When it comes to river travel, there are few things more exhilarating than a whitewater rafting trip in Idaho. The experience connects you with the water and your craft in a totally unique way. While it’s a fun adventure, it can also leave you feeling drained and wiped out by the end of the day if you’re not taking care of yourself. As experienced raft guides in Hells Canyon, the crew at Killgore Adventures has seen their fair share of mistakes and mishaps. Avoid these common mistakes, and you’ll enjoy every minute of your whitewater rafting trip down the Snake or Salmon rivers.

You’re Not Hydrated

Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink. It can seem odd to worry about dehydration while surrounded by water, but it’s more common than you might think. Navigating a raft down a twisting river takes more effort than you realize, and you’ll sweat a lot. Staying hydrated will keep you from getting headaches during the trip and will help your body recover from the fatigue you’ll feel after getting out of the boat.

Keeping hydrated is an easy way to stay in the moment and really make the most of your trip. If you’re curious as to how much water you should be drinking, there are a couple of measures you can use. Researchers now suggest you should drink half your body weight in ounces in water each day. If that’s too much math, try and drink four to six liters of water each day while out rafting.

You’re Not Protecting Yourself From the Sun

Whitewater rafting is one of the best ways to get a really gnarly sunburn. We often take trips down Hells Canyon during warm days, meaning our passengers wear short-sleeved shirts and pants to keep cool. However, they don’t put on sunscreen and get burned quickly. If you want to wear short clothing, making sure you’re using a good sunscreen.

But sunscreen can leave your skin feeling slick against the rubber of the raft. Sunscreen on your face can also melt with sweat and water and run into your eyes. If you’re not wild about sunscreen, wear long-sleeved clothing that is lightweight. Many companies now make specialty clothing that acts as a fabric-based SPF, keeping your skin safe.

You’re Not Listening To Your Guide

After a few minutes of learning the right strokes and commands, you might tune out your river guide entirely. Resist the temptation to channel your inner John Wesley Powell, and make sure you listen to your river guide. Whitewater rafting takes teamwork, and your guide acts as the coach, telling everyone in your raft which strokes to perform and when. Only when done in unison will any paddling have an effect on the trajectory of the boat.

Not only that but failing to listen to the guide can leave you feeling overconfident, which can lead to trouble. You don’t want to get ejected from the boat because you weren’t prepared for a certain section of the rapids.

You’re Taking Things Too Seriously

There’s no denying that whitewater rafting is exciting, and it may even feel scary at some points, but that doesn’t mean you can’t relax and enjoy yourself! After all, this is a form of transportation that few people get to experience and the beauty of the Hells Canyon region is truly spectacular. While it’s good to focus in on what the river guide is telling you, it’s also important to sit back and take in the experience. Laugh and joke with your fellow rafters when it’s appropriate. Have a great time and create some truly unforgettable memories.

Killgore Adventures offers whitewater rafting trips that last from a single afternoon to a four day long expedition. Explore the Snake River and book your whitewater rafting adventure now!