Equipment and Gear

Frequently Asked Questions about Equipment and Gear

What is included in my fare?
All you need to bring is your personal gear (a detailed list of suggested clothing and supplies will be sent to you prior to your trip) and supplementary beverages. Inclusive in the trip fare are the following items:

  • Transportation to and from the river for all full-trip guests, transportation to the river for upper Canyon guests, and transportation from the river for lower Canyon guests
  • Delicious meals from lunch the first day of your trip through lunch the final day
  • Beverages: gatorade, juice, coffee, and tea, (filtered drinking water is always available)
  • Coffee mug and waterproof river guide book with map
  • Plate, bowl, knife, fork, and spoon
  • Camp chair of standard height
  • Sleeping bag, pad, liner, and ground cloth in a waterproof bag
  • Tent (one tent provided per two people on the reservation)
  • Life jacket
  • Experienced guide staff
  • One waterproof day bag and one waterproof bag for the rest of your gear
  • All applicable government fees and sales taxes
  • A $1.00 per day voluntary fee passed on to the Grand Canyon Fund, a non-profit organization that supports groups that help protect the Grand Canyon, provide environmental education, and enhance access for persons who are physically challenged.

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What is not included in my fare?

  • Hotel charges prior to and following your trip (our office staff can guide you with making reservations)
  • Additional beverages of your choosing: soda, canned juice, or alcoholic beverages (in moderation, please)
  • Gratuities for the guides

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What drinks are provided and what can I bring? We provide coffee, teas (black and herbal), hot cocoa and juice in the a.m., as well as filtered water and electrolyte replacement mix throughout the day. The electrolyte replacement is either a Gatorade mix or Gukenaid mix. Gukenaid is much like Gatorade however it is a healthier combination of ingredients that better suits the dry desert environment. If you want additional beverages such as soda, beer, wine, mixers, hard alcohol or additional juice – you may bring your own. Soda, beer, mixers and juice must be in aluminum containers. You may bring wine as long as it is NOT in a glass container. You can either decant a bottle of wine into a hard plastic bottle (Nalgenes and Klean Kanteens work well) or purchase boxed wine. You would be surprised how great a glass of boxed wine tastes in the bottom of the Grand Canyon! If you prefer a splash of hard alcohol in your evening cocktail, you may bring your liquor of choice, again, as long as it is in a hard plastic container like a Platypus Bag or a Nalgene container. Since space is an issue on most of the raft trips, we have limited the number of canned drinks to three per day.

On our motorized trips you are allowed 36 cans of beverages and on all other trips are allowed 3 cans per day. Many people want to know how much wine they can bring since our limitations are in cans. Space is the issue, so we usually say a box of wine is about the size of 6 cans or 4 bottles of wine; however, please use your best judgment if you end up with a larger box of wine. This applies to decanted hard alcohol containers as well.

Also, we ask that you do not bring drinks in plastic containers (other than hard liquor). Soft plastic containers do not fit well in the drink hatch and they do not crush well for recycling. Aluminum cans crush down very nicely and take up little space as recyclables. Please DO NOT bring bottled water. It is absolutely unnecessary.

If you are on a Full Canyon or an Upper Canyon trip, your trip begins in Flagstaff. There is a Safeway grocery store within walking distance of the DoubleTree hotel. Safeway has a good selection of soda, beer, wine, juice and alcohol. We recommend that you try to purchase your drinks prior to your orientation meeting so you have more time after the meeting to organize and pack your gear.

If you are on a Lower Canyon trip, your trip begins up at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. We don’t want you hiking down the extra weight of beverages so we provide you with a AzRA Beverage Order Form in your trip packet to order canned and boxed beverages ahead of time. You can fax or call in the order directly to Cork-n-bottle, a beverage distributor located here in Flagstaff. They have a variety of drinks available and will deliver your beverages to our warehouse. The guides pack the drinks on the boats at the beginning of the trip.

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Can I bring my own life jacket?
No. The National Park Service requires all commercial raft passengers to wear a Type 5 Coast Guard approved life jacket with the raft company logo on it.

The only exception to this might be if you are on a kayak trip. If you are booked on a kayak trip, please contact the office for specifications on bringing your own life jacket.

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Do I need a wet suit?
Although the water temperatures range between 48-56 degrees, wet suits are not recommended. The air temperatures can range between 70-120 degrees and you will overheat between rapids if you are wearing a wet suit. Even on spring and fall trips, wetsuits are not recommended because as soon as the wetsuit get wet, you are soggy and cold. Please see the equipment list for recommended items to bring on a river trip.

The only exception to this might be if you are on a kayak trip. Wetsuits or drysuits are usually necessary for those who are kayaking.

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What kind of tent do you provide?

By Ralph Hopkins

By Ralph Hopkins

A tent is included in your trip cost. We provide one tent per one-two people on a reservation. If you are on your own reservation, you will get your own tent. If you are booked on someone else’s reservation, but prefer to have your own tent, call the office and make this request. The tents are packed and loaded on the boats prior to the orientation and available to you on your first night at camp. The tent (Kelty brand, The Guide) dimensions are 8 feet long by 5 feet wide. The tent stands roughly 4.5 feet high. A large majority of our passengers choose to sleep out under the stars and only use a tent in case of a sand storm or rain.

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What should I expect of the dry bags provided?
We will provide three dry bags per passenger. If you are on a full Canyon or an upper Canyon trip, two of these bags will be handed out at the orientation meeting the night before your trip departs. One of the bags you will receive at the orientation meeting is the blue bag (located on the left side of the picture below) for your personal gear. The bag stands about 1 1/2 – 2 feet tall and is about 14 inches in diameter. This bag will be tied down during the day and you will not have access to it until you are at camp. To see a demonstration on how to pack this bag, click here.

Dry Bags

The dry bags you’ll be provided with on your trip

The second dry bag provided is a white day bag (located on the right side of the picture below). The day bag is rectangular in shape (like a pillow case) and when laying flat, is 1 1/2 feet by 2 feet in size. This bag is for any gear that you want access to during the day such as rain gear, sun screen, hiking shoes and your camera. It is not a backpack, so you will want to bring a small day or hip/lumbar pack for your side hikes. To see a demonstration on how to pack this bag, click here.

The third dry bag contains your sleeping unit (sleeping bag, tarp and sheet). This bag will already be loaded on the boats prior to your orientation and available to you at your first camp. If you intend to bring your own sleeping bag, contact the office no later than 2 weeks prior to your trip date. Bringing your own sleeping bag is not an option if you are hiking in or out of the Canyon. If you are on a lower Canyon trip, your bags will be waiting for you when you meet your guides at Pipe Creek.

Photo by Ralph Hopkins

Packing up the bag. Photo by Ralph Hopkins

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Do I need to bring a helmet?
You do not need to bring a helmet unless you want to. We do not provide them.

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