Getting ready to start packing socks and shirts into a duffel bag? This trip includes backcountry paddling as well as backpacking. You’ll have time on the morning of day one to repack everything you want for the kayaking camping portion of the trip into provided dry bags. On the night of day two, we will spend time unloading our dry bags and repacking our gear into backpacking packs. Anything you don’t need either on the paddling or backpacking portion can stay behind in our trailer. We lock the van and trailer up, but it is abandoned while we are paddling and backpacking so plan to bring any valuables along with you.
Remember, any gear you take backpacking you must carry on your back! Those packs can get heavy quickly, so try be conscious of the weight and packability of your gear when packing for this trip.
In anticipation for your trip, we recommend checking the weather forecast for Grand Lake, CO and making any necessary packing adjustments. We camp at an elevation that is 1,000 feet higher than Grand Lake the last 2 nights, so expect temperatures to be approximately 10 degrees colder.
We recommend arriving with all clothing and personal gear packed into 1-2 medium sized duffel bags. It is okay to pack your gear into a hard-sided suitcase instead, but most adventurers find more ease in working out of duffel bags during the trip.
These will help keep your clothing and gear organized.
While we expect hot and sunny days, those temperatures drop once the sun goes down! We camp at over 8,000 feet of elevation, so prepare for chilly nights, especially if your itinerary is in June. Highly packable layers are best for backpacking!
T-shirts or tops made for running or working out are good choices. Stick to moisture-wicking fabrics. Long-sleeve synthetic sun shirts are also a good choice.
Bring shorts designed for running or working out or water sports. Look for quick-drying or moisture-wicking nylon, polyester, nylon/spandex, or polyester/spandex fabrics.
Nylon hiking Pants or athletic leggings are good choices. Zip-off pants that turn into shorts rarely look flattering, but often work well!
Look for wool, Capilene, or polyester fabrics. No cotton. Don’t plan to wear this while paddling, you’ll want it to stay dry for cold nights at camp.
Moisture-wicking long underwear bottoms or ankle-length tights. Look for wool, Capilene, nylon/spandex, or polyester/spandex. No cotton. Don't plan to wear these when paddling; the seats of our sit-on-top kayaks are a bit too wet to expect these to stay dry.
Stick to moisture-wicking fabrics. No cotton. If you pack shorts with built-in liners, you can pack fewer pairs of underwear.
Stick to moisture-wicking fabrics. No cotton.
A warm, polyester fleece jacket or synthetic "puffy" jacket. This should be able to be worn under your rain jacket. No cotton. Something that is light and packable but still provides insulation is great for backpacking.
A midweight polyester fleece top or other layer to add additional warmth. You should be able to wear this with all your other upper body layers.
A lightweight hard shell you can wear over your other upper body layers.
Hot springs are calling!
These provide obvious protection from precipitation but can also be worn over baselayers if there is a cold snap.
It might seem silly to pack a hat and gloves for a summer adventure, but we camp at over 8,000 feet of elevation! Night-time lows easily drop into the 40s all summer.
A wool, synthetic knit, or fleece hat for cold nights
Pack fleece, Power Stretch, or other gloves made for running or for use as a medium-weight liner.
Keep those blisters at bay!
Use for warmth, or to keep the sun off your neck, weather depending
Choose waterproof/breathable boots with ankle support made for carrying a backpacking load. Make sure these fit well with the socks you plan to use on the trail. Also, be aware that feet tend to swell over the course of an adventure. It’s best if your boots are already broken-in when you arrive for the adventure.
Bring either sport sands with ankle straps (like Chacos or Tevas) or water shoes (like KEENS). Flip flops are not acceptable.
Stick to purpose-built, medium-weight wool or synthetic backpacking socks from companies like Darn Tough and Smart Wool.
Pack a pair of sneakers, crocs, or other camp shoes. A lighter weight and more packable shoe is advantageous. If you have a lot of backpacking experience and prefer to omit bringing a camp shoe, that’s OK by us!
Bring a mummy-cut, backpacking-style sleeping bag rated for 15 to 20-degrees Fahrenheit. Bring a sleeping bag that's highly compressible. Avoid large, heavy, roll-up-only sleeping bags because they may be too bulky to fit in a dry bag or backpack.
A compressible or inflatable camping pillow makes nights more comfortable.
Headlamps with an optional red light won't blind your fellow adventurers or ruin your night vision.
Minimum of 1 liter carrying capacity for paddling days and 2 liters for backpacking days. Pick bottles with a screw-top lid that covers the areas your mouth contacts. A Nalgene-brand bottle is a good choice.
A 2-3 liter hydration bladder works well for our backpacking days.
If you are worried about your sleeping bag not being warm enough, a liner is a great idea for staying warmer when the nights get cold.
We recommend taking a stripped-down version of your personal care/toiletry items, especially on the backpacking portion of the trip. Shoot for travel-sized items and repack liquids into anti-leak small containers. Our guides recommended the Nalgene travel bottles. While showers are available at the hot springs resort, we want to leave the shampoo and conditioner behind while we are in the backcountry.
Pack at least 4oz of sunscreen. Guides recommend at least SPF 30 Small containers work better than larger ones. No aerosol spray cans, please.
It's handy to have your own personal hand sanitizer that can either live in your tent, coat pocket, pack or PFD pocket.
Toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, soap, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, lotion, moisturizer with SPF, brush/comb, ear plugs etc.
To dry off after your shower or hot springs dip. We recommend a small to medium-sized towel that won't take up too much packing space. Leave those beach towels at home!
Tampons, Diva Cup, or pads. Pack 50% more supplies than you expect to need.
Look for the active ingredient DEET. Ben’s brand is packaged well for backcountry travel. No aerosol sprays.
For hot springs admission and our lunches at Grand Lake Lodge on the final day of the trip.
Please consider rewarding hard work and excellent service with a guide gratuity at the end of the adventure.
We'll help you get fitted with a comfy, padded, frameless backpack.
Kayak & Paddle
15 to 16-foot sit-on-top touring kayak.
Personal Flotation Device
Our life jackets (PFDs) have pockets. Ooh la la!
These help keep your personal gear and clothing dry while we paddle.
Sturdy, dome-style backpacking tent. Prefer to share a tent? Contact us.
A comfy, inflatable camping mattress makes nights restful.
Stove & Cookware
We'll pack all the necessary backcountry cooking gear.
Bowls, plates, utensils, and mugs. You can leave that rusty old spork at home!
Our camp furniture is comfy, collapsible, and fire engine red.
Medical kit, satellite phone, emergency equipment, and more.
These are great for extra stability on rocky, uneven terrain!
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