What You Will Need
Bring camping equipment and meals for morning and evening in camp. The campground is noisy at night, so ear plugs may be useful!
Midday meals are usually on the river. Bring water, food and snacks in durable, waterproof containers to carry in your boat. It is best to use small, lightweight lunch containers that store easily.
This year, we are adding a requirement that each participant wear a helmet designed for whitewater paddling. These can be purchased at most of your better outdoor outfitters such as Ozark Mountain Trading Company, Ouachita Outdoor Outfitters, or online at various E-Retailers. Buy, or borrow but please bring a helmet!
Appropriate Clothing for the River
The weather in Arkansas is unpredictable. Although the weather may be warm, the water temperature will likely be cold, usually below 60 F, and you will get wet. Kayak classes begin with wet exits; swims are common in all boat types and all classes. Your choice of clothing for the weekend is very important and should be appropriate to protect you from the weather and from sudden immersion in cold water.
"Layering" clothing is a concept that applies to all outdoor sports, and many paddlers use extra layers to increase their warmth and comfort. The layering system involves use of:
A wicking layer: Used closest to the skin, materials like polypropylene, merino wool or silk transfer moisture from the skin to outer layers. Do not wear cotton fabrics, as cotton holds water and will chill and chafe you.
An absorbing layer: This middle layers soaks up moisture near the skin and continues to move it away from the body to the outermost layer. Synthetic materials are most common.
A protective layer. The outer layer protects against wind and water. This outer layer shell is laminated material like breathable-coated nylon or neoprene. Wetsuits and paddling jackets are recommended.
Footwear is important also. Participants are required to wear closed-toe shoes. Neoprene booties or paddling shoes are recommended. Old sneakers might work, but open-toe sandals present several hazards and will not be allowed.
Many outdoor retailers have a good selection of appropriate river clothing and knowledgeable staff that personally use what they sell. Arkansas Canoe Club Business Members are fair, reliable and can be very helpful when selecting your attire for the river. Many also offer discounts to ACC members!