Essential Items To Pack For A Memorable Float Trip Experience

what to pack on a float trip

Are you ready for a thrilling adventure on the river? Whether you're a seasoned rafter or a first-time floater, preparation is crucial for a memorable float trip experience. From sunscreen to water shoes, there are essential items that you should pack in your bag to ensure a fun and safe journey. Get ready to dive into the world of float trips and learn about the must-have items that will make your experience unforgettable.

Characteristics Values
Clothing Quick-drying
Food Non-perishable
Easy to prepare
High in energy
Easy to clean up
Water Bottled water
Water filter
Hydration bladder
Water purification
Collapsible bottle
Equipment Tent
Sleeping bag
Sleeping pad
Camping stove
First aid kit
Map and compass
Insect repellent
Portable charger
Waterproof bags
Trash bags
Life jacket


What essentials should I pack for a float trip?

Source: People's Choice Beef Jerky

A float trip is a fantastic way to enjoy the great outdoors and experience the beauty of nature. Whether you're embarking on a multi-day river adventure or just spending a day on the water, it's essential to pack the right gear to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. Here are some essentials that you should consider packing for a float trip:

  • Life jacket: The most important item to bring on any float trip is a properly fitting and Coast Guard-approved life jacket. It's crucial to wear your life jacket at all times while on the water for your safety.
  • Sun protection: Spending long hours under the sun can be damaging to your skin. Don't forget to pack sunscreen with a high SPF, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat to protect yourself from harmful UV rays.
  • Insect repellent: Being near water means dealing with bugs, so pack insect repellent to keep mosquitoes and other pests at bay.
  • Water shoes: Opt for a pair of sturdy water shoes or sandals with good traction to protect your feet from sharp rocks, ripples, and other potential hazards in the water.
  • Dry bags: Keep your belongings dry by storing them in waterproof dry bags. These bags are essential for protecting your electronics, spare clothes, and other sensitive items from water damage.
  • Food and water: Depending on the length of your float trip, pack enough food and water to keep yourself hydrated and energized throughout the day. Snacks that are easy to pack and eat, such as energy bars and nuts, are great options.
  • Navigation tools: If you're going on a more extended float trip or exploring unfamiliar waters, bring a map, compass, or GPS device to help you navigate and find your way.
  • First aid kit: Accidents can happen anywhere, so it's crucial to have a well-stocked first aid kit on hand. Include items like bandages, antiseptic ointment, pain relievers, and any necessary medication.
  • Trash bags: Help protect the environment by bringing along extra trash bags to pack out any garbage, including your own. Leave no trace behind and leave the river as clean as you found it.
  • Waterproof camera: Capture memories of your float trip by bringing a waterproof camera or a smartphone with a waterproof case. Just make sure to secure the device to avoid losing it in the water.
  • Extra clothes: Even on warm days, the water can be colder than expected. Pack an extra set of clothes to change into after your trip, especially if you're planning to camp overnight.
  • Rope: A length of sturdy rope can come in handy for various purposes, such as building a shelter or securing your gear to the boat.
  • Repair kit: Bring along a small repair kit with essential tools and supplies, like a multi-tool, duct tape, and extra rope, in case of any equipment or gear malfunctions.

Remember, the specific items you pack may vary depending on the duration and location of your float trip. Always check the weather forecast and local regulations before you go and be prepared for any unexpected changes. With the right gear and thoughtful planning, you're sure to have an enjoyable and memorable float trip.


Are there any specific clothing items I should bring for a float trip?

Source: Hannah Willett

When going on a float trip, it's important to be prepared in terms of clothing to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Whether you're planning a leisurely float down a calm river or a more adventurous whitewater excursion, here are some specific clothing items you should consider bringing.


Since you'll be spending most of your time in or around the water, it's essential to have appropriate swimwear. Opt for a swimsuit that fits well and provides enough coverage for your comfort level. Consider choosing a swimsuit made from quick-drying materials such as nylon or spandex, which will prevent you from staying wet for too long.

Rash Guard:

If you're concerned about sun protection or want some additional coverage, a rash guard is a great option. These lightweight shirts are made from stretchy, quick-drying fabric that offers sun protection and helps reduce friction and chafing caused by constantly rubbing against a floatation device.

Water Shoes:

Wearing appropriate footwear is crucial to protect your feet from sharp rocks or debris in the water. Water shoes are designed to provide traction even when wet and protect your feet from getting cut or injured. Look for water shoes with sturdy soles and a secure fit to ensure they stay on your feet during your float trip.

Sun hat:

To shield your face and head from the sun's rays, bring a wide-brimmed hat that offers decent coverage. Look for a hat made from breathable material, such as cotton or straw, to keep your head cool and sweat-free throughout the day.

Sunglasses with UV Protection:

Protecting your eyes from the sun is crucial, especially when spending long hours on the water. Choose sunglasses with UV protection to shield your eyes from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Additionally, consider using a sunglass strap or retainer to secure them, so they don't get lost if you accidentally drop them in the water.

Quick-Drying Clothing:

It's likely that you'll get wet during your float trip, so wearing quick-drying clothing is essential to stay comfortable. Avoid cotton clothing, as it tends to absorb water and take a long time to dry. Instead, opt for synthetic materials like polyester or nylon, which dry quickly and won't weigh you down when wet.

Layered Clothing:

Even on warm days, the temperature can drop unexpectedly, especially if you're near a body of water. To accommodate changing weather conditions, bring along some lightweight, easily removable layers. This might include a lightweight jacket, a long-sleeved shirt, or a microfleece pullover.

Remember to check the weather forecast before your float trip to tailor your clothing choices accordingly. Additionally, consider bringing a change of clothes for after the float trip, as you may want to get out of your wet attire and into something dry and comfortable. Following these clothing recommendations will help you have an enjoyable and safe float trip experience.


What kind of food and snacks should I pack for a float trip?

Source: Pinterest

When planning a float trip, it is important to pack food and snacks that are not only delicious but also convenient and easy to store. Whether you are planning a day trip or an overnight adventure, having the right types of food can make your experience even more enjoyable. In this article, we will explore some food and snack ideas that are perfect for a float trip.

Non-Perishable Foods:

When packing for a float trip, it's essential to bring foods that won't spoil easily. Non-perishable foods are a great option as they can be stored for a long time without the need for refrigeration. Some examples of non-perishable foods include canned beans, tuna, beef jerky, trail mix, granola bars, and dried fruits. These items can provide a good balance of protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates to keep you energized throughout your trip.

Sandwiches and Wraps:

Sandwiches and wraps are classic options for any outdoor adventure. They are easy to make and can be customized according to your preferences. When making sandwiches for a float trip, opt for ingredients that won't spoil quickly, such as peanut butter and jelly, deli meats, or cheese. Wraps made with tortillas are also a great choice as they are portable and can hold a variety of fillings like grilled chicken, vegetables, and spreads like hummus or cream cheese.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables:

While fresh fruits and vegetables may not be as long-lasting as non-perishable items, they can still be enjoyed during the first few days of your trip. Pack fruits like apples, oranges, or grapes that have a longer shelf life and won't easily bruise or spoil. For vegetables, carrots, celery, and bell peppers are sturdy options that can be enjoyed raw or used as dipping sticks with a side of hummus or dressing.

Packaged Snacks:

In addition to non-perishable options, it's a good idea to bring along some packaged snacks that can be easily shared and enjoyed. Examples include potato chips, pretzels, popcorn, or cheese and crackers. These snacks are lightweight, easy to pack, and can provide a boost of energy when you need it.

Hydration is Key:

Don't forget to pack plenty of water and other beverages to stay hydrated during your float trip. Consider bringing a mix of plain water and flavored drinks to keep things interesting. Electrolyte powders or sports drinks can also be a good option for replenishing lost nutrients during physical activities.

Remember to plan your meals and snacks according to the length of your float trip. If you are embarking on a multi-day adventure, you may want to consider bringing a small camping stove or portable grill to cook foods like sausages, burgers, or hot dogs. Just make sure to pack the necessary cooking tools and ingredients ahead of time.

In conclusion, packing the right types of food and snacks is crucial for a successful float trip. Opt for non-perishable items, sandwiches, wraps, fresh fruits and vegetables, packaged snacks, and plenty of water to keep yourself fueled and hydrated throughout your adventure. Happy floating!


Are there any safety items or equipment I should bring on a float trip?

Source: People's Choice Beef Jerky

When planning a float trip on a river or any other body of water, it is important to prioritize safety. While float trips can be a fun and relaxing way to enjoy nature, there are inherent risks involved in being on the water. To ensure a safe trip, it is essential to bring certain items and equipment along. Here is a list of some important safety items to consider for your next float trip:

  • Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs): PFDs, also known as life jackets, are crucial for everyone on the float trip. Each person should have their own properly fitted PFD, and wearing them should be mandatory. PFDs provide buoyancy and can be life-saving in the event of an accident or if someone falls into the water.
  • Whistle: A whistle is a useful tool to have on a float trip, especially in case of an emergency. It can help summon help or alert others if you are in distress. Make sure the whistle is easily accessible and can be heard over the noise of the water.
  • Sun protection: Spending hours under the sun can lead to sunburns and long-term skin damage. To protect yourself, bring sunscreen with a high SPF, sunglasses to shield your eyes from harmful UV rays, and a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and neck from the sun.
  • Waterproof bag or container: It is essential to keep your personal belongings dry during a float trip. Invest in a waterproof bag or container to store items such as your phone, camera, wallet, and extra clothes. This will protect them from getting wet and potentially damaged.
  • First aid kit: Accidents can happen, even on a float trip. Carry a basic first aid kit containing adhesive bandages, antiseptic wipes, gauze pads, and pain relievers. Additionally, include any personal medications or allergy treatments that you may require.
  • Water and snacks: Staying hydrated and nourished is crucial during physical activities. Bring an adequate supply of water and easy-to-eat snacks, such as granola bars or trail mix, to keep your energy levels up throughout the trip.
  • Navigation aids: Depending on the location and the complexity of the float trip, it may be wise to bring navigation aids such as a map, compass, or GPS device. These tools can help you stay on course and avoid getting lost, especially in unfamiliar territory.
  • Throw rope or rescue gear: In case of an emergency, having a throw rope or other rescue gear can be invaluable. These items can be used to help someone who is struggling in the water or to secure your boat in rough conditions. Familiarize yourself with how to properly use these tools before your float trip.

Remember that safety should always be the top priority when embarking on a float trip. It is important to be prepared and equipped with the necessary items and knowledge to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. By following these recommendations and any additional guidelines provided by local authorities or experienced float trip guides, you can minimize risks and have a memorable adventure on the water.


What other optional items should I consider packing for a float trip?

Source: Mountain America Jerky

When planning for a float trip, it's important to pack the essentials such as sunscreen, bug spray, and a first aid kit. However, there are also several optional items that can enhance your experience and make your trip more enjoyable. Here are some other items you should consider packing for a float trip:

  • Waterproof phone case: This is a must-have item if you plan on taking your phone with you on the float trip. A waterproof case will protect your phone from water damage if it accidentally gets submerged in the water.
  • Dry bag: A dry bag is essential for keeping your belongings dry during the float trip. You can store items such as extra clothes, towels, and snacks in the dry bag to ensure they stay dry throughout the trip.
  • Portable speaker: If you enjoy listening to music while floating down the river, a portable speaker is a great item to bring along. Make sure to choose a waterproof or water-resistant speaker that can withstand being splashed with water.
  • Cooler: If you plan on bringing food and drinks with you, a cooler is a must-have item. Look for a cooler that is lightweight and easy to carry, and consider investing in one with a built-in beverage holder to keep your drinks secure while floating.
  • Water shoes or sandals: It's important to wear appropriate footwear for a float trip, as the riverbed can be rocky or muddy. Water shoes or sandals with good traction are ideal, as they can protect your feet and provide stability while walking on slippery surfaces.
  • Sun hat: Protecting yourself from the sun is crucial during a float trip. A wide-brimmed sun hat can provide shade for your face and neck, helping to prevent sunburn and sun damage.
  • Inflatable water float: If you want to relax in the water and enjoy the float trip even more, consider bringing an inflatable water float. This can be a great way to lounge in the water and soak up the sun while floating down the river.
  • Binoculars: If you are interested in wildlife viewing, a pair of binoculars can come in handy. You may have the opportunity to spot birds, turtles, and other wildlife along the riverbanks.
  • Camera or waterproof phone case: Documenting your float trip is a great way to capture memories. Consider bringing a waterproof camera or a waterproof case for your phone to capture photos and videos of your adventure.

Remember to pack these optional items in addition to the essential items for a float trip. By being prepared and having these extra items, you can make the most of your float trip experience and ensure a memorable and enjoyable outing on the river.

Frequently asked questions

When packing for a float trip, it's important to bring a few key essentials. First, make sure you have a waterproof bag or dry box to keep your belongings dry. This is especially important for items like your phone, wallet, and any electronics you might bring. Second, bring plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the day. It's also a good idea to bring snacks and a packed lunch, as you'll be spending several hours on the water. Lastly, don't forget sunscreen and insect repellent to protect yourself from the sun and bugs.

When it comes to clothing for a float trip, it's best to dress in layers. Start with a swimsuit or quick-drying shorts and a t-shirt, as you'll likely get wet while floating. Over this, you can add a lightweight, long-sleeve shirt and pants to protect yourself from the sun and bugs. Don't forget a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses for additional sun protection. It's also a good idea to bring a change of dry clothes to change into after the float trip.

Yes, safety should always be a top priority on a float trip. Make sure to pack a personal flotation device (PFD) for each person participating in the trip. It's also a good idea to bring a whistle, signaling mirror, or other means of attracting attention in case of an emergency. Additionally, a first aid kit with basic supplies like bandages, antiseptic ointment, and pain relievers is essential.

Many float trips allow participants to bring their own float or inflatable, but it's always best to check with the outfitter or park beforehand. Some places may have restrictions on the type of floats allowed or may require floats to be inspected and approved for use. If you do bring your own float, make sure it is in good condition and properly inflated before getting on the water.

In addition to the essentials, there are a few optional items you might want to consider packing for a float trip. A waterproof camera or GoPro is great for capturing all the fun memories on the water. You may also want to bring a small, portable waterproof speaker to enjoy music while floating. Other optional items could include a cooler for drinks and snacks, a small portable grill for cooking, and a portable phone charger to keep your devices powered up.

Written by
Reviewed by
Share this post
Did this article help you?

Leave a comment