[VIDEO] Overnight & Multi Day Rafting Trip Packing List

Posted April 11, 2023 by Jack Armstrong: grandson of founder George Armstrong
View time: 5 min

Take any guesswork out of packing for your overnight rafting trip with these expert tips from our veteran guide Helen. You will learn what to bring (and what to leave at home) and how to pack your dry bag efficiently. Our visual packing list will help you get ready for a multi day rafting trip, so that you can leave your worries behind and enjoy your time in the river canyon to the fullest.

The Basics of Packing for an Overnight Rafting Trip

Remember to pack light since everything is carried by raft into a wilderness canyon and space is limited. Any personal items that you need throughout the day like sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, medications, or a water bottle will go in a day bag on your boat with your guide. All your overnight items will be packed into a water-resistant dry bag that we provide. This dry bag will not be accessible until we get to camp. Have your items contained in a heavy-duty plastic garbage bag or small stuff sacks (duffle bags and backpacks are generally too bulky and rigid to fit inside the dry bag).  Just the minimal toiletry items are needed since the camps do not have running water or electricity. Upon arrival at camp, the guides will set up the camp kitchen; plates and eating utensils are provided.

Packing List

Camp Clothes

  • Dry set of clothes for camp including a warm top and bottom layer, and socks.
  • Camp shoes – closed-toed athletic shoes are better than sandals or flip-flops.
  • In rainy weather include a rain jacket or poncho, beanie, and non-cotton layers that insulate when damp (wool, fleece, polypro)

Camping Gear

  • Compact sleeping bag
  • Compact sleeping pad
  • Ground cloth or tarp
  • Tent (optional, only recommended in rainy weather)
  • Compact toiletry items (biodegradable soap, lotion, chapstick, a small hand towel)
  • Insect repellent
  • Headlamp or flashlight

Optional items for downtime at camp

  • Journal and/or book
  • Deck of cards
  • Collapsible fishing gear in container

Guests are welcome to bring their own alcohol in moderation for the evenings. All-Outdoors does not provide alcohol, but we have an ice chest available to transport guest beverages to camp (if guests show up with excess alcohol, our guides will ask you to leave the excess in your car).

Are you ready to plan your next multi day rafting trip? Explore California’s Top Two Wilderness Rafting Vacations.

For more specific information about getting ready for your California rafting trip during the different seasons of the year, see What to Wear for White Water Rafting.

Author Bio

Jack Armstrong

Jack grew up 35 minutes from AO headquarters, and is the grandson of our founder, George. His education includes a film degree and art studies from Biola University, as well as lots of experience breaking camera gear outside. After graduating college, he started an outdoors/action sports focused production company and is largely responsible for our video, photo, and social media content. Jack’s favorite trip is the Cal-Salmon, because of the river’s awe-inspiring beauty and the sweet rapids. When he’s not rafting or playing with cameras, Jack can be found skiing, surfing, visiting art galleries, or eating tacos.


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