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How to be River Ready

By Marie • July 24, 2021

NOTE: This blog does not apply to our 3 Day trip since your first day will be at the Bar 10 Ranch and not on the river. This information also doesn’t apply to guests starting their trip with a hike into the canyon on day 1.

In our pre-trip materials, we ask you to be dressed for the river when we pick you up on day 1. Here are a few tips to help you feel “river ready” and prepared for your first day.

Organizing your bag:

The night before the trip, you may want to organize your bag and place items that you’ll need during the day at the top; such as sunscreen in a Ziploc, sarong, camera and case, hat, lightweight long-sleeve UPF shirt, rain gear, chapstick, medications, river guidebook, etc. That way, it will be easy to organize your belongings into the provided day bags at orientation. Your duffel bag will go in our provided “checked luggage” dry bag that you won’t be able to access again until we get to camp. You’ll always have access to the things you place in your “carry-on” dry bag. Plan accordingly. Often, guests clip their water bottle to straps on the raft with a carabiner. A lightweight, drawstring backpack is great to store inside of the provided day dry bag and use for daily side hikes so you can have your hands free.


The morning of the trip, be ready to go with river gear on. Ladies often wear a quick-dry base layer such as a two-piece swimsuit or synthetic underwear and bra. Guys are river ready in swim trunks and a quick-dry top. Rain gear can be left in your bag, no need to put it on quite yet. Most of you have an early start, so it can be cool when we first pick you up. Have a fleece or other warm layer handy so that you can stay comfortable throughout your morning travels. To stay warm in cooler weather, you can add your long underwear layer and/or socks for additional warmth. On warmer trips, try these tips to keep cool.

Shoe bag:

Often people do the daily hikes in their river sandals, and since many side hikes include stream crossings or swimming, it’s typically a great option. Some people choose to change into socks and shoes for longer dry hikes. If you wish, have your extra pair of shoes and a pair of socks near the top of your duffel, or tied to the outside of your bag, so you can put them in our community “shoe bag” once you reach the river. Our guides will have that bag accessible during the day. Do not leave those shoes in your duffel bag since you can’t access that during the day.

Last minute purchases:

Most guests will have a chance to buy last-minute supplies at the Marble Canyon Chevron station. They have a surprising array of technical gear, sunscreen, toiletries, souvenirs, and beverages, including boxed wine, canned beer, and non-alcoholic options. They do not sell hard liquor. Buying beverages in Marble Canyon helps you cut down on your baggage weight which is important if you’re flying from Las Vegas the first morning of your trip. Have an idea of what you need to quickly make your purchases and board our shuttle down to the river.


There are bathrooms at the boat ramp at Lees Ferry. If you need to, you can do one more quick change of clothes before the rafts shove off.

No question is too small! Feel free to email or call us, as we’re happy to help you get organized!
Loading bag at Lees Ferry