If you plan on going river rafting, then there is some important gear that you need to have in order to keep yourself safe while having your adventure. Obviously, you need to have a raft and paddles or be going on a trip where there is already an inflatable raft and paddles.
The paddles should be constructed of carbon and should feel light and easy to handle. Since you will be rafting down a river you should wear a swimsuit under your clothes. It is absolutely essential that you have and wear a lifejacket or life vest of some kind. You must ensure that the lifejacket is the correct size so that it will zip up. Similarly, you should ensure that the helmet you choose fits you. A helmet is very important to wear to protect against injuries. You could potentially fall out of the raft and hit your head on rocks, so it is strongly advised that you wear a helmet to protect your head from unforeseen injuries.
If you are rafting in water that tends to be cold, then it is advisable to wear a wetsuit made of neoprene. This will help keep your body warm by reducing heat loss, especially if you fall in the water. Some rafters advocate wearing a dry suit which also helps prevent heat loss, but it has to be worn with undergarments. River rafts should also have what are known as rescue throw bags. These are bags that contain a rope that falls out when you throw the bag to someone who is in the water, so as to help the person easily make their way back to the boat. The bag gives something for the person to cling to.
You should also remember to pack sunblock since you are likely to burn quite badly during your trip. Many people recommend sunblock of SPF 30 and higher. This is especially important if your trip is in the summer time when the sun will be strong. You could also bring a hat with a wide brim and sunglasses to further protect yourself from the sun. It is a good idea to have sunglasses with ties, so they do not get lost.
If you are wearing a swimsuit, you can wear shorts and a shirt over it, and wear shoes, such as old sneakers or crocs. You do not want to wear your best clothes during this activity. You should also pack extra clothes (including a sweater and long pants), and a towel, and possibly a snack and something to drink, in a waterproof bag. If you are going on a trip that involves camping along the way, then there are more things you will need such as a tent, sleeping bag and small mattress.
Keep in mind that whatever you take has to be able to fit on the raft, so it should all be able to be packed down into a small size. It is a good idea to use a checklist for your particular trip to be sure you remember all the gear to take with.