What to Bring

The most important thing to bring to Iowa Project AWARE? A desire to help cleanup Iowa’s rivers, a positive attitude, and the ability to have fun!

We recommend packing everything you need for all types of weather, but packing as efficiently as possible. When in doubt, err on the side of preparedness and simplicity. If you’re not sure what to bring, contact us.

Items Provided by Iowa Project AWARE

  • Your registration includes the following:
  • Canoe and paddle
  • Carabiner with your name on a dog tag
  • Cut-resistant work gloves
  • Food and drinks
  • Tree cookie name tags
  • Zanfel® Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac Wash

Your Packing List

Please label all your items. Colored duct tape and/or Sharpie markers are all you need to make sure your gear finds its way home.

Items marked with a * are required

Personal information and items

  • Driver’s license identification*
  • Health Insurance Information*
  • Cash and credit card
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Car keys
  • Daypack to bring on the canoe*

Paddling Gear

Canoes and paddles are provided, but you may bring your own paddle if you prefer. Please bring:

  • Bilge sponge or water gun bailer (to keep excess water out of your canoe)
  • Bow line (rope or nylon webbing with carabineer to hook on end of canoe)
  • Dry bag(s)
  • GPS
  • Inherently buoyant personal flotation device/life jacket (no self/auto inflating PFDs allowed)*
  • Rope or bungee cords to secure items in your canoe

Camping Gear

Bring camping gear and other related equipment since you’ll be sleeping outdoors:

  • Air mattress or camping mattress
  • Camp chair or butt pad
  • Camp pillow
  • Flashlight or headlamp, batteries & charger
  • Sleeping bag
  • Tent, tent stakes, tent poles, rainfly, and ground cloth

Meal Supplies

  • We’ll supply food, but you need to bring dinnerware, such as:
  • Reusable dinnerware (silverware, plate/bowl, cup)*
  • Personal cooler for lunches*
  • Water bottles*
  • Heavy-duty plastic bag or water bottle for ice storage in cooler


Pack clothing in dry bag or zip-top plastic bags to keep it dry. We recommend:

  • Bandanas
  • Extra set(s) of clothes, including socks and underwear
  • Footwear
    • River shoes – old sneakers or boots (sandals are not recommended)
    • Camp shoes – comfy sneakers, clogs, or sandals
    • Shower sandals
  • Hat with sun visor
  • Pants or shorts, quick-drying
  • Rain jacket and rain pants
  • Safety strap for glasses
  • Shirts, quick-drying
  • Sunglasses
  • Swimsuit

Personal items

Stay comfortable by bringing:

  • Baby wipes
  • Bug repellent, such as Bug Soother®
  • Chapstick
  • Deodorant
  • Ear plugs
  • Extra zip-lock plastic bags
  • First aid kit and liquid bandage
  • Hair brush or comb, pony tail holders
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Lotion
  • Medications, such as personal medications, over-the-counter pain relievers, A&D ointment, and medicated powder
  • Soap, shampoo, and conditioner
  • Spare eyewear if you wear glasses and/or contact solution and contacts case
  • Sunscreen (waterproof)
  • Toilet paper
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss
  • Towel and washcloth

Fun Items

Have fun when you’re off the river. Bring items such as:

  • Binoculars
  • Bird and plant books
  • Camera, batteries, spares and/or charger
  • Journal, notebook, or sketch pad and pencils/pens
  • Travel board games, playing cards, frisbee, hacky sack, etc.

Cleanup Tools

These tools have proven useful on river cleanups but are not required:

  • Bolt cutter
  • Bow saw and spare blade(s)
  • Collapsible/foldable shovel or spade
  • Come-along
  • Crescent wrench
  • Fence pliers
  • Garden trowel (for getting mud out of tires)
  • Long-handled net or “litter tongs”
  • Multi-tool
  • Pick axe
  • Pocket knife
  • Rope, cam straps, bungees, etc.
  • Sledge hammer
  • Tin snips
  • Tow strap with hooks

AWARE Swap Shop

Do you have outdoor equipment that’s in good shape but that you no longer need? Bring it with you on Iowa Project AWARE. We’ll make it available to those who might be able to get a few more years of enjoyment out of whatever it is you might have.