What to bring on your California white water rafting trip


We are so excited for you to come and experience one of our amazing river trips! We want everyone to be prepared and know what to expect. Here are some tips on What to Bring, and What NOT to Bring on your white water rafting trip with Raft California!

Please watch our Welcome and What to Bring Video below. A list is also provided below for you to use when packing for your trip!

Please do not expect to leave personal belongings in Raft California vehicles, sometimes the same vehicle does not return. 

FAQ – What To Bring, Wear, & More:

Raft California will provide the following gear/items for all our rafting trips:

  • PFD (personal floatation device/life jacket)
  • Helmet
  • Paddle

River attire is very casual and you should expect to get wet and dress accordingly. Quick-dry clothing is recommended. Anything cotton gets wet stays wet and does not keep you warm. Following this list will assure you a comfortable and well-prepared trip.

Please remember to tip your guide at the end of your rafting trip! If you forgot to bring cash, just contact our office to use a credit card. Some locations can provide credit card tip processing on a tablet. 

Please do not bring pets!
No Flip-flops!

All items marked (sale) are available for purchase at our Camp Store.
All items marked (rent) are available to rent. Advanced reservations required.

  • Swimsuit
  • Tennis shoes or river sandals (Tevas, Chaco’s, Keens…)
  • Shorts
  • Sunhat or visor (sale)
  • UVF SunShirt (sale)
  • Nylon windbreaker
  • Head strap for eyeglasses (sale)
  • Extra pair of glasses – optional
  • Waterproof sunscreen (sale)
  • Towel, dry clothes and shoes for wearing around camp

Recommended Spring Rafting Attire

We recommend cool weather clothing (as a precaution) for the months of April, May, and October and for days anytime during the season where rain or cool weather is a possibility. Please avoid wearing cotton since once wet this will just make you cold and wear quick drying materials such as poly-pro. We recommend that you bring the following attire for cold weather white water rafting:

  • Wetsuit & Splash Jacket (rent) OR DrySuit
  • Lightweight cap that covers the ears (you will be wearing a helmet so you don’t want anything too bulky)
  • Long Sleeve shirt or sweater
  • Windbreaker
  • Wool Socks
  • Wool gloves

Overnight Gear List

We offer several options for camping on our 1 day and overnight American River rafting trips. Our Private Riverside Campground located on the South Fork American River, are private and include amenities! We also offer several overnight Wilderness trips, which usually do not have many amenities. Your overnight gear should include the following:

  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad 
  • Pillow 
  • Tent – optional 
  • Ground cloth
  • Flashlight w/ extra batteries
  • Insect repellent
  • Personal toiletries
  • Light jacket/sweater
  • Long pants
  • Dry shoes or sandals
  • Towel/Washcloth
  • Fishing gear/license – optional
  • Spirits (in moderation) – optional
  • Musical instrument – optional
  • Camp Chair – optional

2 day rafting trip notes:

The following are included with our wilderness overnight trips:
  • Dry Bags – for tents, sleeping bags, clothing (we suggest putting in a duffel bag for easy packing)
  • Sleeping bag & pad for each guest – you are welcome to bring your own
  • Tent rentals are available, please note tents over 8x8 are too large for most our wilderness style trips

* Camping gear is not included with our overnight river trips. Rentals/purchased gear is typically available within 24-48 hours of your trip departure. 

Other Recommendations:

We urge you to leave your valuables at home. If you wish to bring a camera, please provide a case (preferably waterproof). Waterproof, disposable cameras are available for purchase at our Camp Store. However, it will not be possible to photograph during rapids. Professional photographers are positioned along the banks taking photos of us running the rapids. These photos are available for sale at the end of the trip and the companies are in no way associated with Adventure Connection. Extra money may be needed for meals en route to and from you trip, for souvenir T-shirts and photographs or a guide tip.


With over 25 years of running the highest quality rafting trips and river tours, Raft California invites you to join us on one of our spectacular rafting adventures!

We have whitewater rafting trips on over 12 rivers in Northern California, Oregon, and into Nevada! Rivers include the South Fork American, Middle Fork American, North Fork American, North Yuba, Truckee, Tuolumne, Kaweah and more!.

Raft California
6500 State Highway 49
Lotus, CA 95651-9764
(530) 626-7385