5 Tricks to Help You Survive the Heat on a Rafting Trip

5 Tricks to Help You Survive the Heat on a Rafting Trip

We’re going to start off our “how to beat the heat” advice by stating the obvious…

If you’re on a boat and you’re hot, you’re stupid. Yeah, we said it. Now, with that little tip out of the way, we can move on to the real advice. Here are a few of our favorite tricks for staying cool when you’re out in the elements all day long. In other words, here’s how to avoid getting fried on a rafting trip:

1) Clean out the store’s sunscreen aisle before you go because you’re going to need it.

Wearing sunscreen goes without saying, but it’s the frequency that you put it on that’s key. You want to avoid the burn at all costs, otherwise, you’ll really find out what hot feels like.  So, when you wake up, put on your sunscreen. Before you get on the boat for the day, put sunscreen on. When the boat pulls over to a beach for a quick leg stretcher, you guessed it, more sunscreen. After you swim or hit a crazy section of rapids, sunscreen. Put it on all day long, whenever you have the chance, and trust us, you’ll be a much happier (albeit greasier) camper. Worried about slathering on all that sunscreen? Here are some of our favorite eco-friendly brands.

san juan rafting trip

2) Keep ‘em on (your clothes, that is).

This one kind of goes against the basic logic, because when you’re super hot you want to be in the least amount of clothes possible. But honestly, when that desert sun is beating down on you in the middle of Cataract Canyon, sometimes the best thing you can do is stay covered. Invest in some lightweight UPF clothes that will provide extra help in blocking those UV rays even if you forget to dab the sunscreen underneath your armpit.  And if you can only splurge on one piece of gear, choose a long-sleeve shirt with a UPF rating. And that brings us to our next tip…

3) Take your shirt for a dip.

Sometimes you’re on a boat warming up and there’s not enough time to take a swim before the next set of rapids. Or, let’s be honest, you don’t want to jump out of the boat because you’re afraid of what you’ll look like trying to get back in (nobody is staring at your butt as you’re hoisted back into the raft, promise). But whatever the situation, this is a prime opportunity to take your shirt (or hat, bandana, etc.) for a swim instead. Just dunk it in and throw it on. Voila! Instant heat relief.

4) Bring a carabiner for your water bottle so it’s always at the ready.

Staying hydrated is not really an option, it’s a must (you know, if you want to stay alive). But it’s a pain to always have to go into your dry bag to get to your bottle of water. Instead, invest in a carabiner. Clip it on your water bottle before you go and you’ll be able to hook it anywhere on the raft (there’s ropes and straps all over the place). This way, every time you look at your water bottle, you’ll remember to take a sip. And please do, because one of the first signs of dehydration is moodiness and nobody wants to be stuck on a raft with a crab.

lower salmon rafting

5) Be a shade hunter.

Do you ever notice how it feels almost 10-degrees cooler in the shade? That’s because your body can stay cooler when the sun isn’t directly hitting your skin. So take advantage of the ample times during the day when you can hole up next to a tree or even underneath an umbrella for some added relief. Some guides will even bring a few umbrellas and set them up riverside so you can be protected from the sun while dipping your feet in the river. Grab a cold beer while you’re at it. Now that’s the ultimate way to stay cool.

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