Personal Gear

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  • River Water Gear
Dress Options At Lava Scout.jpg

At a minimum, good rain pants and a long cut rain jacket with a hood are essential. Bib overall bottoms and paddle jacket top are almost essential for winter, and while not necessary for summer, they help keep you warm on a monsoon afternoon (July-Aug). In winter trips, Some people are comfortable in a Dry Suit, and few are happy with a wet-suit. In the spring and fall, at a minimum, good rain pants and a long cut rain jacket with a hood are essential, and Bib overall bottoms and paddle jacket top would be desired.

The river runners in the photo on the right are wearing a variety if gear on a very cold February river trip. They include dry suits, bib bottoms and splash jacket tops, off the shelf rain pants and rain jacket with hood.

  • Rain pants

Good quality. See above discussion.

  • Rain Jacket

Wind/rain proof, long cut. See above discussion.

  • Irrigation boots/inserts

Winter only, 1 size too big, to accommodate thick socks (See Cal Ranch Supply for calf high and knee high irrigation boots)

  • River sandals/hiking shoes

Camp Booties (late fall, early spring and winter, 1 pair) River Sandals (No Velcro! 1 pair) Light weight Hiking Boots (1 pair)

  • Diary

Stamps, Envelopes, Address, Money, calling card #, for Phantom Ranch Journal Paper, Pen Books to read (more in winter) paper/pencil & stamps/addresses for Phantom Ranch postcard mailing

  • Towel

Medium size bath towel (1)

  • Bath Soap/razor/shaving gel/All-in-one shampoo/conditioner (small bottle, safe top)

Dental floss Toothbrush and toothpaste Hair brush Hair ties Signal Mirror (for toilet kit and emergency use in a pinch) Tampons/cup Hand lotion (in ziplock in case of container failure), Aloe gel, sun screen, chapstick: (lots!) Wash cloth

  • Sun screen
  • Sunglasses (plus a backup for broken or lost pair)
  • Hats

Sun Hats (2, wide brim to protect head, face, and neck, preferably crushable, with some sort of tie strap) Balaclava or sock hat (late fall, early spring and winter, two pair in case one gets wet)

  • Undies/socks/t-shirts/swim pants or swim suits

Underwear (2-3 pair summer, 6-8 winter) Socks (2 cotton, 1 wool summer, 4-5 smart wool or poly in late fall, early spring and winter Swimsuit (1 or 2)

  • Shorts (several) and cotton skirt or scrub pants (for summer, not gender specific)

Clothing needs to include warm pants (wool, fleece, synthetic or pile. 1 pair summer, 2 to 3 pair winter) Shorts (quick dry, not cotton) for river (2) Shorts, Cotton or other comfy (1 or 2) Light sun pants (loose, quick-dry 1 pair summer/winter) Sarong: This is a lightweight cotton wraparound for wearing in camp, on the boat, or hiking. Very comfy & versatile, just get 45-50" of fabric in your favorite pattern, wrap around your waist, enjoy.)

  • Sweater/poly top/bottom

Pile/Fleece jacket or wool sweater (2 for winter, 1 for summer) Polypro underwear or equivalent top and bottom (3 pair in winter, 1 in summer)

March 26 nap time after lunch in the sun.jpg


Just after lunch on a cool day in March, here's what you might want to wear: Poly bottom, shorts and long sleeve top in the sun.


  • Shirts/T-shirts

Warm shirt (1 summer, 2 to 3 winter) Long sleeve white cotton shirt (3 in summer, 1-2 in winter) Tee shirts (4 in summer, 2 in winter) Tee shirts (long sleeve for sun protection) (2-3 summer and winter)

  • Camera/film

More film/cards than you expect to need Extra camera battery. Some folks bring a solar charger for digital camera battery recharging

  • Photo ID/cash
  • Ammo can (personal size)

Carabineers (1-10), (personalize them with your own colored tape pattern ) Ammo Can(s) for quick-draw day stuff (painted as you like)

  • Misc:

Gloves (2 pair woolen in winter, 1 pair leather or cotton in summer), Post-trip change of clothes to leave in car, Needle and thread, Rubber Bands, Baby pins (half dozen, misc. sizes), Binoculars, Mole skin (limited use), Handkerchief, Pocket Knife, Flashlight (4-D cell cap lamp for winter or Pitzl), Extra Batteries and bulb for Head lamp, Sun glasses (with Chums!) (2 pair), Spare prescription eyewear (eye glass repair kit-coordinate), Backgammon, cards (coordinate), Rock climbing gear (coordinate), Musical instruments (coordinate), Solar shower (Summer, heat water with stove in the winter. coordinate), Library (bird book, geology book, star book-coordinate), Stash of personal munchies, and Personal Meds (If drug dependent, meds split into 2 supplies and stashed on 2 different boats). Don't forget Picaridin fly repellent to keep the biting flies away.

WOW! That's a lot of stuff! It should all fit in one or two large river gear bags.

How much gear is too much.jpg

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