Canoe/Whitewater Day Trip

This is the basic gear list for a canoeing or whitewater paddling day, and for the on-the-water portion of a canoe or whitewater weekend.  Please remember that on Troop 8 water trips, it is expected that all participants will end up in the water at some point as part of the fun and training!



Generally speaking, even in the warm summer months flowing rivers below dams can be quite cold, and it is as likely to be cloudy and raining with wind as it is to be bright and sunny.  Clothing is going to vary significantly based on water temperature weather, and type of trip. Whitewater will require warmer clothing, obviously, and may even demand a wet or dry-suit. Most folks tend to under-do it clothing-wise, and are left unprepared for capsizes in chilly wind on overcast days, or afternoon storms.

  • 1 Sun/rain hat (baseball cap OK)

  • 1 Insulating hat or balaclava (wool, fleece, or polypro)

  • 1 Lightweight shirt or T-shirt

  • 1 pair nylon zip off pants with non-cotton underwear or 1 bathing suit

  • 1/2 - 1 1/2 upper insulating layers (no cotton)

  • 1 upper rain/wind shell or nylon windbreaker

  • 1/2 - 1 lower insulating layer (no cotton)

  • 1 lower rain/wind shell or nylon wind pants (can be nylon zip-off pants listed above)

  • 1 pair wool socks. Feet can get cold being in water that's rolling around the bottom of a canoe!

  • 1 pair river shoes or sandals.

  • 1 Day pack or small dry bag that can be tied into the boat.

  • 1 Large-mouth water bottle 1 qt. minimum.

  • Sunscreen (waterproof SPF 15 or higher) & insect repellent

  • 1 Water-resistant wristwatch with alarm.

  • Glasses or corrective lenses for boys who need them. Not optional!  Boys need to be able to see to discern river hazards, danger areas, and takeouts well in advance.  

  • 1 Pair Sunglasses (optional)

  • 1 Pair glasses retaining straps for glasses or sunglasses

  • Small towel (to be left at take-out, not brought on the river!)

  • Personal paddling PFD (optional, only if you have one that fits well that you prefer over outfitter rentals)

  • Personal paddling equipment (boat, helmet, spray skirt, paddle) only with prior permission from adult field leader

  • Inexpensive squirt gun or water cannon (optional, must be one you can afford to lose)

NO PERSONAL ELECTRONICS (gamegear, personal cell phones, iPod, etc.)


Group Gear

This group gear list is placed here as a reminder for Patrol Leaders and trip planners only.   Scouts do not need to worry about personally bringining anything listed on the group gear list.   However, if you are a senior scout who has some of this equipment as personal gear, you should consider bringing it if you coordinate with the trip leader.

  • Dry bags/boxes for food, excess personal gear  

  • River first aid kits - These must be dry-boxed and secured to boat. The "master" kit usually goes in the last boat, but at least two kits are needed in case one is lost or leaks.

  • Throw bags/ropes

  • Emergency rescue throw-ropes should be distributed among experienced boats/boaters. These should always be taken on fast-moving water.

  • Boat retrieval equipment - Rope, several carabiners, webbing anchors, perhaps a pulley.  Used for setting up a system to rescue a trapped or pinned boat. Again, these are required for any fast-moving water.

  • Water purification equipment (filter or chemical)

  • Equipment for starting a fire, or camp stove with fuel