What to Bring
Your packing list will vary by time of year, location, and trip purpose. But regardless, you’ll want to bring:
- Flotation devices (lifejackets)
- First-aid kid adequate for multi-day trip and limited accessibility
- Repair kit
- Air pump
- Enough layers to stay warm and dry on the boat and in camp.
- Bug spray/headnet
- Dry suit or wet suit for cold whitewater rivers (it can save you if you flip)
- High-quality top and bottom rain/wind gear
- Warm socks (several pair)
- Non-cotton layers (polypropylene or similar) and fleece. Wind off the cold water can bring down the temperature 10-15 degrees.
- At least one set of comfortable clothes specifically to wear in camp.
- Neoprene booties and sandals, or rubber boots (keeping dry feet in the boat is a must). Camp shoes.
- Winter hat
- 2 pairs of gloves/liners
Pack what you need first. Four days from civilization it’s nice to have paintbrushes, but not at the expense of dry socks. Rafting is an opportunity to bring items you’d never consider carrying into the wilderness. Meals can be extravagant, kids can bring stuffed animals, and the novel is never too thick. Just beware: the more you bring, the more packing/unpacking you’ll be doing each time you set up and break camp.
- 1 large dry back per person for clothes/sleeping bag (at least 3.4 cubic feet)
- 1 smaller dry bag for easy access on raft (shades, book, binoculars, etc.)
- Large dry bag for tents & other group gear
- 0 – 20-degree sleeping bag
- Enough tents for the whole group, and perhaps one extra high dome tent (such as a Eureka Equinox 6) to serve as a kitchen tent or place to hang out in rainy weather.
- Straps with buckles / Bungies / Gear Net (keeps things off the raft floor)
- Reliable cook-stove and repair kit
- Waterproof matches (and keep any lighters in safe spot)
- Grill and/or fire-pan for keeping fire off shore/ground
- Backup bow line
- Bunny boots
- Dry-boxes, coolers (3’ long, 18” wide, 17” deep), or oversized square dry bags (available at Alaska Raft & Kayak in Anchorage 907-561-7238) are a convenient way to keep your kitchen together.
- Stainless-steel outdoor stoves. We recommend Coleman 2-burner propane stoves.
- Propane tanks. A 20-lb. tank lasts about 5-6 days for 6-12 people.
- Propane cartridges. A quart-size cartridge lasts about 1½ days for 3 people.
- Tarp for the kitchen. This gives you a dry space for cooking and hanging out. Another option is a large, stand-up tent, like the Eureka Equinox 6.
- Driftwood to fuel the campfires. Use coals from fire for Dutch ovens. Some rivers require firepans to contain ash.
- Drinking water. Side creeks provide drinking water when glacial silt is an issue. Bring a 2- or 3-gallon water bag to fill up.