DOC First-Year Trips / About the Trips / Types of Trips / Kayaking Whitewater

Kayaking Whitewater

Whitewater Kayaking Trips begin with basic instruction on kayaking, including strokes, rolling and basic boat movement. Afterwards, participants will practice on real (small) rapids. No kayaking experience is necessary or expected, but you must be a strong swimmer. We provide all kayaking equipment, but you should bring warm NON-COTTON clothes and long underwear that you don't mind getting wet. Kayakers will be required to pass a swim test upon their arrival in Hanover.

Packing List

Below is the packing list for this trip. We've divided it into several sections - anything listed as "Required" is very important, so while you may not be sure why we have included/excluded certain items, please plan to bring (or borrow from us) those items. Review the items listed as "Recommended" and "Optional" - while you do not need to bring these items, you may want to consider it.

Remember that you will need to fit all these items into your bag or pack at some point. Pack what you need, but don't pack too much - we don't want you to carry extra, unnecessary weight!

It's important to remember that you’re only going away for 5 days. It's an outdoor trip, and you won't have access to shower, and you won't need your full wardrobe. And guess what? You'll look awesome no matter what, because you ARE awesome and so is everyone else.

If you have any questions, please let us know! We'll happily help you out as best as we can. We know it's not every day you have to pack for the outdoors, so feel free to call or email us:

Each trip has some group gear that we provide. This includes cooking equipment/stoves, tarps, and a first aid kit.

We can lend you a hiking backpack (frame pack), a sleeping bag, and a foam sleeping pad if you need to borrow these items. However, we have a limited supply, and so we encourage you to first ask friends & family members to see if you can borrow these items. Please refer to our website for more information about borrowing equipment from DOC First-Year Trips.

REQUIRED: (you can rent a sleeping bag, pack, and pad from DOC First-Year Trips for free if you don't have one or want to purchase one)

- A duffel bag OR backpack (a backpacking backpack will work fine but is NOT needed) -- you'll empty this all out into dry bags PROVIDED BY US so don't worry about what kind of bag you bring (we'll store the bag during your trip
- A pair of waterproof shoes (You can also have two pairs of shoes -sneakers or sport sandals: one for in the boat, which will get wet, and one for in camp. Pick sandals that strap to your feet instead of loose flip flops).
- Sleeping bag (synthetic or down, not cotton or flannel lined, and packed in a stuffsack lined with a plastic bag)
- Foam sleeping pad or thermarest
- Sunscreen and insect repellant
- Hat with a visor
- 2 mid to warm layers (wool sweater or fleece pullover)
- Raincoat or poncho
- One pair long pants (wool or synthetic materials insulate when wet -- NOT blue jeans)
- 3 pairs of heavy socks (preferably wool)
- 2 t-shirts
- 2 underwear
- 2 pairs hiking, biking or gym shorts
- Warm shirt (wool or synthetic materials insulate when wet)
- Flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries
- Wool or fleece hat
- Gloves or mittens
- Bathing suit
- Small towel
- Plastic bowl, cup, and spoon
- 2 plastic water bottles (at least one liter each, not small disposable water bottles)
- 2 large plastic bags (i.e. trash bags; one to cover your bag in the rain)
- Several smaller ziploc-style bags
- Toiletries: toothbrush, small toothpaste (you don't need more than this! No razors, hairdryers, makeup, etc.)


- 1 polypropylene or capilene shirt (available at most outdoors and ski shops)
- 1 pair of polypropylene long underwear bottoms
- Biking gloves. They're great at preventing blisters!
- $2 (cash) for river tax

- LUNCH for the first day! You won't get dinner until 6pm on the day you arrive, so make sure you have food for when you are traveling to Hanover.
- bandanna, pocket knife, compass, camera, sunglasses, wind or rain pants, harmonica, journal, etc.

- cooking equipment, first aid kit, stove, and all other group gear.

- firearms, private food, cd players, iPods, radios, TV sets, cellular phones, alcoholic beverages or non-medical drugs, garden gnomes.

- If you have allergic reactions (bee stings, peanuts, etc.), we ask that you acquire an epinephrine kit from your doctor, and if you have an athletic brace, remember to bring it!
- The rivers and lakes of New Hampshire get quite chilly by September, and weather in New Hampshire is unpredictable. It can be quite hot during the day but it gets COLD at night. Even if you're roasting in your town's summer heat right now, prepare for some chilly nights on your trip by bringing warm, non-cotton clothes. If you bring the proper clothing, you will remain toasty warm, even while wet. Don't cut corners on things like hats, sunscreen and warm, non-cotton layers.
- The COTTON issue: You should avoid bringing cotton clothing as your warm clothing in the woods. Think about throwing your favorite cotton sweatshirt in cold water and then putting it on to keep warm -- it's heavy and doesn't insulate. Late summer is likely to be wet at least some of the time, and therefore you should provide for your own comfort and warmth by bringing a long-sleeved top and bottom layer that is not cotton. Any kind of synthetic material will work, as will wool. Don't be afraid to wear an old wool shirt or thermal underwear! Better to be wet and warm than wet and cold!
- Line your bag with a plastic trash bag and pack your clothes in plastic bags as well. In the event of rain you will be thrilled to have some dry clothes and a dry sleeping bag in camp.
- Remember, if you do not have the proper equipment, try borrowing it from a friend or check out your local Army/Navy surplus store. You don't need the top-of-the-line, Himalayan expedition-caliber gear; just make sure it's functional and relatively light. Much excellent wool and polyester can be had for next to nothing at Salvation Army and Goodwill.
- If you have gear questions, contact your local outdoor outfitter such as EMS or REI. Here are some websites that sell less expensive gear: Campmor, REI, Backcountry Store, Sierra Trading Post.

With your trip assignment, you will see a packing list designed specifically for your trip. Please review the following steps to ensure you are prepared for your trip.

Gear & Equipment

Step 1 - READ: Look through your packing list online to determine what is required, suggested, optional, and not allowed. You may not need serious backpacking gear for your trip; for example, cabin camping trips will be totally fine with a duffel bag instead of a frame pack. Carefully read over what you need, figure out what gear you already have, and move on to step #2!

Step 2 - ASK AROUND: Before you go buy lots of new camping gear, ASK friends, neighbors, relatives, classmates, etc. if you can borrow their equipment. You do not need new equipment - old-school gear is totally fine so long as it works properly! We don't advise you to borrow hiking boots, but ask around and see what items you can borrow for your trip! Once you've asked around for gear to borrow, it's time for step #3!

Step 3 - BUY: Now that you have identified what you need, what you already have, and what you can's time to purchase any other items on your packing list. We suggest visiting your local Army/Navy Surplus Store, thrift stores, rummage sales, or outdoor gear stores (such as REI, Sierra Trading Post, or EMS). Staff at these stores can assist you in figuring out what kind of gear will meet your needs and budget. If you only plan to use these items once, don't spend much money. However, if you plan to use this gear in the future, it might make sense to invest in more durable outdoor equipment.

**IMPORTANT** - Every year, many incoming students make the mistake of bringing brand-new hiking boots on their trip. You WILL get blisters on your feet if you are hiking in boots/shoes that have never been worn's not fun and you will be thinking about your feet the entire time instead of enjoying your trip! If you are getting new hiking boots or shoes to hike in, we highly recommend you buy them several weeks in advance and wear them around for several days so you can 'break-in' the new shoes. Wearing your new hiking boots for several days before your trip allows your boots to adjust to the size and shape of your foot...and reduces the amount of blisters you will get!

Step 4 - BORROW: If you are totally, without-a-doubt unable to find or purchase the gear you need for your trip, we have a limited number of items we can lend you, free of charge. Requests to borrow gear are NOT handled on a first-come, first-serve; rather, priority is given to students receiving financial assistance. We will do our best to accommodate all requests for equipment, but we encourage you to explore your options BEFORE requesting to borrow from us.

**To request to borrow equipment, please complete this gear request form BY AUGUST 1, 2014.

Students may borrow the following items from DOC Trips:

  • Sleeping bags
  • Sleeping pads
  • Frame packs/hiking packs
  • Fishing rods (Note: for fishing trips only)

DOC Trips provides all group gear, including stoves, food, tarps/tents, and any equipment needed for your specific type of trip.

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