What To Pack


The packing list below is a general overview of appropriate clothing for your canoeing trip. Be sure to click on the comprehensive list to ensure you’ve got everything you need. When you work with an outfitter, they will provide all gear and safety equipment including life jacket, canoe, and paddles to make sure you are prepared for every adventure! A full packing list for an overnight canoe trip can be found here. Please contact First Descents if you have any questions regarding this packing list.

Must haves:

Personal clothing for canoeing:

(The list below is based on a layering system for warmth)

  • Waterproof rain jacket and rain pants (ponchos discouraged)
  • Secure Bathing Suit – one piece or two piece is fine. Whatever you’re comfortable in.
  • Wool or Synthetic (e.g. nylon, polyester etc.) Base Layer T-Shirt
  • Wool or Synthetic Base Layer Long Sleeve Shirt
  • Quick-dry shorts or board shorts
  • 2 Pairs non-cotton, quick-dry pants (jeans are discouraged)
  • 1 set of long underwear top and bottoms
  • 2 Pairs wool socks
  • Wet shoes
  • Dry shoes
  • NO COTTON on a canoe trip

Why no cotton?

Cotton is a poor choice for outdoors activities due to its high thermal conductivity (rate of energy loss). When it gets wet, cotton allows the moisture to sit on your skin, in turn cooling you instead of keeping you warm. In other words, you don’t stay very warm or dry with cotton!

Personal clothing not for canoeing:

  • Headlamp/Flashlight
  • Baseball hat
  • Beanie
  • Personal hygiene items

Gear for canoeing:

The outfitters will provide all the necessary canoeing gear, which will include this comprehensive list.


  • Prescription and over-the-counter-medications will be self-administered. If you anticipate using any over-the-counter meds such as Motrin, Tylenol, or Benadryl, please bring them with you!

Other info:

Determine if you’ll be packing your own food or if you’d like to arrange food from your outfitter!


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