Are you preparing for a Snake River day trip in Hells Canyon? Congratulations—you’re about to embark on the nature experience of a lifetime with River Adventures! To ensure you come prepared for every scenario, we’ve compiled a list of important things to bring with you on your day trip.

As you pack for your exciting trip, keep this packing list on hand and check items off as you put them in your bag. These seven items are absolute must-haves if you’re going to spend the day on the Snake River.

Waterproof Clothing

While packing extra clothes for a day trip seems excessive, when you’re on the water it makes perfect sense. The Snake River is so named due to its many slithering twists and turns through Hells Canyon. However, some parts of the river run faster than others, and if you’re going on a Snake River jet boat tour with us, you’re bound to get wet. Make sure you bring at least one change of dry clothes with you!

Additionally, pack several pieces of waterproof clothing. Choose light layers that you can easily shed if the temperature shifts. But keep in mind that the weather around the river can be temperamental, so you’ll want a jacket in case you get chilly. In addition, many of our jet boat tour passengers opt to wear a bathing suit as a base layer.

And don’t forget to put some thought into your choice of footwear! Waterproof sandals are a great choice for spending time on or near the river. Just skip the socks because your feet will get wet at some point, and no one enjoys soggy socks.

Food and Drink

During your Snake River day trip, you’ll have several opportunities to eat. In fact, on our Snake River boat tours, we provide a deli-style lunch and beverages for our passengers! However, you never know when you or a member of your traveling party will get crabby from hunger.

Pack a few low-mess snacks and plenty of clean drinking water to keep your appetite in check during your day trip. Also, bring one or two plastic grocery bags to serve as temporary trash receptacles until you can get to a garbage can.

Sun Protection

Even on cooler and cloudier days, the UV rays of the sun can really beat down on Hells Canyon. Keep yourself and your traveling companions protected from sunburn and heat exhaustion by packing sunscreen and protective gear.

Your sunscreen should have an SPF of at least 50. Bring a big enough bottle to reapply sunscreen every hour, or after you get wet. In addition, pack brimmed hats for everyone in your traveling group to keep ears, necks, scalps, and faces shaded from the sun. And don’t forget the sunglasses—pack a few pairs of shades that will keep your eyes and the delicate skin around them protected from sun damage!

Top Tip:

While baseball caps and trucker hats are stylish, they only provide sun protection for the face and the top of the head. Try a bucket hat or wide-brimmed straw hat so that your neck and ears also get some shade. After all, those are two of the worst places to get a sunburn!

Camera and Accessories

When you head down the Snake River on a jet boat or go for a hike along the river, you’ll see plenty of wildlife native to the area. If you’ve got a camera, bring it along so you can snap photos of bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and chukar partridges as you see them.

Pack your camera in a secure waterproof bag or hard plastic case to keep it from getting wet on your travels. In addition, pack spare batteries, memory cards, and any other equipment you need to get the perfect snapshot.

Fishing Gear

The Snake River is full to the brim with diverse fish species and other aquatic creatures. If you plan to add a fishing excursion to your Snake River day trip, come prepared!

The following items are essential to your enjoyment of a day’s fishing on the Snake River. Check each of these items off the list as you pack:

  • Fishing license (mandatory for everyone over the age of 14)
  • Rod and reel
  • Tackle box stocked with a variety of lures and sharpened hooks
  • Bait knife for any live bait you plan to use
  • Fully stocked first aid kit

Top Tip:

If you know what types of fish you want to catch in the Snake River, research what kinds of bait will lure them in! For example, catfish love the smell of chicken livers, while trout prefer minnows and nightcrawlers.

Personal Care Items

While you may only be visiting the Snake River for a single day, you may get a little wet and grimy after a few hours in the great outdoors. Stay comfortable and clean by packing the toiletries and personal care products that are essential to you.

Bring a dry, fluffy towel and keep it in a secured waterproof bag. After your jet boat tour down the river, you may be more than a little damp! Toweling off will help you feel more comfortable tackling the rest of your day.

In addition, consider adding the following items to your toiletry bag before hitting the Snake River:

  • Any prescription medications you may need
  • Baby wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • A toothbrush and small tube of toothpaste
  • Menstrual care products, if applicable

Spare Dry Bags

At several points throughout this guide, we’ve stressed the importance of secure, waterproof bags for your personal items. The Snake River is a mighty force of nature and does not care what it drenches! To ensure that your day trip is packed with fun and not disappointment, have multiple bags on hand to keep your wet and dry items separate.

This way, if your clothes get soaked on your jet boat tour, you can change afterward. You’ll be able to store your wet items in a closed bag where they won’t soak any of your other things.

Top Tip:

For larger items like clothing and towels, pack a spare duffel bag. For smaller things like toiletries and snacks, plastic ziplock bags will be your best bet.

To make sure that your Snake River day trip is jam-packed with fun, come prepared by bringing these important things along. River Adventures is here to guide you up and down the Snake River on our state-of-the-art jet boat, but it’s up to you to pack the things you specifically need.

Personalize this packing list to your heart’s content, but make sure you don’t leave any essentials behind. We’ll see you on the river!

7 Important Things To Bring on a Snake River Day Trip