Gear Checklist

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 a Waterway Access Permit. For more information visit the Oregon State Marine Board.

Other suggested items include:

  • Willamette River Water Trail guide (waterproof maps)
  • 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
  • Shade shelter
  • 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)
  • Trash bags (please be prepared to pack out all of your trash including toilet paper and wipes!)
  • Camp chair
  • water cannon (choose your battles wisely ;)