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Expeditions - Personal Equipment

The following serves merely a guide to jog your memory. Bring whatever you think you'll need. Be sure to pack any & all toiletry & any necessary medical supplies. There are no conveniences of any sort on the islands! (Except for the fact that you can derive salicylic acid from the cambium of the willow tree -- the active ingredient found in aspirin)

(Quapaw will provide large volume dry-bags for all personal items. Bring daypack or small drybag for "day-time" items you might want to access while paddling)

Recommended Equipment List:
  Daytrip Overnight (Summer) Overnight (Winter)
Shoes you don't mind getting wet
Knife (worn on belt or life preserver)
Water bottle (filled)
Sun protection
Bug protection
Long-sleeved shirt
Hat (for sun primarily, but rain also a consideration)
Poncho or rain jacket
Toiletry items (as needed)
Change of clothes
Sleeping bag (one that will keep you warm, even when wet, like holofil)  
Sleeping pad  
Groud tarp  
Eating utensils (bowl, spoon, fork, cup)  
Sweater (preferably wool or poly-propylene)    
Light jacket (preferably water resistant)    
Rain protection (pants and top, or poncho)    
Large garbage sacks (heavy guage)    
Wet suit or dry suit, or equivalent (or rent from Quapaw)    
Shin-high rubber boots (barn boots) or neoprene boots    
Two extra changes of clothes    
Heavy sweater (preferably wool or poly-propylene)    
Heavy jacket (preferably water resistant)    
Warm hat    
1 pair of mittens    
2 pair of waterproof cloves (in case on gets wet, the other can be drying)    
Winter vest (wool, poly-pro, etc - vests are great for paddling: they keep your core body temperature warm, yet allow freedom of upper body movement)    

Also to consider:
Ear muffs    
Wool pants, ski pants, hunter's overalls, etc.    
Extra tarps    
Wool blanket    

Survival Kit (Recommended items which should be considered for inclusion in a personal survival kit. We carry all of these items ourselves, but it never hurts to be prepared. Make your own or purchase -- you can find prepared survival kits at most outdoor recreation outlets. Pack at least one per group or family. Ideally carried at all times afloat, perhaps in a fanny pack.)
  • waterproof Matches in waterproof container
  • lighter
  • candle
  • map and compass
  • fishing line & hooks
  • emergency food: chocolate, jerky, dried soup
  • knife
  • whistle
  • aluminum foil
  • space blanket/fly sheet
  • nylon cord
  • signal mirror
  • first aid supplies
  • water purification tablets
  • insect repellant
All river travel on the Lower Mississippi River is considered "expeditionary" because of the nature and gargantuan proportions of the wilderness of the Lower Mississippi River & Valley. Paddlers need to be prepared for a multitude of conditions. Carry everything you might need, including all private medical items. Primitive camping & picnicking on remote islands. No conveniences or services of any sort. Long distances between landings. Most landings are unimproved and built deep within the woods, no services and often uninhabited.

Please prepare for being too hot or too cold, any time of year. Weather changes can be extreme: in the summer you might feel cold, and in the winter you can easily sun burn if not properly protected. Warning: sun over-exposure is our number one hazard!

It's almost always colder on the river. Cotton clothing not recommended. Fleece dries quickly, and can be easily wrung out, as does poly-pro and silk. As in all seasons, prepare to get wet. Even though you might not intend to enter the water, there will be splashing water, waves, paddle drips, and rain is always a possibility, as well as a canoe overturn. Capsizes are rare. Regardless it's best to be prepared. We will perform any necessary rescue as quickly as possible, but you can help by wearing your lifejacket and wetsuit (winter only) properly and holding onto your paddle.

NOTE: On most excursions Quapaw provides all river equipment, refreshments and food, as well as cookware & eating utensils. "River Equipment" including canoes, paddles and U.S. Coast Guard approved type III life jackets. All expeditions are outfitted with first-aid kits, rescue ropes, life preservers, cellular communication (river to shore), and VHF marine communication (the type used by tugboats, U.S. Coast Guard, and all other river traffic private or commercial). For more information on any of this, write john@island63.com or call (662) 902-7841. There is no such thing as a "bad question!"
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