River Rafting Essentials

I'm going on my first multi-day river rafting trip this weekend and I am so pumped. This trip has been on my bucket list since I was little when I flipped through National Geographic magazines in the dentist's waiting room, and I can't believe it's happening. On Sunday, Mike and his family and I are leaving for the main Salmon River in Idaho. Luckily, they are pros so I don't have to do anything other than come along for the ride (literally), but I was still clueless as to what to bring. A whole week on a raft means minimal packing and creative hygiene strategy. So, after much planning and some shopping, I developed a solid packing kit. Here's what I will be bringing on the Salmon!
river rafting gear

Pelican Small Storm Case

Used by the military, these waterproof, shockproof cases are excellent for storing expensive, fragile items like a DSLR camera, on a raft that will be jostled, bumped, and well, wet. They're lightweight, watertight, and guaranteed for life. Plus, they come in a thousand different sizes, styles, and are customizable too.  

Athleta Bathing Suit

Bikinis are no-go. You want something that will stay on, and let's be honest, still look kinda cute. 

Teva Churn Water Shoes

These water shoes have saved my life since I bought them and they'll be coming with me on the Salmon. Their fold-down Shoc pad heel allows you to wear them as slip-on clogs! This style isn't available anymore, but that's because Teva has improved on them with Churn Evo. 

PrAna Mindy Sun Hat

I actually picked up this sun baby in Moab, Utah when I was rock climbing and really needed more protection from the desert heat than just my sunglasses could provide. This straw hat is durable, stays put even when I ride my bike, and has a brim just large enough to shelter the tops of my shoulders. I love the beaded crown accent too. 


Okay, everyone knows that you can't possibly go on a river trip, or be a Coloradoan, without a pair of Chacos. I love the purple ones pictured above, but I'm actually going to be wearing the same pair Mike wore when he was eight years old! 

Water Bottle

Common sense? Yes. But dehydration is probably the biggest danger on any lengthy outdoors trip. Stay hydrated! I like Nalgenes because I can cover them in stickers. :-P


Of course, my Fujifilm X-Pro1 is coming with me! And, my GroPro. I have the Hero 3, but the 4 is now out my friends, and you'll want to get all of your adventure in first-person point-of-view style. 

Nuun Tablets

Electrolyte enhanced water tablets replenishes your body with energy after you've been sweating it out all day on the river. Did I say stay hydrated? You can get these pretty much anywhere btw (REI, Sierra Trading Post, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, etc.)

EcoXGear Eco Extreme Speaker/iPhone Case

Can't float down a river without some tunes! This speaker is waterproof and impact-resistant protecting your iPhone, Android or Mp3 player with some extra room for cash. Best part? Don't worry about dropping it to the bottom of the river, because it freaking floats

Some other things I'm bringing, but aren't pictured are:

Bandana: One that provides UV protection, quick-dry technology, and is an insect repellant--hi yah!-- -because my curly hair is going to be knarly by the end of this week-long trip. 

Rain Jacket & Waterproof Pants (what?!): It's a river trip, you're gonna get wet, so why waterproof clothes, you ask? Because being wet on the river is cool, but when you camp for the night and it's raining, it's no bueno. These are just-in-case measures. Always be prepared friends!

Hammock or Sleeping Bag: This is your preference. Hammocks work well for river trips because they pack down to almost nothing, but I'll be bringing my super light sleeping bag, and throwing it down on the sand under the stars. No tent needed. :)

Here are a few other links (more guy-geared) to river rafting pack advice that I found helpful!

10 Things You Absolutely Should Pack for a River Trip from The Clymb
What Gear Should I Bring on My Multi-Day Rafting Trip? from Outside Magazine

Have you ever been on a rafting trip? What did you bring? Let me know in the comments. Hope you found this list helpful! :) Can't wait to share the adventure when I return! 


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