If there’s ever a time for waterproof gadgets, it’s on a river trip. Without the weight limitations of backpacking, it’s typically okay to fill your bags with a few extra whosits and whatsits when packing for a multi-day rafting trip. Sure, battery-powered hand warmers might not be practical, but there are a few things that are just nice to have. The gadgets below aren’t necessities, but they definitely come in handy. To make packing them worry-free, they’re all waterproof and won’t be damaged if a dry bag leaks or they get dropped in the drink.
You’ll be Glad You Packed These Waterproof Gadgets in Your Dry Bag
JBL Endurance Peak II Waterproof Earbuds
Earbuds in the wilderness may not be for everyone. But for those who like tunes while they have downtime at camp or want to listen to a podcast before bed, there’s no better option than JBL’s low-profile waterproof wireless headphones. The sporty ear pieces won’t be damaged if you flip. And you won’t irritate your campmates with the tinny sound of a small speaker and your, um, eclectic taste in music.
Nocs Provisions Standard Issue Binoculars
To get the best views of, well, anything, you’ll want a solid pair of binocs. On a river trip, the best models are compact and definitely waterproof. Nocs checks both those boxes, not to mention they come in a variety of rubberized colors. Prefer a captain’s spyglass? They’ve got monoculars with many of the same features, too.
LuminAID PackLite Max 2-in-1 Camping Lantern & Phone Charger
A lantern makes a tent more cozy. LuminAID originally created their solar-powered lights for emergency situations, but they were quickly adopted by campers and backpackers looking for a lightweight lighting solution. The Packlite Max integrates a solar-supplied 2000mAh battery to charge a phone or other electronic devices. Need more or less juice? Smaller or larger capacity options are available, and all of them are rugged, waterproof and easily packable in a raft.
Rite in the Rain Weatherproof Metal Retractable Ballpoint Pen
Being out in nature has a way of inspiring creativity and thoughts that you might want to jot down. You don’t have to be Thoreau to make a few notes and having a reliable weatherproof pen—one that won’t crap out when it gets a little (or a lot) wet—is never a bad idea. Need paper too? Rite in the Rain makes a variety of waterproof notebooks with quality archival paper that almost magically allows water to bead off.
The only problem with books is the sloppy mess they make when they get wet. That, and their size. Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite solves both of these little issues. The e-commerce giant’s newest reading tablet offers access to more titles than you can read in a lifetime, it’s waterproof, and the battery will last through a John Wesley Powell Expedition retrace trip on a single charge. The best part? It’s about the size of a thin paperback.
Black Diamond Hotforge Screwgate Carabiner
For quickly attaching and detaching water bottles, bags or almost anything to the raft or your gear, there’s no better option than a solid carabiner. We recommend locking carabiners, as the gate on others can easily open and snag in the event of a flip. Black Diamond is one of the most reputable names in climbing and builds trustworthy products. Though not made specifically for use on the river, the carabiners are made of aluminum, which won’t rust or corrode when wet.