Embarking on a multi-day whitewater rafting adventure on the Main Salmon River provides an exciting opportunity to experience nature at its best. With that, we want to make sure you are packing appropriately to ensure comfort, safety, and a memorable experience. To help you prepare for this incredible trip, we’ve compiled a few essential tips to guide you in organizing your gear and personal belongings. If you’re joining Wet Planet on a multi-day trip, we cover a lot of the essentials, but you’ll still have to pack your personal items.

1. Safety Equipment:

In order to make sure everyone is having a fun, and thrilling experience, we prioritize risk management above all else. If you are a seasoned river-goer, you may have your own personal protection equipment, aka a PPE; helmet, PFD, and footwear. If that is the case, make sure you chat with us ahead of time to make sure your gear is appropriate for this trip. If you don’t have anything, don’t worry, Wet Planet has invested in high-quality PFD (personal flotation devices), helmets, and proper footwear that is designed for whitewater rafting adventures.

2. Clothing

You’ll want to be thoughtful about packing clothing. Clothes are essential, but you will want to avoid overpacking. You won’t want or need a separate outfit for each day. You will want the essentials that work well for multiple uses.

River Clothes

Choose lightweight and quick-drying materials like nylon or polyester blends for clothing that wicks away moisture efficiently. While you may be tempted to enjoy the sun every day in just a swimsuit, make sure to also include options for different weather conditions and ways to keep the sun off your skin. 
Key items we typically bring for on the river:

  • Hat: something to keep the sun out of your eyes and off your face. It will get wet, and dirty, so make sure it’s not an expensive favorite of yours.
  • Suit: pack a suit or 2 to wear on the river. Make sure it’s comfortable to wear all day (if that’s what you choose to wear that day).
  • Sun shirt & pants: we often recommend forgoing getting a tan and instead protecting your skin from the sun with a lightweight synthetic long-sleeve shirt (with a hood), and lightweight synthetic pants. Patagonia has some great sun-protective clothing options for the whole family.
  • River shoes/sandals: your feet will get wet. You can choose river-appropriate sandals, they must have a heel strap (no flip-flops or slip-ons) and it’s great if they also protect your toes. You can also invest in water shoes that function much like a running shoe, but have a more sturdy sole, and drain water. Options we are a fan of for water shoes include: Chaco, Teva, Keen, Astral 

Camp Clothes

Just like river clothes, you want to choose items made of synthetic materials like fleece, nylon, etc. Cotton, when wet, will make you cold. There is a chance your camp clothes will get wet from rain or the river, so it’s best to plan for it. Plan for one or two shirts and a few layers. It’s nice to have warm layers to sleep in with light layers on top, so as the morning warms up you can shed the warmer layers. Ladies, don’t underestimate a skirt, dress, or a sarong at camp, they are great layering items and provide easy changing! The sarong can also be used as a towel or sheet!  And don’t forget a warm hat, gloves, and socks for chilly summer nights outside around the campfire. As well as a rain jacket, just in case – we do get the occasional rain storm, even in summer.

3. Personal Items

Essentials to pack: 

  • Sunscreen 
  • SPF Chapstick
  • Toiletries:
    • Toothbrush and toothpaste
    • Brush and hair ties
    • Biodegradable soap (Dr. Bronner’s is a great one)
    • Feminine hygiene products with a ziplock baggie
    • Lotion
    • Some people really appreciate moist wipes. 
  • Sunglasses (with a securing strap)
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Small towel
  • Camp shoes/sandals

Minimize non-essential gadgets, enjoy the opportunity to unplug and connect with nature and each other. Good items to think about include a waterproof camera, binoculars for wildlife spotting, a journal, and/or a good book.

4. Food and Water

Make sure to bring a reusable water bottle that has a way to attach to the raft (we don’t want to lose it or put trash in our rivers). Wet Planet provides all the food for the 6-day trip on the Main Salmon. If you are a particularly snacky person (it’s ok, many of us are), feel free to bring some additional favorite snacks. Wet Planet brings water, coffee and tea, Gatorade and lemonade, and hot beverages for nighttime. For those wanting some libations, bring them along, we have coolers you can stash them in, but please no glass. Rafts and broken glass don’t mix well (neither do broken glass and bare feet in the sand).

5. Essential Camping Gear

Camping along the river is always a treat. Raft trips allow us to have more gear than a backpacking trip, but we still need to choose gear that is relatively light and appropriate for riverside camps (so no generators on these trips). Keep camping gear to the essentials with room for some of the nicer spoils like a paco pad. Don’t have the right gear? You can always rent a “comfort kit” from Wet Planet which includes the essentials: sleeping bag, rain jacket, rain pants, small camp pillow, and groundsheet. All group camping equipment is provided by Wet Planet on our trips, which include tents, paco pads, and camp chairs. We also bring all the cooking gear and do all of the cooking.

7. First-Aid & Personal Hygiene

Pack biodegradable soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, and a small towel. Always practice good LNT principles and make sure you have a groover for the essential waste disposal (yes when we say pack it in pack it out). Don’t forget your first-aid kit tailored specifically for water-based activities. Multi-day trips are far from roads and definitive care, so it’s important not only to manage risk but bring items that are essential or difficult to improvise. Wet Planet trips are led by staff trained as Wilderness First Responders and we bring extensive first aid kits. We also bring the groove, which is an underappreciated bonus of hiring an outfitter instead of organizing your own trip.

8. Environmental Considerations

Always practice Leave No Trace principles to minimize our impact on natural surroundings while engaging in environmental preservation throughout your journey! LNT principles are crucial to ensure the protection and enjoyment of our natural spaces for ourselves and others.
LNT principles include 7 basic instructions:

  1. Plan ahead & prepare
  2. Travel & camp on  durable surfaces
  3. Dispose of waste properly
  4. Leave what you find
  5. Minimize campfire impacts
  6. Respect wildlife
  7. Be considerate of others

Wet Planet trips religiously follow LNT principles.


9. Organizations Tips

All of your clothes and gear will go into a large dry bag. These are amazing bags, but the smaller items can often get lost in there. We suggest bringing smaller bags for toiletries, underwear/socks, and other smaller items so it’s easier to find. If you’re really committed to this method, you can even put specific clothing types in different bags as well, though the small items make the biggest difference.


Ample preparation will allow you to fully immerse yourself during a remarkable adventure whitewater rafting down the Main Salmon River! Pack well ahead of time and you can simply relax, and enjoy nature while out on the river. Most importantly, only bring what you need and go light!