This list assumes that you will be paddling in the spring, summer or fall. Staying warm for winter paddling is an entirely different problem, and I won't go into it here. First, most club paddling trips are car camping trips. You won't have to carry anything further than the trunk of a car. This means that you can bring your favorite pillow or even that Hibachi you can't live without. What you probably can't have is electricity, or a real mattress. You will be sleeping on the ground or in a tent.
Things to bring for camp:
Gear for on the river:
- A sleeping bag and pad.
- Toiletries - A Towel, soap, toothpaste and so on.
- Food for dinner and/or breakfast in camp.
- A bowl or mug and eating utensils. Cooking depends on the available time. For most people, its instant coffee or hot chocolate or perhaps instant oatmeal.
- A stove and a pot for heating water. These are often shared items, so its enough to make sure that someone else is taking one if you aren't
- A Flashlight or headlamp.
Gear for on the river:
- A Helmet
- A Personal Flotation Device (PFD) also known as a 'Life Jacket' or 'Vest'
- Swim wear. For women, a one piece suit is recommended.
- A Wetsuit, if necessary. This depends on three factors:
- The Temperature of the Water
- The Temperature of the Air
- Your personal like or dislike of cold.
- Shoes to wear on the river. Footwear is required. Old sneakers are just fine. Tevas don't work as well as you might thing they would, and they can be a hazard. Consider wearing wool socks.
- A light lunch to take with you on the river. Preferably something that can get a little wet if need be.
- Water or juice to drink on the river
- A drybag to store personal items in. You can get one in the gear room.
- A Dry towel, and a complete set of dry clothes to wear after getting off the river.
- Something warm to wear in the morning or evening.
- Some sort of basic rain gear, if applicable.
- A boat. In the case of a duckie, make sure that you have any gear needed to inflate the boat. For Kayaks, remember your skirt, and make sure that all footpegs or bulkheads are installed.
- A Paddle.
- A Throw rope and a carabineer to attach it to your boat. For UCMC whitewater courses, one rope per person. For ordinary paddling trips, one per boat is usually enough.