In preparing for your Middle Fork Salmon river trip I wanted to offer suggestions and information on how to pack. From my travel and rafting experiences, I know how time-consuming and even downright stressful it can be to plan for a trip, especially with kids. The best advice I can give you is to make sure you pack the essential items and then pack light. Once you’re on a trip, you’ll be surprised how much unnecessary items you end of bringing. I still do it after 40 years! Along with a video, below is a write-up in how I pack my bags. If you have any questions about packing for your Middle Fork Salmon trip, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Mary Papale

Large Camp Bag

The large overnight waterproof bag is 34″ from top to bottom. The circumference when filled with clothing and your sleeping bag is about 52″ around. In this bag, you will put all of your stuff that you will use at camp including the sleeping bag we provide. Some guests prefer to pack their personal clothing and toiletries into a soft-sided duffle first and then slide that into the waterproof bag. However, you can pack directly into the large waterproof bag. After packing your bag you will press out the air, fold the top over a couple of times to make it watertight and fasten the side buckles.

Packing River Trip

Day Bag

The day bag measures 29″ from top to bottom and has a circumference when filled with about 28″. Things to put in the day bag include: rain jacket and rain pants, polypropylene top and bottom, a ziplock with sunblock, chapstick, camera, a downsized wallet (id, medical insurance card, cash, credit card, fly fishing license), sunglass case, reading glasses if needed, medication used during the day. Some guests include a small paperback book, a small notebook, and a pen for notes. When the bag is filled you roll it down and press out the air and clip the buckles.

Middle Fork Salmon Bag

Camp Attire

You may wish to add two camp shirts made of cotton to wear in the evening. In addition to a pair of light hikers or running shoes and river shoes (Teva, Chaco, or Keen river shoes or sandals) you may like to bring a pair of flip flops to wear around camp. During July if the weather forecast is good, a pair of cotton capri pants are nice for women to wear at camp. Always bring a warm pile or fleece jacket, a pile type hat and light gloves which can keep you warm in the morning while drinking coffee or if there is a change in the weather. Pack a small pillow for sleeping. You can find camp pillows in outdoor stores. A cotton t-shirt and shorts or lightweight cotton sweatpants are comfortable to sleep in. Dress on the river is casual and comfortable. Bring the essentials and pack light.  

Middle Fork Salmon Hiking

Extra Gear

If you like to read at night in bed, it is very handy to bring a small headlamp. Pack an extra battery. Keep in mind that the climate is high desert and dry. A sun hat, sunblock, and moisturizer for your skin are essential. Bring a strap for your sunglasses.