Alaska Trip-Equipment List VII- Copper River

Copper river, AK, Cr-wikipedia

Copper river, AK, Cr-wikipedia

Copper River – Equipment List


1. Buy clothing that you can either wear dry or sleep dry. That means synthetic, not cotton. When the sun comes out (and it will), we’ll just hang out our wet socks and any other wet gear to dry. But if we have prolonged rain, then we’ll sleep or wear our clothes dry. Imagine this, a long day on the river in the rain. We pull into camp, and everyone stays in their rain gear while putting up tents and getting the kitchen going. That work will generate some heat which will be trapped by your rain gear and before you know it you’ll forget about how wet you were awhile back.

2. The insulating layers under your rain gear are possibly more important than the rain gear itself. Those layers will trap heat, and if they are synthetic, limit saturation to the space around the fibers, not the fibers themselves. This kind of fabric dries almost instantly when you shed your rain gear and surprisingly fast when you sleep in it.

3. Your rain gear can be either, coated nylon, expensive Gortex or H2no, or rubber. Cheap will work fine given the short duration of our trip. It will have to stand up in the wind and repel water. Consider combining a rubber jacket and hood (Helly Hanson) with inexpensive nylon coated rain pants. The rubber jacket fits nice with urban living: suitable in the garden, walking the dog, running out to the store. You need pants for sitting in the raft because your upper garment will shed water onto your lap and legs. I really dislike wearing rain pants, but when you need them there is nothing else that works.


  1. Rubber boots

Wet feet are a fact of river life. We enter the raft each day by wading out to it and exit the raft by stepping out into the water. The gravel bars we camp on may be home to small streams or marshes. The weather may be wet. Your rubber boots will be your favorite piece of gear—simple, water proof, easy to get on and off. You will wear them on the ferry, hiking around camp, strolling the Juneau waterfront, longing, and in the raft itself.

  1. Camp shoes

When the sun comes out, it will be nice to have light weight shoes like running shoes or tennis shoes. Nylon will dry faster, and you might want to get out of those boots in the evening—although I predict rubber boots will rule the day (and night).

  1. Socks:

Three pair will do it. One to wear during the day. One to change into during the evening, and one pair in reserve. Each day,
before we launch, we’ll put yesterdays wet socks back on and save our dry socks. The temptation will be to leave those wonderful dry morning socks on and wade out into the raft. We’ll all do that the last day! Bring medium weight socks, not big heavy ones. The medium weight dries faster than the heavier.

Lower Body Layers (2 layers of insulation)

  1. Synthetic or cotton briefs. This is the only cotton allowed. They get the same treatment as your socks.
  2. Long underwear. 1 pair of light/med weight
  3. Pants. One pair of synthetic pants or insulated pants. I like pants made of Schoeller fabric. But it’s expensive and unnecessary. Synthetic running pants or anything like that will work fine. Insulated pants are usually some form of pile, similar to sweat pants but not cotton. Two pair of long underwear equal one pair of insulated pants. Be sure all this fits under your rain gear.

Upper Body layers (4.5 – 5 layers of synthetic insulation)

Admittedly, 5 layers is a lot for a summer trip. You can fudge a bit here depending on the quality of what you have. I might drop the vest.

  1. Sport bra
  2. Light weight top
  3. Heavier weight top
  4. Pile jacket with a hood
  5. Down or pile vest
  6. Down or synthetic jacket parka
  7. light weight ski hat
  8. Sun/rain hat
  9. Light weight Gloves


Wind/rain layer

  1. Pants
  2. Jacket with hood
  3. Synthetic sleeping bag, 20 -30 degree
  4. Sleeping pad
  5. Day pack for hiking

Sleeping System

  1. Air mattress, or
  2. Closed cell foam pad, and /or
  3. Chair, optional


Personal Repair Kit

I’ll bring a significant first aid kit. Feel free to partner up and share these things.

  1. Needle and thread (dental floss)
  2. Scissors or small knife
  3. Mole skin, mole foam, and second skin (blister treatment)
  4. Cloth tape and duct tape
  5. Band aids and gauze 2x2s
  6. Baby wipes
  7. Special parts for your particular equipment.
  8. Topical antibiotic ointment
  9. Ibuprofen
  10. Tampons
  11. Sun glasses
  12. Mug and bowl
  13. Spoon
  14. 2 lighters
  15. Lip cream and Sun cream (spf 30+)
  16. Tooth Paste
  17. Water bottle
  18. Bandana
  19. Note book and pen
  20. Camera, film
  21. Whistle (for distress because it is distinct from the human voice)
  22. Iodine for purifying water
  23. Watch w/alarm
  24. Money and ID


I’ll take care of the kitchen, tents, stoves, life jackets, raft, sat phone, dry bags (one each) FA kit, and group gear in general.


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