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What to pack on a multi-day rafting trip?

SLEEPING BAGS - Lightweight, compact, fiberfill preferred. Down-filled is okay but must be dry. 32 - 40 degree sleeping bags work great for mid June through August. 0 to 32 degrees bags are best during other months.

Pro Tip: Bring plastic garbage sacks for your clothes and sleeping bag. This will provide an extra layer of water protection within your provided dry bag.

SMALL TRAVEL PILLOW RAIN SUIT - Two-piece, jacket AND pants. We recommend PVC, EVA or PEVA rainwear, which is basically the rubbery plastic material. It’s waterproof and warm. Thin plastic ponchos are good backups, but might not be durable for multiple days.

Pro Tip: Well used Gore-Tex will lose its waterproofing ability. Check older gear before trusting it.

FOOTWEAR - You will need two pairs of shoes. 1. Sturdy water shoes. Sneakers offer the most protection and work well when used with wool, polypro, or neoprene socks for insulation. Most prefer Chacos or Tevas for being sturdy and quick drying. 2. Comfortable camp shoes that can be used on potentially rocky hikes. 3. Thin, worn out shoes? Pack spares. 2 Flip flops, crocs, cowboy boots, etc are not allowed on the river.

Pro Tip: Most guides will wear Chacos or Tevas while on the river and have more comfortable shoes for evenings in camp.

***Footwear is mandatory at all times on the river and in camp.***

CLOTHING - Small day-bags are provided and may help hold extra layers, although these are small. Remember, all items packed in large dry bags will be inaccessible during the day.

- 2-3 swimsuits.

- 3 pairs of shorts, shirts & underwear for camp.

- 2-3 quick drying shirts. (Long or short sleeve)

- Fleece jacket.

- Puffy jacket - good for chilly mornings.

- Long pants for sun protection and cold mornings.

- 3 pairs of wool socks.

- Beanie

- warm hat.

- Cotton hoodies and jeans are bulky and hard to dry. Leave them behind.

Pro Tip: Warm Days - Quick-dry t-shirt, nylon swimming trunks, and sandals. Cold Days - Trade t-shirt for polypro top, add fleece top and rain suit for the worst conditions.

WATER BOTTLE - sport water bottle that seals well. HAT - Bring a hat for sun protection. Add a retainer in case of wind or water fight.

SUNGLASSES AND EYEGLASSES - Retainers like croakies or chums will be your best friend.

3 SUNSCREEN AND LIP BALM - Expect long hours in the sun. Must be re-applied during the day, bring plenty. INSECT REPELLANT - (Small amount) This is a dry desert climate with very little stationary water. Mosquitos are rare but other bugs may occasionally be present.

HEADLIGHT - (Extra Batteries)

PERSONAL TOILETRIES - Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, small towel, etc.

SOAP - (Optional) Biodegradable soap does extensive damage to rivers before it degrades. It is not allowed in the Salmon River or any side tributaries. You may use soap away from the river if needed.

MEDICINE - If you need to bring any medicine critical to your health {e.g. insulin, epinephrine}, please divide it into two containers, each with adequate quantity to complete the trip. A guide or leader will carry the extra medicine container on a separate boat. Cool storage is available.

PHONE - There is no cell service, wifi, or electrical grid along the river, it’s great! It’s amazing to watch people connect and laugh more than they have in years. Most phones are kept in your big dry bag, but pad it within thick jackets or other layers for protection. We carry satellite communication for emergencies. Family members can reach out to our office if needed during your trip. We can relay messages that are checked daily by trip leaders.

Pro Tip: We recommend waterproof phone dry bags for photos if you want your phone accessible. Your phone might be waterproof but they all sink!

CAMERA - Padded, waterproof camera cases are essential for expensive cameras. Provide your cases, and the guides will accommodate your individual needs. If you bring a disposable camera, use a waterproof marker to identify it, they tend to look alike.


FISHING - You will need an Idaho fishing license if you will be fishing. Fishing gear must be capable of breaking down for transport.

CREDIT CARD - In case of evacuation. Also, you may have the opportunity to stop for ice cream, soda, etc at backcountry ranches.

CASH - gratuities, etc. Gratuities are always a personal matter, however, we are often asked what is common. Here are the industry guidelines - The guides work extremely hard, so if you find they were a highlight of your experience then it is common that they receive 10% – 20% of a party’s total fare. If you do not feel that strongly, please follow your heart as they do very much appreciate your generosity. Common practice is to give it to the trip leader at the end to be distributed evenly among the guides.


- Unnecessary electronic devices (game devices for kids, etc).

- Laptops - dry bags may get tossed and carried over rocks.

- Carabiners - great for rock climbing, but create a hazard on the rafts.

- Glass containers.

- Jewelry.

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