Chas Jones, PhD

Paddling Checklist

I find this checklist to be helpful for either one-day and multi-day river trips. I also use it when I go camping or backpacking. Similarly, I keep a summary of my discussion points for my river safety discussions when I do float trips with clients, friends, or family.

Items to bring for ALL FLOAT TRIPS

___ Personal Flotation Device (Life jacket) (or ask Chas to borrow one)
___ Footware (Neoprene booties, sandals w/ secure straps (chacos, tevas), tennis shoes (closed shoes offer more foot protection). Flip-flops are NOT appropriate while boating.
___ Bottoms (shorts / pants, quick dry)
___ Shirt (short sleeve, quick dry)
___ Shirt (Long sleeve, lightweight, quick dry)
___ Hat (sun/rain)
___ Sunglasses with straps
___ Dry bag or small zippered pack (will get wet)
___ Change of clothes and footware
___ Light windbreaker (cold or rainy weather)
___ Wool hat, sweater, socks, gloves – in early spring or late autumn
___ Carabiner and short strap (1-3 ft, for strap daybag into boat)
___ Water bottle (metal or plastic, filled)
___ Thermos bottle for hot fluids / warmth
___ Helmet (if requested)
___ Adventure sauce (get ready for fun!)

Day pack (personal size dry bag)

___ Sunblock
___ Hand lotion
___ Leatherman/pocket knife
___ Snacks, food, hard candy, etc.
___ Insect repellent/headnet
___ Money for food, licenses, bribes, etc.
___ Invasive species permit
___ Fishing gear/license
___ Medications
___ Large ziplocks (for wet gear)
___ Hand sanitizer
___ Headlamp/flashlight
___ Book, pencil & paper
___ Camera (with dry bag, baggie, etc.)

Clothing (as appropriate for “potential” weather)

Layering is key for comfort. Loose, quick drying, durable clothes are best for canoeing/rafting. Do not bring cotton except for use in camp or in hot weather.

What to wear on the river

___ Hat (sun/rain)
___ Underwear, quick dry
___ Bottoms (shorts / pants, quick dry)
___ Footware (Neoprene booties, sandals w/ secure straps (chacos, tevas), tennis shoes (closed shoes offer more foot protection). Flip-flops are NOT appropriate.
___ Socks, wool/neoprene (cold weather only)
___ Shirts, short & long sleeve, quick dry (for sun protection/warmth)
___ Long underwear
___ Warm top (wool or fleece jacket/sweater)

Optional paddle wear

___ Wet suit
___ Splash jacket / bottoms (semi-waterproof & neoprene seals) OR rain jacket / pants may work
___ Dry top / bottoms (waterproof with rubber gaskets)
___ Helmet
___ Paddle gloves (bike gloves may work)


Personal Gear

___ Camp chair
___ Tents
___ Tarps/ground cloths

Drybag (not accessible, when on river)

___ Sleeping bag in stuff sack
___ Sleeping pad/mat
___ Hat/gloves
___ Jacket
___ Long pants
___ Long shirt
___ Socks (wool)
___ Sweater/sweatshirt
___ Camp shoes
___ Clean clothes for travel home (in vehicle)
___ Camp towel (optional)
___ Toothbrush/toothpaste
___ Eating utensil, plate/bowl, drinking cup
___ Headlamp/flashlight

Trip leader list for ALL TRIPS

___ Canoe/Raft/Kayak
___ Paddles/Oar (+1 Spare per boat)
___ Bowline
___ Tiedown straps / line
___ Car keys on carabiner (for all cars needed in shuttle) & spare key for shuttle driver


___ PFDs/helmet/footware
___ Paddling knife (squeeze release preferable)
___ Safety whistle
___ Thwart/bow bags
___ First aid kit
___ Throw ropes
___ Z Drag System (webbing, 2 prusiks / 2 pulleys / 4 carabiners)
___ Compass
___ Map(s) /GPS
___ Headlamp/flashlight
___ Boat repair kit (patches, glue, roller, duck tape)

Trip leader list for Multi-day trips

Group Equipment

___ Camp saw/hatchet
___ Games


___ Food pack (50 ft. rope and pulley)
___ Bear Canister / Bear Spray / Bear protection
___ Campstove
___ Fuel for campstove
___ Water basins (collapsible or rigid)
___ Cooking pots/pans/coffee pot
___ Cooking utensils
___ Serving spoons
___ Fillet knife
___ Cutting board
___ Matches/lighter
___ Meals/snacks/individually sealed packages
___ Salt, pepper, spices
___ Water filter
___ Scrubbrush/pad and; dish soap
___ Paper towels
___ Trash bags
___ Plastic baggies
___ Table
___ Water containers


___ Toilet paper
___ Disposable gloves
___ Hand cleaning kit
___ Folding shovel
___ Toilet system (Groover, WAG bags, bag storage tube, etc.)
___ Toilet chemicals (groover tamer, Pinesol, lime)
___ Personal items (medication, toiletries)
___ Bucket (wash off sand)
___ Sponge, towel (to dry raft), and 303 protectant
___ Trailer wiring harness converter (if necessary)
___ Appropriate trailer hitch and ball
___ Hitch pin, lock and key
___ Trailer lock and key

Food Menu Ideas