Published: Mar 10, 2016

What to Wear Whitewater Rafting on the St. louis River

What to wear on a rafting trip with us is a question we get a lot. As we all know, weather in the great state of Minnesota can be somewhat unpredictable. Even with a forecast of a 90 degree day it’s still a good idea to have a backup plan in case things don’t turn out according to plan.

Typically during our early season–May and June–the weather is cool and the water cold. Even if the air temperature is in the high 60’s the water may not be much above 40 degrees. If you’re visiting us during this time we’ve got you covered with our complimentary splash gear to help keep you dry. You’ll still need to keep warm underneath though! For that we recommend layers of synthetic clothing such as Under Armour© or fleece. Avoid wearing any substantial amount of cotton as it easily draws heat away from your body if it becomes wet.

During the rest of the summer we often expect long stretches of warm weather, however that can always change quickly being so close to Lake Superior. Typically, a swimsuit is all people wear underneath their life jacket when the temps are high. However, a cold air mass or rain storm can blow in with little warning so it’s important to have some extra layers (again, synthetic) around just in case. A rain jacket is also a great thing to have around because sometimes it’s just the right amount of protection without being too warm, and you can always take it off (or start a water fight) if you get too hot.

Towards the end of our season (September/October) it’s often mild but it’s still a good idea to pack some extra layers just in case. The water is usually starting to cool down and even warm days are getting shorter and colder.

Footwear is also important at any time of the year. We’ll be getting in and out of the rafts and hiking around so you’ll want something that has laces or velcro straps and won’t fall off easily. The river is full of sharp rocks that are no fun to step on after you lose a shoe in the water.

To recap, it’s Minnesota. So wear a swimsuit, but pack some warm synthetic clothing just in case. Even in July.

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