11 essentials of float travel packaging for summer 2021
Those new to fleet travel may be overwhelmed with the idea of packing, as the trip involves an additional aspect to be prepared for camping or hiking. Along with everything you might need for yourself, for sleeping at night and preparing food, you also need to think about everything you need while on the water and for the water.
Of course, the raft itself and the oars for paddling and steering are a given, as well as the flotation devices. Another essential item is a well-stocked first aid kit. But there are a lot more items that you might not think of taking on the fleet trip if you’ve never been there before. That’s why we’ve rounded up 11 of the top essentials you won’t want to leave home without.
Dry bags are one of, if not the most important, items you can have for a float trip. These airtight bags will keep everything you need to stay dry when you’re out on the water by sealing and blocking the water. That means when it’s time to set up camp, your clothes, sleeping bag, and electronics will be ready to go, not dry. Try these versatile bags from Summit to Sea with an easy-to-unroll top.
Another must have waterproof item is a phone case that has the ability to float. While a waterproof phone case is great for keeping your phone running, your phone won’t do much for you if it falls overboard and gets lost in the depths. With this floating phone case, you can easily pick it up if it falls off on the way.
Flotation straps are similar to a floating waterproof phone case, but they can be easily attached to anything you absolutely cannot lose during the trip. Place one of these on your car and house key set or anything else that you might worry about if lost. Secure a few more on a dry bag for easy access as well.
While there are cooler packing techniques that will maximize your cooler ability to keep things cool for days on end, it’s also extremely important that you bring a high quality cooler for a float trip. Invest in a premium brand like Yeti or a classic like Igloo for gear you know will serve you well. No one wants to sip lukewarm beer that’s cooked in the sun on the raft after days on the water – let alone eat questionable food.
Water shoes are always a good idea on a float excursion, but they are especially useful when you are floating in an unfamiliar area. If you are unsure of what banks or entry and exit points will look like, waterproof, quick-drying shoes can save your life. Not to mention the fact that they also double as decent camp slippers once they dry out again.
Most rafting float trips can use an emergency tube repair kit stowed away with the first aid kit. If the inflatable raft got caught on a tree branch or sharp rocks, or one day tore when coming out of the water, the ability to repair the tube can be invaluable. Also, be sure to pack a pump.
Sitting on a hot raft during the heat of the day can be extremely exhausting. That’s why it’s important to cover all of your sunscreen bases with plenty of water to stay hydrated and proper clothing to prevent sunburn. While sunscreen should definitely be a part of your arsenal, don’t forget to pack a hat or even rash sunscreen that you can put on when the sun is beating down.
From the must-have space of a raft to dusk in the campsite, mosquito repellent is another absolute essential on a float excursion. When biting flies, midges, and mosquitoes start to swarm, you will no doubt want something to keep them at bay. Keep the repellant handy both on land and downstream, or use bug bracelets while camping.
Along with a life jacket and swimsuit, there are other items of clothing that you might not realize you need until you’ve experienced your first float trip. Quick-drying clothes are wonderful because you won’t have to wait forever for them to be ready to wear again, but you should also plan to pack warm layers. Sleeping by the water can be chilly at night, so make sure you have a layer of fleece or down to pull on and maybe even gloves and a warm hat if the temperature really drops.
Another type of strap that you should take along with the floating straps are bungee cords or straps with buckles. These will allow you to properly secure everything to the raft so that nothing comes loose or falls off along the way. Not to mention that they can also be very useful if you have to use them to compress everything so that it is more comfortable.
Finally, don’t forget to pack everything you need to sleep on shore. If you lose sight of the camping part of the trip and only focus on packing the floating part, it could be an uncomfortable trip. So throw in a light or compact sleeping bag, sleeping pad and tent and pack them securely in a dry bag so you get a comfortable night’s sleep every night of the trip.