shoes. You could also wear wool socks underneath neoprene booties or river sandals. To keep your hands warm, you could put on neoprene gloves!

Spring Trips

During March and April, we offer spring trips. The water levels are less predictable this time of year, so you never know what kind of trip you could experience! You could have a relaxing ride down the river or encounter class 3 and 4 rapids along the way.


The most popular time of year to go rafting is the summer, but you’re probably wondering what to wear white water rafting if you’re planning this type of trip. Since the weather is typically hot during the summer, you won’t need to worry about staying warm.

Many people choose to wear a swimsuit with clothing over it since you’ll be getting wet. You’ll want to choose a lightweight synthetic fabric since it quickly dries so you won’t be soaking wet for the drive back to where you’re staying. We recommend a bathing suit or a t-shirt and shorts. Stay away from jeans or any kind of denim.

As for shoes, you will want to wear something with a strap that goes around your heel so they do not fall off while you’re out on the water. Non flip-flops or bare feet are allowed. We recommend sports sandals with a heel strap, like Chacos.

Summer Trips

Our summer season ranges from May to September, and you have the most options when it comes to what type of trip you want to go on. Take young children on the Lower River Trip for a fun family excursion, or bring your older kids and teens on the Upper River Trip for a thrilling ride! Anyone who is a thrill seeker will definitely want to try the Extreme Upper River Trip. You’ll love the variety of trips to choose from during the summer!


rafters waving at the cameraIn East Tennessee, fall weather can be slightly unpredictable. It could be just as hot as it is during the height of summer, or it can start to cool off quickly. We recommend keeping an eye on the weather to see what the temperature will be like that day to help you decide what to wear rafting.

If the temperature will be slightly cool, you should plan on wearing quick-drying layers that will keep you warm like we mentioned for spring trips. If the temperature will be warm like during the summer, you could wear lightweight, quick-drying items like a swimsuit with a t-shirt over it.

The type of shoes for a fall trip are the same as spring and summer trips. You should wear shoes that quickly dry, such as neoprene or river sandals, but you may want synthetic socks if the weather is cooler.

Fall Trips

Our fall season ranges from September to October. We offer the same type of trips as in the spring, so you never know what type of excursion you could have! Maybe you’ll enjoy an easy ride down the river, or you could get to experience class 3 and 4 rapids!

Now you know what to wear white water rafting when you plan a trip with us. Haven’t decided what type of trip would be best for your crew? Look through our Smoky Mountain rafting trips, and book one for your vacation now!