Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

How to be River Ready

By RaftArizona • March 18, 2023

Here are a few general tips to help you be prepared and “river-ready.” Please refer to your trip packet for detailed information on your specific trip type.

Review ARR’s River Code of Conduct:

River expeditions are a shared experience. Respect for the Grand Canyon, yourself, and others is an integral part of a successful trip.


Proper hydration starts BEFORE your trip. Increase your water and electrolyte intake in the days leading up to your trip. This will help you acclimate to the desert environment and your increased activity levels while in the canyon.

Plan for Being Unplugged:

You will not have any cell service or WIFI while on your trip. Be sure to let family, friends, and work know your trip dates and when you will be unavailable.

Organizing Your Bag:

NOTE: Guests hiking into or out of the canyon should have all of their personal gear packed into a hiking backpack. Guests who are not hiking into or out of the canyon should have their personal gear in a soft-sided duffel bag.

Before heading to the river, organize your personal belongings so the items that you’ll need during the day are at the top; such as sunscreen, sarong, camera and case, hat, lightweight long-sleeve UPF shirt, rain gear, chapstick, medications, river guidebook, etc. That way, it will be easy to transfer your things into the provided day bags at orientation. Your pack 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 the provided day dry bag and use for daily side hikes.

River Clothing:

Ladies often wear a two-piece swimsuit or synthetic underwear and bra. Next, cover up with a lightweight long-sleeve shirt and quick-dry shorts or pants. Guys are river-ready in swim trunks and a quick-dry top. For more tips on what to wear, check out our blog. Have a fleece or other warm layer handy so that you can stay comfortable throughout your morning travels. Rain gear can be left in your bag, no need to put it on quite yet. Check out our tips on how to stay warm in cooler weather. On warmer trips, try these tips to keep cool.

Partial Canyon Trips with a Hike In or Out:

Start your hike in comfortable, layered hiking clothes and shoes. Please know that the weather at the South Rim will likely be cooler than on-river temps. For guests hiking in, you’ll have an opportunity to reorganize your belongings into the provided dry bags and change into your river gear once you reach the river.


Start your trip in your river sandals unless you’ll be hiking into the canyon on day one. An extra pair of shoes/sandals can be tied to the outside or near the top of your bag. Boots will be stored in the community shoe bag while on the river.


Alcohol will be stored separately on the rafts and does not need to be stored in your bag. Here’s how to get booze on your trip.

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

No question too small!

Want more info on river trip availability, packing, FAQs?