Hey I’m Lexi and I host river rafting trips for women in the summers in the USA. This summer, I’m taking two groups of women on my Glow Up Travel Trips to raft, swim, and drink wine under the sun. It’s like summer camp for adult women who like wine! 

I’m taking the first girl group to raft the Lower Klamath River in Northern California / Southern Oregon. I’m taking the second group to raft the Salmon River in Northern Idaho! 

Want to join my women-only adventure this summer? My Salmon River trip in Idaho is full, but you can still join for river rafting and luxury camping Oregon / California! Check out the trip here and apply! 

Now, Let’s talk about: Packing for Whitewater Rafting as a Woman! 

As a gal who likes to be cute, comfortable, and clean, here are my recommendations for what to bring river rafting in the USA.

Table of Contents

But first, what not to bring

Leave your laptops, ipads and perfume either at home – or you can store them at the rafting office for safe keeping. You can bring your phone, but you’ll want a battery pack!


“Your bag should be the size of a grocery bag” says the rafting company and here’s why: Every morning, as we pack up, you will shove your bag into a bigger dry bag provided by the rafting company. All your things must fit in that bag!  That dry bag will be taken down the river every day on the supply boat. 

So the bag you will bring on the river is small…although I bring a tiny bit more than a grocery bag. The size of bags I recommend is 30L (30 liters) to 40L, like a weekend bag or small duffle bag is best.

Good bag

✅ 30-40L

✅ Flexible to shove in a big dry bag.

✅ Easy to carry over the sand.

Bad bag

❌ Bigger than 40L

❌ Do not bring a bag with wheels. 

❌ Don’t bring a backpacking backpack (too big).

Here are some of my bag recommendations…this is going to sound old-lady-ish, but I travel the world with Vera Bradley bags. They will outlast me!

Camping must-haves: Osprey daylight duffel bag

Osprey has the best-made bags out there. This duffle is lightweight and can be carried like a backpack.

30L Vera Weekend Bag

Get it here ➙

42L Weekend Duffle
(This is as big as I’d go).

Get it here ➙

I love the pockets and the compartment for shoes!
Get it here ➙

➤ Bonus: Compression Bags
help when you’re trying to pack small

Get it here ➙

What to Bring ON the Raft

There’s not a lot of room on the raft, so plan to be minimalistic. You also don’t need much! 

➢ What to bring on the raft: sunscreen, chapstick, water, a towel, a waterproof camera.

➢ What not to bring on the raft: your phone…unless it’s secured in a waterproof pouch that floats. 

On the raft, there will be a bigger dry bag for everyone to keep their belongings. So your bag needs to be small, to make space for everyone.

✽ Raft Bags

Water resistant and easy to access is the key! 

This is what I bring

waterproof fanny pack for rafting and camping

Water Resistant Fanny Pack

Get it here ➙

waterproof drawstring bag for river rafting and camping

Water Resistant Drawstring Backpack

Get it here ➙

✽ A Water Bottle

That has a strap you can strap in the raft! – Get it here ➙

✽ Sunglasses WITH a strap

My favorite outdoor sunglasses that make everything look pretty – but aren’t expensive enough to cry over if I lose them. – Get $10 off here ➙

✽ A Brimmed Hat or Visor

Sun hat Get it here ➙

Sun visor  Get it here ➙

✽ Sunscreen

Sun Bum Sunscreen

Make sure it’s eco so it doesn’t pollute the river!

✽ SPF Chapstick

( Trust me on this one ) – Get it here ➙

✽ A Long Sleeve Sunguard

Sometimes your skin needs a break from the sun:

➤ Summersalt Half Zip Rash Guard – Get it here ➙

➤ Summersalt Sunny Day Rash Guard – Get it here ➙

➤ Ewedoos Rash Guard – Get it here ➙

✽ Trip Insurance

If you don’t have insurance that covers rafting, check out World Nomads.

✽ Secure Footwear

Water Shoes / Outdoor Sandals with ankle strap – Get it here ➙

Slides or Flip Flops for camp (my best friend and I both live in these Indosoles) – Get it here ➙

Clothing for the Raft

✽ Swimsuits

Bring 3 swimsuits. You won’t need more than 3.

Here are some of my favorite one piece swimsuits for rafting…

Summersalt ruffle backlip one piece
Get it here
Sporlike ruffle bathing suit
Get it here
Summersalt sidestroke one piece
Get it here
Yonique one shoulder swimwear
Get it here
Get it here
viottiset high cut one piece
Get it here

Here are the best two-piece swimsuits for rafting:

SummerSalt Bikinis

The Wrap High Rise Bikini Bottom – Get it here ➙

The Perfect Wrap Bikini Top – Get it here ➙

Wild Isles

Get it here and use code ALEXAWEST for $10 off➙

✽ Quick Dry Bottoms

The raft that you sit on is slippery and with a wet butt, it’s not always the most comfortable. So have some bottoms you can wear on the raft, but also that you can throw on when we hop off for hiking or lunch!

Swim shorts

Swim shorts - a river rafting and camping must have for women
Get it here

Ruched swim skirt

Swim skirt
Get it here

➤ Sarong Beach Wrap 
Get it here ➙

➤ Quick Dry Running Shorts 
Get it here ➙

✽ Consider: A Swim Dress - it ticks all the boxes!

Get it here

➤ Tummy Control Swimdress

Cutout swimdress is a river rafting & camping must-haves for women
Get it here

➤ V Neck Wrap Tummy Control Swimdress

Get it here

➤ Full Coverage Swimdress

✽ A Little Cover Up:

Nice to have when we hop off for lunch or chillin’ back at camp. 

➤ 3/4 Sleeve Coverup – Get it here ➙

➤ Casual Summer Dress – Get it here ➙

➤ Button Down Dress Shirt – Get it here ➙

➤ Long Sleeve Blouse Beachwear – Get it here ➙

Clothing for Camp

Getting back to camp, it feels so good to change into comfy clothes after being wet all day. At camp, we will swim in the river, explore the woods (hopefully forage for mushrooms), hang on the beach, and navigate to the bathroom in the dark at night…

Here is what I recommend you bring:

1 cozy sweatshirt to wear by the fire:

Hooded pullover for camping
Get it here
Fleece Pullover sweatshirt
Get it here

Flight light / headlamp:
          Get it here ➙

Or a hat with light:
          Get it here ➙

1 cozy t-shirt:
          Get it here ➙

1 pair active shorts:
          Get it here ➙

Quick-dry towel:
          Get it here ➙

microfiber towel is a camping must-have

A hang-around-camp cover-up:
          Get it here ➙

A hang-around dress (if you feel like it):
          Get it here ➙

Long Johns top & bottom:
          Get it here ➙

Easy little tie top:
          Get it here ➙

1 pair of active leggings:
          Get it here ➙

1 pair of sweatpants:
          Get it here ➙

Breathable undies (important after a full day of swimsuits) Skims are the only undies I wear:

Skims thong
Get it here
Skims high waist thong
Get it here


Something to know: I don’t wash my hair at all on the river. I come with clean hair, use dry shampoo, rinse in the river, and put my hair in braids. But if you do want to wash your hair, make sure your products are eco-friendly so we don’t poison the wildlife. If every rafter used their toxic shampoos, we’d totally pollute this place. So please keep that in mind!


SPF for face

Get it here ➙

Tinted moisturizer

Get it here ➙

Waterproof Mascara:
Get it here ➙ 

Biodegradable face wipes:
Get it here ➙

Moisturizer for night:
Get it here ➙ 

Travel Toner:
Get it here ➙


Mini things are best! You can decant everything here: Get it here ➙

Eco-Friendly Shampoo and Conditioner BARS: Get it here ➙  

A wet brush (for tangles): Get it here ➙ 

UV Hair Protection: Get it here ➙ 

Dry shampoo (Hair Dance is my fav): Get it here ➙   


Aftersun: Get it here ➙ 

Eco-friendly Sunscreen: Get it here ➙ 

Biodegradable wet wipes (for a pseudo shower on the days we don’t have a shower): Get it here ➙ 

Hand Sanitizer: Get it here ➙ 

Hand/Body Lotion: Get it here ➙ 

We do have a toilet, but I recommend if you’re ever wanted to try a pee funnel, this one is the best: Get it here ➙  


Bug Spray:

Get it here ➙ 

Get it here ➙ 

Period Stuff

Menstrual cups are an essential river rafting & camping must-haves for women
Menstrual cup: Get it here ➙ 
Period Panties and Period Swimsuits

Use this link for $20 off: https://fbuy.io/knix/alexaweeks  

Electronics & Entertainment

Battery pack (20,000+ MAH is ideal): Get it here ➙ 

Compact Journal: Get it here ➙ 

Earbuds (remember to download music before as we won’t have wifi): Get it here ➙ 

And if you need some travel inspiration, of course, bring my new book…

One way Ticket Plan
Get it here!

Cash Tip for the Guides at the end of the trip (if you feel like it)

✽ Snacks & Food

Before we hit the river, we will stop at a convenience store to load up on wine, beer, and snacks. But we will be eating WELL on the river, so bring only your favs that you can’t live without.

✽ Camping Gear

Your guides will bring gear for you: Tent, sleeping bag, pillows, and mat. 

Want to come on my next river rafting trip? Check out Glow Up Trips here. 

I’ve traveled the world and river rafting in the USA is still in my top 3 favorite adventures ever. You haven’t lived until you’ve been whitewater rafting off the grid for a week.

Ps. I’m afraid of everything – and this river trip is the perfect way to get outside your comfort zone while staying extremely safe. And if you’re still afraid, know that the minimum age for this trip is 7 years old. I’ll let that speak for itself in terms of safety…

And before you go, don’t forget that the perfect audiobook for a rafting trip is my new book, The One-Way Ticket Plan: Find and Fund Your Purpose While Traveling the World. It’s a juicy travel memoir mixed with expert “how to travel” wisdom. 

buy on Indie Bound
buy on Barnes and Noble
buy on amazon

Ticket Plan

this book has magic powers

Find and Fund Your Purpose while Traveling the World

listen on audible
got to application

Want to contribute to the blog? I love to feature the perspective of other solo female travelers.


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meet your travel guide

I'm a bestselling author, hotel reviewer and pickleball player. I teach women how to travel the world solo without going broke or getting kidnapped.
In 2011, I left Seattle with just $200 in my pocket to travel the world solo. Today, I'm the founder and creator of The Solo Girl’s Travel Guide, the #1 travel guide book series for women - and the author of The One-Way Ticket Plan. 

author of The One-Way Ticket Plan and CEO of The Solo Girl’s Travel Guide

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