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What to bring on your rafting trip

What to Bring

We’ll provide a waterproof bag (16″ diameter by 32″ high) for the majority of your things that you will not need to get to until we reach camp each evening, such as your clothes and sleeping bag, Each guest will also receive a smaller waterproof dry-bag for day-use items including your camera, hiking shoes, sunscreen, fleece, raincoat, etc. that you can easily get to during the day as we float downstream. The raft cargo boxes can accommodate extra overflow items such as a video camera or liquor.

We’ll also provide roomy 2-person tents (we assume couples or siblings will share, and single folks will prefer a private tent to themselves. Let us know if it’s not obvious how many tents to bring for you or your group), 2″ thick sleeping pads, camp chairs, souvenir water bottles, type V rafting lifejackets/helmets/wetsuits for rafters and inflatable kayakers (hardshell kayakers and whitewater canoeists will need to bring their own paddling wear/gear such as drysuit/top, helmet, PFD, skirt, paddle, etc).

To accommodate space and weight constraints, we ask that you limit your baggage weight to 35 lbs. per person, and pack your things into duffel bags or soft packs; no suitcases, external frame packs, or wheeled luggage.

Here’s a list of what to bring with you on the river. These items will ensure you’ll be comfortable on cool mornings and hot afternoons.

  • Soft duffel bag(s) or pack(s), no suitcases, frame packs or rolling luggage
  • 1 sleeping bag, warm to 32 degrees (bag and cuddle budddy available to rent if you prefer, $50+6% tax)
  • 1 swimsuit
  • River wear (quick dry material)
    • 1-2 pairs of shorts
    • 1 pair of long sun pants
    • 1-2 sun hoody or long sleeve sun shirt
    • 1 short sleeve shirt
  • Camp Wear (cotton or comfy material)
    • 1 pair of shorts
    • 1 skirt or dress
    • 1 pair of long pants
    • 1 long sleeve shirt
    • 1-2 short sleeve shirts or tank tops
  • 1 pair river sandals/shoes for on-river wear (must attach to your feet)
  • 1 pair of tennis shoes or light boots for in-camp wear/short hikes
  • 1 set of synthetic or wool long underwear for sleeping, or on-river insulation
  • 1 synthetic/fleece sweater for river wear
  • 1 heavy sweater, sweatshirt or jacket for warmth in camp
  • 1 hat for sun protection
  • 1 hat for warmth
  • Sunglasses with a retention strap
  • 1 raincoat and pants (no ponchos on the river, for safety reasons)
  • 1 small towel and personal toiletries (ie, toothbrush, toothpaste)
  • Headlamp or small flashlight
  • Sunscreen
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Small pillow

Here are some additional optional items:

  • Reading material
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Pee container for at your tent (all pee must go in the river), a recycled plastic container with a wide mouth.
  • Neoprene booties/gloves for warmth on the water and to protect against paddling blisters
  • Flip flops or slip-on sandals for camp
  • Tent (we provide, but if you prefer to use your own, please let us know)
  • Wetsuit (we provide, but if you prefer to use your own, please let us know)
  • Fishing tackle (single, barbless hooks only; licenses are required and can be purchased at Idaho sporting goods stores or through Idaho Department of Fish and Game online at or toll-free (800) 554-8685)
  • Additional drinks, preferably in unbreakable containers (we provide about 2 beers and 2 sparkling waters/juices per person per day, and wine with dinner)
  • Party shirt or skirt (happy hour and dinner times are festive!)
  • Tips for the crew*
  • DRY SUIT- For guests on our early June trips, (scroll to the bottom of the page for more info)

*Gratuities For Guides: Tips for guides are at your discretion, but always appreciated. During your time on the river, your guides serve many roles:  river professional, chef, historian, naturalist, hiking guide, the storyteller….the list goes on, and these folks work long and hard each day to provide you with an exceptional experience.  If you feel your crew did an outstanding job and you wish to thank them, a gratuity between $300-$450 per guest is customary and given to your Trip Leader to be split evenly amongst your guides.  For example, a family of 4 might tip between $1200-$1800 in total.

KAYAKERS and CANOEISTS- need to bring all of your personal paddling equipment, including helmet, PFD, spray skirt, paddle, throw bag (optional) and rescue equipment (optional). A dry top or paddle jacket and synthetic sweaters are usually all you need for warmth during July and August. Dry-suits or Dry-tops/bottoms are recommended for June and September trips. CANYONS provides a spare paddle for the group. Our kayaks are equipped with stern airbag(s), adjustable hip pads, and adjustable foot braces. All canoes have airbags, thigh straps, painters and knee pads that are glued down. We bring along spray adhesive and mini-cell foam for custom outfitting if needed.


Cascade River Gear (Boise)
800-223-RAFT (7238)

Idaho River Sports (Boise)

Riverwear (Stanley)

Adventure Travel Supply

Dry Suit Rentals:

Early June trips can be cold and wet. For your comfort, we strongly suggest that you consider renting (or bringing) a Dry Suit. We do provide wetsuits, which will keep you warm but not dry. Here are some companies that rent drysuits:

  1. Boise Scuba Center
  2. Kayak Academy
  3. Pacific River Supply
  4. Immersion Research