14 Canyoning Tips- What It Is And What You’ll Need

By Abi King | Travel Hacks

Feb 24
Canyoning and canyoneering tips including what to wear and what to bring for this advwenture sport

What to Wear Canyoning and What to Bring

Canyoning. Turning a noun into a sport and a canyon into a playground. Some places call it canyoneering but the premise is the same. Here's what to wear canyoning and what to bring with you. Updated 2019.

Canyon Video with Canyoning Girls

What is Canyoning?

Time was, I’d only ever heard about canyoning (and in fairly loose terms at that.) Then in the space of a few short months, I canyoned in Costa Brava, canyoned in Wadi Mujib in Jordan and coasteered in Wales (the marine version of canyoneering.)

This video shows you what canyoning is like in Jordan’s Wadi Mujib - just a hop, skip and a jump (if you’ll forgive such old-fashioned verbs) from the majestic Dead Sea.

And speaking of old fashioned, it was filmed a few years ago! But the premise stays the same, even if my tech equipment and editing skills have improved.

 

What to Wear Canyoning

Footwear

Trainers are best – they provide grip but they’re not too heavy when you’re underwater. Also, if you’re travelling, then they’ll dry out quicker than other shoes. If you've been bitten by the bug, you can buy specialist canyoneering shoes. 

Swimwear and Wetsuits

If you’re canyoning in a cold place, you’ll probably be given a wetsuit, so bring a bathing suit to go underneath. If you’re canyoning somewhere hot (like Jordan) you’ll go in your usual clothes. Lightweight, quick drying sports clothes are best for this. Normal cotton trousers tend to stick on your skin. Jeans are even worse.

Sports Underwear


Girls, wear a sports bra. It’s just easier that way...

Head Protection

Wear a helmet if at all possible. You'll be jumping in, over and under rocks and it only takes the one to cause a life-changing injury... (Says the former doctor wisely...)

Gloves

Fingerless gloves can make you more comfortable.

Spare Clothes

Bring a spare pair of shoes to the centre (and ideally a fresh, dry set of clothes) for changing in to afterwards.

Canyoning: Essential Survival Tips

Go with a Guide

Go with an appropriately qualified guide who you can trust. I mean it! It's the difference between having an amazing time and either feeling terrified or worse...

Realise How Wet You Will Get

Realise that you will get very, very wet. Completely soaked in fact. You may well be submerged for periods of time or need both hands while you’re in the water. So, don’t take anything with you that you can’t fasten to yourself – or that isn’t waterproof.

Sunscreen and Bug Spray


Put sunscreen and insect repellent on if you need it (depending on where you are) before you set out.

Related: What is it like to go skydiving?
Canyoning through waterfalls in Wadi Majib


Beware Degloving

Remove all jewellery (including wedding rings.) They can get snagged on the rock that you’ll be clinging to and you risk a rather nasty injury called “degloving.” Enough said.

Lifejackets

Wear a lifejacket (if you’re canyoning at a centre that doesn’t at the very least provide these, then I’d suggest walking away.)

Towels

You probably need to bring your own towel...

Valuables

And most places don’t have anywhere secure for your valuables...Therefore, try not to bring them.

Waterproof Cameras

Waterproof cameras, like the Olympus Tough or GoPro work well while canyoning as they are light enough to attach to your lifejacket and small enough to slide inside your sleeve for protection.

In spite of the long list above, canyoning’s a fantastic, pulse-racing sport that you can begin at any level of fitness. Don’t believe me?

Find Out More About Canyoning

Check out my other canyoning video and read this incredibly inspiring story about Julie Collazo’s first canyoning experience. Then read this post from the Planet D. That’s what happens when you push canyoning to the max.
Now excuse me while I find myself a hot shower and a dry towel...

Disclosure - in each of the locations mentioned, I went canyoneering on a complimentary basis for review purposes. As ever, as always, I kept the right to write what I like. And the fact that I'm still recommending some of these places nearly a decade later should tell you something!

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About the Author

Hi, I'm Abi, a doctor turned writer who's worked with Lonely Planet, the BBC, UNESCO and more. Let's travel more and think more.

  • Mary says:

    Looks like an incredible and adventurous experience! Thanks for sharing these great tips!

    • Abi says:

      Hope you find them useful – I had a great time!

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