Packing a Dry Bag for a Grand Canyon Raft Trip

Packing a Dry Bag for a Grand Canyon Raft Trip


When you go on a Grand Canyon raft trip with Hatch we provide dry bags for all of our guests’ gear. On Motorized Trips – including the Hiking Focused Trip – we provide two bags. On an Oar Trip we provide three dry bags. Guests often wonder how to pack items in a dry bag, so we’ll go over everything you need to know!

The bags are provided at orientation which takes places at Cliff Dwellers Lodge. Orientation begins in front of the lodge at 8:30 AM on the morning of launch. Hatch employees start by handing out the dry bags and instructing how to pack gear inside. Here’s the key info about sorting your things to be prepared to get on the water.

Bag Dimensions

Here are the dimensions of the dry bags Hatch will provide for your rafting adventure:

Motorized Trip Dry Bag Sizes:

Day – 8″ in diameter and 20″ tall for a total volume of 16L, but don’t forget that the top few inches will have to roll down.
Night / Sleep Kit – 18” in diameter and 31” tall for a total volume of 127L. This will also contain your sleep kit, including ground cloth, sleeping bag, sheet, and standard sized pillow.

Oar Trip Dry Bag Sizes:

Day – 8″ in diameter and 20″ tall for a total volume of 16L, but don’t forget that the top few inches will have to roll down.
Night – 13” in diameter and 25” tall for a total volume of 57L just for your duffel bag.
Sleep Kit – An identical night bag which will contain the sleep kit, including ground cloth, 2″ thick sleeping pad, sleeping bag, sheet, and standard sized pillow.

Note: tents, cots (motorized trips only), and camp chairs will be stowed elsewhere on the rafts.


a photo of a sandy beach in Grand Canyon displaying all the included camping gear for a rafting trip including, tent, camp chair, dry bags, cot, sleeping bag, and pillow

Hatch provides all the camping gear that guests will need for their trip. From left to right: camp chair, day dry bag, tent for two people, oar trip night dry bag (inside tent), motorized trip night dry bag, cot for motorized trips, sleeping bag, and pillow with pillowcase. Not pictured: sleeping pad for oar powered trips and ground cloth.


What You Need to Bring

Though dry bags are provided by Hatch, guests will need to bring both a 12x12x24 inch night duffel bag (~40L) and a small day backpack (~8-22L) to hold their gear. (Keep in mind that all your gear also needs to be under 25 lbs. excluding drinks.) You’ll place your packed duffel into the night dry bag and place your backpack into the day dry bag. On Motorized Trips, sleeping gear will be at the bottom of the night dry bag so the duffel will simply sit on top. On Oar Trips the sleeping gear has its own bag.

If your backpack doesn’t fit inside the day dry bag, you can put everything that you want to stay dry in the dry bag, and use a carabiner (on the packing list) to clip your backpack to the raft. If you want to be sure your filled backpack fits inside the dry bag, then aim for 16L or less in size. A backpack with a water bladder like a Camelbak is a perfect option for hands free hydration on side hikes, but be careful about that leaking inside the dry bag.


Pack and Buckle Your Bag

After all gear is packed in the dry bags, simply roll down the top and clip the buckle together. Though the dry bags are waterproof, there is no guarantee that everything will stay dry. This is especially true if they haven’t been buckled correctly. Be sure to ask for help if you have any questions regarding proper dry bag use. Once you place all your gear in the bags, employees will assist in loading them into Hatch vans and then you’re off to the river.


Load and Launch on Your Rafting Adventure!

Upon pulling up to the rafts, guests begin raft and safety orientation. Then, it’s time to load the boats! You’ll get used to taking part in the fire line to load and unload the boats throughout the trip. On Motorized rafts, all night bags are loaded onto the center of the raft, covered by tarps and strapped down. On oar trips they are strategically packed throughout the rafts. Night bags will not be available until the evenings at camp, so be sure to pack anything you want to have on hand during the day in the day dry bag like rain gear, sunscreen, camera, etc. You’ll use the attached clip on the bottom of the day dry bag to clip it to the straps on the middle of the boat.


Call Our Office with Specific Packing Questions

Packing for a river trip can be tricky so if any questions arise as to how or where to pack items, please give us a call. We love helping folks be as prepared as possible so you have the best trip! See you on your Grand Canyon raft trip!

Book your Grand Canyon whitewater rafting adventure today to experience the adventure first hand!