Do I really need rain gear?
The question is a valid one? Do you really need rain tops and bottoms in the Grand Canyon? The weather in the summer can easily hit 100ºF. Short answer: Yes. Here’s why…
Though it is true that the heat is an enduring friend during the summer months, the river water itself is mighty cold. The relationship between cold water and hot air temp is actually a pretty nice one. The cold water drenches you and the hot sun dries you off immediately. It is both invigorating and comforting. The problem arises when a.) the sun is hidden behind the canyon walls, b.) monsoons come and soak the whole canyon or c.) your friends have decided that you would be the best person to ride up front all day.
In the morning of even the hottest days, the canyon is shaded for quite some time. Depending on the stretch of river, you may not see the sun until 11:00 a.m.. Quality rain gear can make all the difference in the world. Imagine a trough of cold, cold water being dumped on you without a towel or sun to dry you off.
This is why we recommend a two piece rain suit with a hood and the capability to cinch at the ankle, wrists and waist regardless of the time of year.
The more obvious reasons for needing rain gear are those associated with weather.
If you are rafting with us in April, early May, September or October, the air temperatures during this time are likely to be a bit cooler than the summer with highs in the 80s and lows in the 50s. Furthermore, you’ll experience less sunlight to quickly dry you off after each rapid. Getting stuck in a rain storm without proper rain gear can get a little uncomfortable. 😉 See Example A: HERE!
Now you know why you need a good rain suit, now you may ask yourself, “Self… What qualifies as a good rain suit?”
Great Question! The key phrase to look for is “water proof.” You’ll want something that has good water resistance, but is also breathable, which means you don’t want a plastic rain poncho (not very water resistant) and you don’t want a splash jacket (not very breathable). A great site for researching the differences in jackets is outdoorgearlab.com. This should give you a good sense of what to buy. Remember that the rain suit (and possibly your river sandals) should be your highest consideration when purchasing items from the packing list. Here are a few websites to help. Happy hunting River Runners!
A more economical option (but only recommended for 3 day trips in June/July) is: www.froggtoggsraingear.com