The following is a suggested list of gear, clothing, and personal items to make your GOALS multi-day wilderness river program as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.
HOW TO PACK
We recommend that you pack all of your belongings into a large duffle-type bag with a zipper at the top, allowing easy access to your clothing and gear. Each GOALS participant will be provided with a large personal dry bag to use during their expedition. Most of your items will be packed in this bag, including changes of clothes, personal toiletry items, and your sleeping bag. A smaller personal dry bag will also be provided - a bit larger than a shoe box. This bag is intended to carry the little things you will need to access during the day (such as sunscreen, lip balm, a camera, medications, a sun shirt, etc.).
In addition to dry bags, GOALS will also provide each participant with a sleeping pad and tent to use during their expedition. Sleeping bags can be provided if needed.
Please keep an eye on the weather forecast for the area you'll be exploring prior to your trip, and make adjustments as needed. Feel free to contact us if you have questions after reviewing our suggested packing list.
Weather in the canyons we explore is often quite variable. Cool mornings, hot days, and the chance for unexpected storms. We like to hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst!
- Cap with visor. Important for sun protection.
- Rain suit. Necessary for cool or wet conditions. A good rain coat is required, and rain pants are recommended. Ponchos are NOT recommended, and they are unsafe on the river.
- Socks. 1 pair of wool or fleece socks are good choices for cool conditions, or to be worn in camp and on side hikes.
- Footwear. Pack at least two pairs. One is a "wet shoe" for use on the river. These can be old gym shoes or river sandals with an ankle strap - flip-flops are not acceptable river shoes, as they must stay on if you swim. The other is a pair of "dry shoes" - these are to be worn in camp and on hikes. Be aware that the canyon can be tough on feet - pack shoes that will help to take care of them.
- Shirts. 1-2 long and 2-3 short sleeve shirts. Note: a long-sleeve cotton button-down makes a great “sun shirt” for sun protection.
- Shorts / swim suits. Bring 2. One will always be wetter and sandier than the other.
- Fleece / sweatshirt. Fleece or other synthetic material is better than cotton, as it is a better insulator in adverse/wet weather conditions.
- Warm jacket. While we'll hope it never comes out of your bag, but if you need it - you're going to want it. If you don't, it will make a great pillow.
- Jeans or sweatpants. Just one pair is necessary, for cool mornings or evenings in camp.
- Underwear. Bring a few pairs - don't underestimate the importance of comfortable undies upon arriving to camp after sitting in a wet swimsuit all day!
2. PERSONAL ITEMS
Skin protection and personal hygiene are important for an enjoyable river expedition.
Suggested personal items:
- Sunscreen lotion. It is absolutely imperative for each participant to bring an ample amount of sunscreen. An SPF rating of at least 30 and waterproof protection are recommended. Aerosol spray sunscreen is not recommended, as it dehydrates skin.
- Lip balm and lotion. The combination of very dry air, hot days, and a sandy desert ecosystem creates a need for moisturizing lotion.
- Insect Repellent.
- Toiletries. (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, etc.)
- Towel or washcloth / bandana.
- Prescription medications. Please notify chaperons of any prescription medications- they will need to hold and disperse them as prescribed. Non-prescription items such as pain reliever, antacid, antihistamine, etc. should not be packed - they will be available if needed in the group first aid kit.
- Sleeping bag. A warm bag, rated to at least 40 degrees which stuffs into a small compressed size is recommended.
- Water bottle. Please bring a durable water bottle that holds at least 1 liter of water. It is incredibly important to remain hydrated during the expedition. For programs with several side hikes scheduled or with very hot weather in the forecast, a CamelBack or similar hydration backpack is also a good idea.
- Camera (at your own risk!). Consider a waterproof or disposable camera, but please be aware that you MAY NOT use the camera on your phone. It is a non-negotiable rule on GOALS programs that cell phones are not allowed.
- Flashlight / headlamp. For evenings in camp.
- Pillowcase. Stuff in with the clothes you're not wearing, and sleep in comfort!
- Sunglasses. Best to bring an extra pair in case the first ones get broken or lost - and to secure each pair with an adjustable retainer.
4. OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
- Cash. Kids should bring a small amount of money for fast food/gas station stops on the way to/from their expedition.
- Guide Tip. It is customary to tip professional river guides for a job well done. This represents a significant portion of their income, and while they don’t expect to make big tips on GOALS trips, they work hard from before the sun comes up to long after it goes down down ensuring that all GOALS participants have a safe and enjoyable experience. Please contribute what you feel is appropriate (we suggest a minimum of $10/day from each participant). Tips can be given to chaperons prior to launch and will be secure until delivered to the team of guides.
- Weight. If your trip involves a flight in or out of the canyon, please keep in mind that you are thereby limited to a 30-40 lb/person restriction.
5. WHAT NOT TO BRING
- Your phone. As mentioned above, a phone can not come with you on the river. They can be left in the vehicle when we depart for the river, but will not accompany us, and should not be relied on as your camera.
- Alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. Anyone underage caught illegally possessing or using these substances will be removed from a youth program immediately, and will have a difficult conversation with their parents about who is planning to foot the bill for their helicopter ride out of the canyon. It's not something we take lightly.
- Anything valuable that can't get wet or sandy.
- A bad attitude.