There’s something that feels distinctly timeless about a multi-day rafting trip down a river. Maybe because it conjures up visions of explorers rowing and paddling down the same rivers hundreds of years prior. Or perhaps it’s the mirrored imagery of time slipping by as the water courses around your raft. Whatever it is, a river rafting trip down the Snake River in Idaho is something that everyone should experience once in their life. But if you’re new to rafting, what should you bring with you on a multi-day trip? Don’t worry, Killgore Adventures has the answers.
WHAT’S ON YOUR FEET?
When it comes to rafting trips, you might think about packing your wetsuit first, but it’s always good to consider your footwear as well. The right footwear can be worn in and out of the raft and will keep you from slipping on slick rocks that are along the river’s edge. Look for a sturdy shoe with good tread. If you don’t want to get a specialty shoe, bring along an old pair of sneakers instead. Just don’t plan on using them after you get home. They’re gonna smell more than a little funky.
SUNSCREEN AND LOTION
Despite being surrounded by, and immersed in, water all day, your skin is going to dry out really quickly. Bring this combo of skin care products to ensure that you don’t look like a piece of dried leather by the end of your rafting trip. Make sure to apply the sunscreen liberally throughout the day, as that will keep your skin from burning and drying out. Then, at the end of each day, make sure to apply lotions to high use areas like your hands and feet. Lotion also does a great job of making patches of sunburned skin a little more tolerable. Plus, for those who are averse to the smells of river water, a scented lotion can help you mask those scents.
A universal constant for every experienced backpacker, sacred socks are a vital addition to your sleeping system while traveling on the river for multiple days. These socks are only worn in your sleeping bag and nowhere else. These sacred socks are like gentle hugs for your feet at the end of each long day of rowing. Your feet will enjoy the extra warmth at night, as sometimes sleeping alongside a river can be a chilly affair.
SIT PAD OR FOLDING CHAIR
While you might spend a lot of your day sitting while rowing your raft, you’ll definitely want to sit back and relax after a long day on the river. While you might find a particularly smooth rock to sit on, having some padding between you and the earth does wonders for your back and butt. You can use a piece of sleeping pad foam or even a small folding chair. Plus, it also keeps you off the cold ground, meaning you don’t have to pull on a parka on those long summer nights on the river.
GRAB A GROUND TARP
A ground tarp comes in handy while traveling on the river. It keeps the sand out of your food while cooking. It can be used as an impromptu shelter in a pinch. At the end of the day, you can set your sleeping pad on top of it to keep dirt and sticks from poking holes in your pad and bag. You can also use it as a place to store your clothes while they dry. A piece of Tyvek or even a rubberized sheet works great for this purpose.
DRY BAGS ARE YOUR FRIENDS
This should go without saying, but you’ll want to keep your belongings dry while on your Snake River excursion. You can get dry bags in a variety of sizes to make sure that water stays in the river and not at the bottom of your backpack. We suggest having a large one for all of your clothes and non-essentials and then having a smaller one that you can stash “must-have” items like sunscreen, snacks, cameras, and maps in. You can keep the smaller bag near you throughout the day.
Sign up for your own Snake River adventure with Killgore Adventures! We offer half-day and three-to-four day river excursions that take you through some of the most exciting parts of Hells Canyon. Book your trip today!