Consider packing the items below.

In Oregon, paddlers are required by law to have:

  • A Personal Floatation Device (PFD) or “lifejacket”. Children 12 years old and younger are required by law to wear PFDs when in boats that are underway.
  • A signaling device such as a whistle
  • A light (a headlamp or cell phone light is considered adequate)
  • If your paddle craft is 10ft or longer, you must have an Invasive Species Permit. For more information visit:

Other suggested items include:

  • Willamette River Water Trail guides (waterproof maps)
  • Willamette River Field Guide (wildlife, conservation, ecology, history, recreation)
  • Extra clothing (for warmth, or in the event of an unexpected swim!)
  • Consider wearing wicking/quick drying clothes such as fleece and polypropylene as opposed to cotton
  • Extra paddle
  • Pump or bailer
  • River knife (especially if you carry rope of any kind: painters, tow belt, or throw bag)
  • First aid kit
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Dry bags of various sizes
  • Snacks
  • Drinking water
  • Cell phone (most areas on the trail have service) or VHF radio
  • Rain or sun hat with brim
  • Sunglasses
  • Paddling gloves or “poggies”
  • A wetsuit or drysuit depending on the season
  • Additional flotation such as “float bags” (some very simple recreational style kayaks do not have flotation. Consider what happens if you capsize- if your boat fills with water, will it float?)
  • A dry toilet system such as a Clean Waste WAG Bag or a groover (especially if your campsite has no amenities)
  • Camp chair
  • water cannon (choose your battles wisely ;)

Gear Rental/Retail

  • Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe

    • 200 NE Tomahawk Island Dr
      Portland, OR 97217
    • 503-285-0464

    Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe is one of the premiere paddlesports stores and instructional centers in Oregon, and has three greater Portland area locations to serve all of your paddling needs, including rentals. Whether you paddle whitewater kayaks, sea kayaks, recreational kayaks, canoes, SUP boards or rafts, Alder Creek has the boats and gear you need to get out on the water and the classes to elevate your paddling skills.

  • Andy and Bax

    Portland’s oldest and best military surplus, whitewater rafting and outdoor store…Since 1945.

  • Chehalem Paddle Launch

    • 3100 SE 8th St
      Dundee, OR 97115
    • 503-687-1706

    Enjoy your time on one of America’s great rivers, and then venture into the neighboring Pinot Noir country of Dundee & Newberg. Located on the mid-Willamette River near Ash Island, The Chehalem Paddle Launch offers seasonal canoe, kayak, and SUP board rentals.

  • eNRG Kayaking

    Located in Downtown Oregon City, our shop is your gateway to paddle sports in the Portland area. Rent a kayak or take a guided tour to Willamette Falls, directly from our shop! Or join us for a scenic float on the Lower Clackamas just 10 minutes from the shop!

  • Next Adventure

    • 704 SE Washington Ave
      Portland, OR 97214
    • 503.233.0706

    Next Adventure is Portland’s alternative outdoor store. Whether you are a kayaker, climber, snowboarder, hiker, camper, skier, cyclist, mountaineer, or just someone who loves the outdoors, come visit us and let us help you with your next adventure! Next has an expanded location dedicated to paddlesports.

  • Oregon Paddle Sports

    • 520 Commercial Street
      Eugene, OR 97402
    • 541.505.9020

    Oregon Paddle Sports is your retail home for paddling and rafting in Eugene, Oregon and Lane County: sales, classes, & rentals available.

  • Peak Sports

    • 207 NW 2nd Street
      Corvallis, OR 97330
    • 541.754.6444

    It is our goal to provide all customers with the knowledge, equipment, and resources needed for all of your outdoor adventures including canoe and kayak sales and demos.

  • Portland Kayak Company

    Your source for quality kayaks, canoes, paddling gear, kayak trips, kayak classes, and kayak & canoe rentals in Portland, Oregon.  We also offer unforgettable kayaking vacations to Baja, Mexico.

  • REI

    REI is a premier outdoor gear and sporting goods store serving outdoor enthusiasts in Portland and Eugene.

  • Scappoose Bay Kayaking

    Located on the doorstep of Scappoose Bay Marina, Scappose Bay Kayaking offers safe, flatwater kayaking tours and rentals for outdoor fun and education.