All clothing (with a few exceptions) should be quick-drying and made of merino wool or synthetics. Warmth and comfort are the main objectives with this outline. Weather conditions can vary considerably in the mountains no matter the season. It’s important to dress to the weather of the day. By following the packing guidelines provided, you should be prepared for all weather and environmental conditions.View the Packing List
Raftwear Always start with sunscreen no matter if it's sunny or cloudy, base layers, pants/shorts that can get wet and a long-sleeved shirt/warm hoody and of course a river hat. Additional layers of fleece, socks and rain gear can be stored in your day bag. As the day warms up, layers can be taken off and stored away. Rain pants should be large enough to accommodate base layers.
In Camp Cotton pants/shorts and shirts make great camp wear. A dry set of long underwear is the perfect base layer under long pants and a fleece sweater when first off the river or if the temperatures are on the cool side.
Hiking Clothes Choose lightweight fabrics that breathe well while walking. Base layers can be added or removed based on the weather. Whatever you choose, make sure you have comfortable freedom of movement, especially for uphill and downhill walking.
Rafter Comfortable runners/shoes/sandals that you don't mind getting wet and warm wool/fleece/neoprene socks. At times an neoprene shoe with good soles may be appropriate. Sandals will not provide the protection you want from the water by themselves when its cold. Your feet will get wet getting in and out of the boat and the water is cold. No-slip soles are ideal.
In camp Comfy shoes/light hikers/flip flops or sandals make for good camp shoes. It’s nice to put on dry socks and shoes after a day on the water. Flip flops or slip-on sandals are OK for wearing in camp only.
Hiking We do have an optional small hike or two so having decent hikers/sturdy shoes are important. Our trails are often rooty or sometimes muddy, you need a good strolling shoe or boot with a firm sole, a degree of water resistance and some ankle support. It’s easy to find a “hybrid” walking boot, which combines the lightweight, ventilated features of a shoe with the support and durability of a boot.
Socks We recommend wool socks, as they will keep your feet warm if they get wet. It’s a good idea to change into clean, dry socks once you’re off the river at camp.
If you plan to buy footwear for the trip, allow time for break-in and wear your footwear until its comfy.
Bring along a good river hat with a big brim to help shade the sun on those hot sunny days. If the weather gets cool, having a beanie or toque will be much appreciated.
To Avoid Being Cold
Merino wool or synthetic long underwear is a must-have on river trips. It keeps you warm even if it’s wet, dries quickly and can be layered under your rain jacket and pants. Be aware that cotton items, once wet, do not insulate; only synthetic and wool materials will keep you warm if wet.
Pile or Fleece
This fabric is warm, dries quickly and is not excessively bulky. It can be found in many different styles and colors. Bring along good fleece tops and bottoms, along with a warm hat and gloves. You’ll want to double-up on your synthetic layers so that you’ll have a set to wear in the boat and a set of warm, dry clothes for camp.
It is one of the essential items that all passengers should have, no matter what time of year you are traveling. You will want a waterproof rain jacket and pants for on the water and in camp on those wet days. Look for jacket and pants that are 100% waterproof, not just water resistant. A hooded jacket is recommended, with secure closures for your head, neck and wrists. Pants should be large enough to accommodate several base layers underneath.
Protecting yourself from the sun should be taken very seriously. A hat, sunscreen, lip balm and sunglasses are a must. In many cases, a long-sleeve shirt is the best method for preventing sunburn on your upper body. Light-weight long pants may also be appropriate to protect your legs. Consider bringing a good hat that offers full coverage, such as a wide-brimmed hat.
Bugs & Mosquitoes
Bugs and mosquitoes vary depending on location and time of year. It’s a good idea to come prepared with insect repellent. Long sleeved shirts and pants may be desirable at times.
Packing Your Gear
At the pre-trip meeting each person will be given a large waterproof "Billy Bag" (110 Ltr).This bag will be for your clothing and personal items and will be your “checked luggage” and accessible in camp. Tents and sleep kits are stowed separately. We also provide a small waterproof bag for day use where you can keep items such as raingear, camera, sunscreen, lip balm, etc. (approximate sealed size: 17” tall x 9” diameter). The bags are cylindrical in shape and pack from the top. At the end of the river trip, you will return to Canmore with your waterproof bag, where you will be able to unpack your gear before your trip home.
We recommend you take on the river only what’s absolutely necessary. Keeping gear to a minimum ensures it will fit into the waterproof bags we supply and reduces unnecessary packing and unpacking in camp. If you have extra items needing storage, you may be able to store it at your hotel or campsite back in Canmore or Banff
The following is a list of items that you are responsible to bring along for the trip. Maximum baggage allowed per person. These items must be kept in separate bags; the small kitchen bag will be stored with the group kitchen/food overnight. If you are coming as a group or couple, try to maximize space to cut down on the number of bags. We have a limited amount of room in the rafts, so please respect the baggage restrictions.View Packing Tips Download This List (PDF)