What to Bring, What to Wear
What to wear on the river and in camp
Most of the time the weather in the Rogue River canyon is warm and pleasant. But cool, wet weather can occur on any trip. It can be quite chilly when it’s overcast, breezy or rainy, especially when you’re in a raft. Please pay close attention to selecting your clothes and gear for your river adventure. Hopefully, you’ll never need most of the cool-weather gear we recommend that you bring. But please do bring it, just in case!
On cool or rainy days (or when the rapids are chilly)
Appropriate clothing for these conditions is clothing that dries quickly, and keeps you warm even when the garment is wet. Modern high-tech synthetic fabrics such as polypropylene, capeline, and polyester fleece do both. (Wool provides warmth when wet, but does not dry quickly and is less comfortable. Wool is often less expensive, however, especially when purchased from Thrift or Military Surplus stores.)
Think in terms of layers of clothing for changeable and cool weather. As conditions change, you can add or subtract layers as needed. The first layer in cool weather should be long underwear made of synthetic materials such as polypropylene or capeline, which provide warmth and wick moisture away from your skin. The middle layer should consist of polyester fleece (or wool), and will provide further warmth. The outer layer consists of a rain jacket and rain pants (ponchos are not recommended). Rain gear made of modern waterproof, breathable fabrics such as Goretex are best. But for a less expensive option, coated nylon will work, too.
A surprisingly large percentage of heat loss occurs from our heads. For this reason a wool or synthetic hat will go a long way towards keeping you warm.
Wetsuits are generally not needed (although for spring trips they can substitute for a middle clothing layer). But they do make inflatable kayaking more comfortable in cool weather, and for this reason O.R.E. provides wetsuits on a shared basis for kayakers. If you'd like to bring your own suit look for an 1/8" thick "farmer john" style (which can be worn in conjunction with a sweater and raincoat). Thicker, full-body scuba style suits are warm, but they're less comfortable and their bulk makes makes rowing and paddling more difficult.
On hot days
Nylon shorts and bathing suits are worn, as well as a hat to keep the sun out of your eyes. Cotton shirts may be worn to keep cool and to ward off sunburn.
Cotton clothing is recommended for hot weather only! Wet cotton will lower your body temperature. This is great for keeping cool during a heat wave. But cotton provides no warmth when wet.
On your feet
For footwear while on the river we recommend nylon or canvas tennis shoes, hard soled wetsuit boots, or sports sandals such as Tevas. For extra comfort you may want to wear nylon or polypropylene socks as a first layer. For cool weather and cold water, wetsuit boots work well. Sport sandals and shoes also work well, when combined with thick wool socks or neoprene wetsuit socks. Sport sandals are comfortable for rafting, and are preferred by many of our guides. But they're generally more expensive, and do not protect your feet as well as do shoes.
In camp or at the lodge
You may want a change of shoes, and comfortable clothing for lounging or hiking. While cotton clothing may be worn on shore in dry weather, you may want to bring a second set of polypropylene and fleece for rainy weather.
Where to find items you will need
Check with local sporting goods stores. If they cater to outdoor sports (hiking, backpacking, etc.) rather than team sports, they should have most of the items you need. Gear is also available through mail order and on-line by contacting REI (800-426-4840, or www.rei.com), L.L. Bean (800-341-4341, or www.llbean.com), or Northwest River Supply (800-635-5202, or www.nrsweb.com).
Rental Equipment for Camp and Camp/Lodge trips
O.R.E. offers camping equipment for rent to those who do not own or do not wish to transport this gear. High quality, two to three person Sierra Designs free-standing tents are available. Deluxe sleep kits are also available, which consist of a Sierra Designs polarguard sleeping bag, cotton bag liner, self-inflating full-length Paco sleep pad, and ground cloth. Reservations and advance payment are required for O.R.E. rental gear. To place a reservation for a tent or sleep kit please call our office at 1-800-827-1358.
Rental Gear Prices
|# Days on River||Tent||Sleep Kit|
|6||$35||$35||(6th day free)|
How to pack
Pack your gear in a manner appropriate for your journey to the river. When we meet we will supply you with a watertight river bag, into which you will pack your clothing. This bag is roughly 14" in diameter and 24" tall. We’ll also provide camping trip participants with a second, larger river bag (roughly 16" in diameter and 33" tall), which you will share with one other person. Into this second bag will go your tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and other bulky items. Items that you want to keep handy during the day but which must stay dry (camera, binoculars, a book, etc.) go best in a 50 caliber military surplus ammo box. O.R.E. provides these boxes on a shared basis. If you would like your own, they are available at most surplus and some outdoor stores, and work best when painted white or a light color and lined with foam. (Please note: ammo boxes cannot be carried in paddle rafts or inflatable kayaks.)
A few words about the term waterproof: The bags and boxes we provide are watertight under most conditions, even when temporarily submerged. However, leakage can occur, and we recommend you wrap your sleeping bag and clothing in heavy-duty plastic garbage bags for extra protection. We also recommend that you pack your camera, binoculars, reading material and similar items in large zip-lock food storage bags.
swimsuit, or shorts and T-shirt (avoid cotton shorts)
tennis shoes or sport sandals, or hard-soled wetsuit boots (for Spring trips)
wool or synthetic "ski" hat — for cold/rainy days
wide-brimmed hat (preferably with chin-strap), or baseball cap — for sunny days (wide-brimmed hats do a better job of keeping the sun off, but baseball caps can be worn beneath the helmets used by inflatable kayakers)
1 pair socks (wool or synthetic)
waterproof rain jacket and rain pants
Polypropylene or Capeline long underwear tops and bottoms (mid-weight or expedition weight)
1 warm sweater or jacket, polyester fleece or wool
water bottle or canteen
waterproof sunscreen (SPF 15 minimum), lip balm
sunglasses, with strap (i.e. "chums" or "croakies")
Extra river clothing and off-river clothing
second pair of shoes or sandals (or lightweight hiking boots)
1 pair long pants
1-2 pair shorts
1-2 long-sleeved shirts
1-2 short-sleeved shirts
socks and underwear
compact, lightweight tent (freestanding is preferable) *
compact, medium-weight sleeping bag *
compact foam sleeping pad (Thermarest is a popular pad), or air mattress *
small tarp (to place beneath your tent, or as a ground cloth for sleeping under the stars) *
personal toiletries, including small towel, biodegradable soap, dry-skin lotion, prescription medicines
small flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries
* - These items are not needed for lodge trips.
a second warm sweater or jacket, polyester fleece or wool, and fleece or wool pants (especially for spring trips)
gloves (especially if you’ll be rowing) — bicycling, weight lifting, or gardening gloves work well
camera and film
pen and journal or notebook
compact fishing gear
spare glasses, sunglasses
small daypack, ammo box, or small dry bag
beer or soft drinks (up to 2 six-packs per person), wine or liquor — all in unbreakable containers. (We provide coffee, tea, and juice; also wine with some dinners). Please note: Consumption of alcohol is prohibited during the day — but is okay once we arrive in camp or at the lodge.
People sensitive to the sun may want to bring lightweight cotton clothes (such as a surgeon’s outfit) for sun protection on midsummer
Pease do not bring pets, guns, valuable jewelry, cellular phones, or radios (personal mp3 music players are okay).