What to Pack

What to Pack on a River Trip

Wondering what to pack on a whitewater or scenic river trip in the Northwest area? Here is the scenic river pack list we have come up with to help you decide what to pack for your vacation in North Idaho or Western Montana.

Sunscreen – The sun can get to you on the water from above and through reflections, even on cloudy days. Protect your skin by wearing sunscreen. Our rafts do not permit spray on sunscreen because it damages the rafts. Appy prior to your trip!

Sunglasses – Protect your eyes so you can see wildlife and if you have polarized, you can see into the water.

Hat/Visor – Protect your head from wind and sun to feel better at the end of your trip and during your time out on the water.

Nylon Windbreaker – We provide splash jackets for our whitewater trips and scenic trips on the Clark Fork River. For all other trips, weather is a factor and we go out in wind, light rain, and imperfect weather. Your trip, after all, is an adventure and you’d be surprised at the differences in our five microclimates in which we operate can be vastly different from hour to hour and valley to valley. We will let you know!

Strapped Sandals/Shoes – Strapped sandals or an old pair of tennis shoes are best on the river. Protecting your feet from debris and rocks getting in and out of the boat is a must to protect the skin on your feet.

Binoculars – These can be worn around your neck on any of our scenic trips in Idaho, Spokane, flotillas on the Clark Fork, or inflatable kayaking trips on the Clark Fork.

Quick-dry Shorts – Although deep into the summer wearing only a swimsuit is a desire, please protect those cheeks from rubbing on the raft and quick dry shorts are the best to be the most comfortable.

Fleece Outerwear – No cotton. Cotton holds water and makes you chilly and makes your clothing heavy when you jump into the water. Fleece is an excellent layer to remain comfortable in inclement weather. You can always remove it.

Cell Phone and Cell Phone Water Case – Protect your phone and take gorgeous pictures to remember your adventure.

Cash – Your guide is well trained, knows some history, and worked hard to pack your trip, run the shuttle for the end of your trip, and is willing to give you the best tour they can. Well worth tipping and passing along the good cheer. 15% Gratuity is costumery for our industry.

We recommend synthetic material clothing for the river. No Cotton. Polyester is best or fleece.

Bring any comfortable cotton clothing for changing into after the day of rafting! You can leave this in your car. 

Water and a Snack – Pack a reusable water bottle and a granola bar or light snack if you need it.

Full Day Rafting and Fishing Trips include a catered lunch

As for what WE pack on a scenic river trip:

Cooler (depending on length of trip), pfd (life jacket), paddles to help the guide or guide will oar the boat. All of our trips are guided on a raft or boat. Lunch is provided if indicated for a lengthier trip.

RESPONSIBILITY: Although every precaution is taken to safeguard you and your belongings, river trips, by their nature, involve a certain amount of risk. CDA Adventures (our sister company) and Adventure Missoula and its personnel shall assume no responsibility whatsoever for injuries, damages, losses, or delays to persons or property. Sunglasses can fall into the water, hats can fly into the wind~ We require that you acknowledge these risks by reading and signing a liability release prior to departure. 

Scenic river trips are beautiful, relaxing, and inexpensive. Enjoy the great outdoors! We offer five options for scenic trips in Western Montana, Idaho, and Spokane which are especially focused for families with small children or adults and seniors that don’t want to risk falling out of a raft.

Scenic Trips

Looking for an unforgettable world class river trip in the Northwest? Considered the #1 Thing to do in the Northwest, take an unforgettable trip on the Clark Fork River through the Alberton Gorge Recreation Area and you will see how special this majestic river can be with it’s sandy beaches and gorgeous scenery.

Whitewater Trips

We provide life jackets, wet suits, water booties, and splash jackets/rain gear free of charge on all of our Montana rafting or fishing trips.

Polarized Sunglasses are best, Water friendly clothes (no cotton), Hat, Sun Screen, Camera are the basics.

Layer your clothing (fleece, etc.) or bring a change of clothes for after your raft or fishing trip (we have a changing area at the Clark Fork River shop!)

Bring a re-useable water bottle, snack for the road, cooler to hold snacks or drinks in your car for post trip, and a great adventurous attitude despite whatever mother nature holds!


Taking a fishing trip with us? Bring the above, we supply the all the rest.

For Fishing Trips we supply: Splash jackets, waders to keep warm (if needed), Personal Floatation Device (life jacket), Rod, Gear, Drift Boat or Raft, Fishing Guide

Fishing License and Info 

You’ll need a license! Get one here before you go: Fishing License

To legally fish in Montana you must hold a valid fishing license.

Call us at the office if you have any questions: 406-813-0595.