Below, find the answers to frequently asked questions about Salmon River raft trips with Confluences River Expeditions. We hope this page will help you plan for your raft trip and help you know what to expect on Idaho’s Main Salmon.
“That was really a magical trip. We certainly enjoyed it and will treasure many wonderful memories.”
– Kim Leatham & Robert Steiner, Bainbridge Island, WA
Questions about Packing
How can I make sure my things stay dry?
We will provide you with two dry bags for the duration of the trip. We recommend you use ziploc bags inside those bags to ensure items are waterproof.
What should I pack my things in to get to McCall, Idaho?
Use soft duffels to pack your personal clothes in. Include several plastic bags to store wet items in your bag on the river. Black “contractor” bags are handy for this.
Why do you recommend non-cotton clothing?
Cotton does not keep you warm when wet! Do not plan to wear cotton on the river unless it is to keep you cool on a very hot day. Pack quick dry (non-cotton) shorts and shirts.
What should I bring to account for the sun?
Sun hats, sunscreen and sunglasses are a must! Be sure to put your sunscreen in a ziploc so it doesn’t accidentally get on your other items.
Should I bring bug spray?
Bug spray is recommended at a couple of camps on the river. Be sure to put your bug spray in a ziplock.
Questions about Food
What is the food like on the trip?
We serve three delicious meals per day, plus an appetizer before dinner. We specialize in Dutch oven cooking and are proud of the signature dishes we serve. Fresh fruit and veggies are included in every meal.
What dietary preferences can be accommodated?
With advance notice, we can support most dietary preferences. Make sure to indicate your preferences during the registration process, and check in with your trip leader during the pre-trip orientation meeting. In extreme cases, we may ask you to bring supplementary snacks.
What drinks are provided?
Fresh water is always available. Juice, coffee, hot tea and hot chocolate are served at breakfast. Lemonade is always available at camp. Craft beer and wine are served with dinner. Two complimentary canned beverages per person, per day are provided. If you like something special, please bring it. We always have ice for cocktails.
Can I bring my own drinks?
You are welcome to bring additional canned beverages, wine, liquor or canned beer. We can store them in the dry boxes and coolers on the boats.
Questions about Camping
What do river camps look like?
The Main Salmon River is famous for its beautiful beaches. The entire group arrives to camp together and works as a team to unload the gear from the boats. After learning how, guests set up their tents. A common eating area is set up near the kitchen, where guides will prepare all meals.
How many people are there per tent?
We provide one tent for every two people from the same group. If you are traveling solo, or prefer to pay to have your own tent, we will provide an individual tent. Make sure to select that option in the registration process.
What kind of creature comforts does Confluences River Expeditions provide?
We will provide comfortable camp chairs, camp games (such as bocce ball), and a fire pan for evening camp fires. Many camps have great trees for hammocks, if you’d like to bring a Eno-style camp hammock.
Questions about Hygiene, Bathrooms, Etc
How can I stay clean while camping for 5 days?
We recommend that you bring baby wipes for quick cleanup jobs. Sponge baths are easy and make you feel like a million bucks! The guides will show you how to use a bucket of water above the high water mark to wash and shampoo. You can also bring your own solar shower. Bandanas make great wash cloths!
What special considerations are there for female guests?
Bring items that don’t require a lot of space and are quick to use, packing them in ziplocks. For swimsuits, a sports type two-piece works well and is convenient. Female guides often use a sports bra coupled with quick dry shorts. The female guides on the crew can offer simple tips for disposal of feminine hygiene products. Having a few extra ziplock bags is a great idea. As the environment can dry out skin, we recommend that you make sure you bring moisturizing lotion.
How does going to the bathroom work?
As part of our wilderness ethic, we “Pack it in, pack it out!” We pack out all solid waste. Toilets are portable, heavy duty metal containers fitted with a toilet seat when set up at camp. Toilets are only used for solid waste. Guests urinate in the river or above the high water mark. Our guides will show you the best spots. Toilets are set up in a secluded scenic spot away from eating and sleeping areas. You can enjoy a beautiful view! A custom hand wash system with soap is set up on the trail to the toilet area. A paddle is placed near the hand wash area. The paddle is taken to the toilet so that others know when the toilet is occupied. The paddle is returned to the hand wash area afterwards to signal the toilet is available for use.