Suggested Equipment List for

Multi-day Kayaking & Rafting Trips


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The following lists are suggestions. The actual equipment that you carry will depend on your likes and dislikes. The lists include most of the items that might be carried on a luxurious-style raft trip where weight isn’t much of a problem. If you are going on a lightweight raft trip or on a self-supported kayak trip, then pare down and choose those items which will meet your needs yet still enable you to be safe and self sufficient. Feel free to make printed copies of the list and check off items as you are getting ready for the trip.


Adapted from: The Whitewater River Book: A Guide to Techniques, Camping and Safety




Boats and Accessories

◻ Inflatable raft and various parts (thwarts, bow and stern lines, boat bag, etc.)

◻ Frame, if used, and straps or cord for lashing frame to boat

◻ Oar boat: oars, oar stops, oar- locks or thole pins and clips, extra oars in addition to oar locks

◻ Paddle boat: paddles for everyone, plus a couple of extras

◻ Pump

◻ Waterproof bags and/or rigid containers to carry gear and food

◻ Bailing buckets

◻ Straps, cord, carabiners, or clips for lashing gear above floor of boat

◻ Tarp to cover equipment on boat


Repair Kit

◻ Duct tape

◻ Patching material, glue, solvent (all items should be compatible with materials used in your raft)

◻ Scissors to cut material

◻ Brush to apply glue

◻ Sandpaper

◻ Rag

◻ Carpet thread or dental floss, and carpet needle to mend bad tears (sewing awls also work)

◻ Boat with a frame also would include:

◻ Tools(vise grips, pliers, screwdriver, wrench, hand drill, hammer, bits, small saw)

◻ Bailing wire

◻ Pipe clamps

◻ Extra screws, bolts, nuts, nails, washers to fit parts on frame

◻ Epoxy

◻ Replacement parts for any breakable item


First Aid Kit

◻ Triangular bandages

◻ Gauze rolls (two inches wide)

◻ Moleskin for blisters on hands or feet

◻ Assorted Band-Aids

◻ Sterile pads (four by four inches)

◻ Butterfly closures

◻ Safety pins

◻ First aid tape (two-inch size)

◻ Ace bandage

◻ Aspirin

◻ Antacid tablets

◻ Snake bite kit

◻ Tweezers

◻ First aid book

◻ Personal medications

◻ Drugs (if you carry drugs, work with a doctor to learn correct dosages and possible side effects)

Also see Lightweight First Aid Kit.



◻ Wetsuit or dry suit

◻ Wet suit booties or wet shoes or booties-shoe combination

◻ Hat and/or helmet

◻ Windbreaker or paddling jacket

◻ Wind pants or rain pants

◻ Rain gear (jacket and pants)

◻ Shorts and/or swimsuit

◻ T-shirt

◻ Wool or pile shirts or jackets or sweaters

◻ Wool pants

◻ Wool or synthetic long underwear

◻ Underwear

◻ Synthetic fill or down jacket

◻ Wool stocking cap or balaclava

◻ Dry pair of shoes and clothing for in camp

◻ Leather gloves or Pogies


Personal Equipment

◻ Waterproof bag to carry personal clothing and equipment

◻ Life jacket

◻ Sleeping bag

◻ Sleeping pad

◻ Tarp or tent with poles, stakes, etc.

◻ Flashlight, with spare batteries and bulb

◻ Candle for light in tent

◻ Personal items (toothbrush, toothpaste, hand lotion, glasses or contacts, towel or washcloth, biodegradable soap, razor, etc.)

◻ Eating utensils (cup, spoon, plate, etc.)

◻ Notebook and pen

◻ Knife, matches, fire starter (best if carried on your person)

◻ Water bottle

◻ Insect repellent

◻ ChapStick

◻ Sunblock

◻ Sunglasses with safety strap

◻ Fishing gear and fishing license

◻ Camera, with film, lenses, etc.


Safety and Rescue Equipment

◻ Life jacket (one extra life jacket per raft maybe required in some states or countries or by some agencies managing the river)

◻ Throw-rope rescue bags or ropes in each boat

◻ Signal mirror

◻ Winch with nonstretch rope

◻ Knife attached to life jacket

◻ 4-5 Carabiners

◻ 4-5 Slings (six to twelve-foot lengths of one-inch tubular webbing)

◻ 4 Prussiks (6-foot lengths of 5-7 mm rope)

◻ Police whistle


Other Group Equipment

◻ Map with waterproof map case

◻ Compass

◻ Guidebook and other resource books about the river and area

◻ Water containers

◻ Purification tablets or other means of water purification

◻ Permit on rivers regulated by governmental agencies

◻ Matches and fire starter

◻ Ropes for lining boats

◻ Shovel

◻ Lantern

◻ Fire pan with grill

◻ Plastic garbage bags

◻ Burlap bags or nylon stuff bags to use over plastic garbage bags to prevent spills (also handy for carrying cooking pots, Dutch ovens, fire pan)

◻ Toilet paper

◻ Portable toilet system (toilet seat, chemicals to stop methane production, any other parts)


Cooking and Food Equipment

Lightweight trips:

◻ Pots ◻ Small stove and fuel ◻ One cup and one spoon per person ◻ Food and spices


Luxurious-style trips:

◻ Dutch oven

◻ Frying pan

◻ Coffee pot

◻ Griddle

◻ Buckets

◻ Coolers and other food containers

◻ Spatula

◻ Large spoon

◻ Pliers

◻ Knives

◻ Can opener

◻ Burlap bags to hold Dutch ovens and pots

◻ Charcoal & lighter (when wood is scarce)

◻ Propane or gas stoves if fires are not used, with fuel

◻ Paper towels

◻ Dish soap and scrubber

◻ Clorox for sterilizing dishes and utensils

◻ Eating utensils for each person

◻ Food and spices



Choose clothing and equipment from the previous list that best meet your needs, plus the following:

◻ Kayak or decked canoe

◻ Paddle

◻ Flotation bags

◻ Small, waterproof day storage bag to carry items that must be readily available

◻ Sponge

◻ Spray skirt

◻ Helmet

◻ Duct tape for repairs

◻ Spare break-down paddle

◻ Wet suit or dry suit

◻ Wet suit booties

◻ Cold weather gear: mittens, pogies, hood

◻ Paddling jacket

◻ Throw-rope rescue bag

◻ Water bottle

◻ Other rescue equipment:

◻ 2-3 Slings (six to twelve-foot lengths of one-inch tubular webbing)

◻ 2 Prussiks (six-foot lengths of 5-7mm rope)

◻ 2-3 Carabiners

◻ Knife attached to life jacket



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