So, you want to go rafting...

Written by  Jackie Kochell

Rafting down a river, whether along treacherous currents or turtle-paced streams, will get you out of the daily routine and into the wild. Striking outdoor scenery and good company in the face of a challenge, mean a rafting trip can give you some thrills as well as some time to clear your head. Huck Finn found his freedom once he set off down a river, and rafting dangles the same promise for all.

You don’t have to be in the best shape to attempt a rafting adventure. Sure, navigating through rough waters is easier when you’ve frequented the gym on more than a few rare occasions, but rafting is a team sport, you’re all in it together. A rafting adventure can be a half-day getaway or multiple-week excursion. Many rafters are also avid campers. After a long day of being out in the water, sitting in front of a warm fire and devouring the amount of food that much exposure to the outdoors and exercise requires are some of the most treasured trip memories.

From the Zambezi to the Sun Kosi, to the Chattooga, most rivers have a section worth rafting. Rivers are ranked from Class I to Class VI - with Class VI being the most extreme. You’ll need a guide to take you down the more dramatic stretches of river, but the sheer amount of gear you need and need to know how to use means that it’s easier to go with an outfitter. Rafting is known to be one of those sports which also doubles as a dedicated social network. Beginners wanting to raft without a guide should consider a rafting club in their community in order to gain sage advice and meet a few nature-loving buddies.

Top Rafting Adventures

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