What to Bring

Blue Mountains Canyoning Trip


by Ashley Burke

This equipment list is suitable for a typical Blue Mountains canyoning weekend that involves camping out and carrying everything with you. ie: not canyoning from a base camp near the cars.


This equipment list is suitable for the following types of trips:

For trips that do not involve canyoning or abseiling, eg: walking trips only, then check the bushwalking gear list.

For canyoning trips that are done as day trip excursions from a base camp near the cars, see the canyoning and car camping gear list.

Please contact me directly if you are unsure of what to bring.

Equipment List

Canyoning often involves abseiling and usually involves getting very wet at times. There may be swims and wades, or spray from waterfalls. We may even be abseiling down the waterfalls. Consequently, specific equipment is needed in addition to that needed for an ordinary bushwalk. Please check the equipment list below.

Abseiling Gear

Item Comments Availability
Abseil or climbing harness   Can be borrowed.
Two carabiners   Can be borrowed.
Descending device There are many different types. ATCs are recommended. "Figure of Eight descenders" are discouraged. Can be borrowed.
Gardening glove This will protect your hand when abseiling. You only need to bring one, for your master hand (right hand if you are right handed).  
Abseiling rope I will arrange for ropes and these are normally supplied by the leader. However, if you possess a rope and would be willing to bring it, then let me know. Arranged by me.


Camping Gear and Clothing

Item Comments Availability
Sleeping bag Lightweight bag, 3 season rating. Pack inside a waterproof drybag or inside waterproof layers of garbage bags.  
Pack/Rucksack Pack everything inside. Avoid loose items strapped to outside of pack. Line the inside of your pack with heavy duty garbage bags.  
Tent Fly with mosquito net or a lightweight insect proof tent We normally take a fly rather than a whole tent to conserve bulk and weight in your pack but if you take a fly, a mosquito net is recommended. It may be possible to share. Contact me prior to the trip about sharing or borrowing a fly or tent if needed.
Ground sheet Not needed if you are bringing a tent with a built in floor. I have a spare to lend
Foam mat or thermarest   I have a spare to lend
Lightweight rain coat or spray jacket You will be wearing this in the canyon, especially if there are wet abseils.  
Water bottle(s) Enough to hold 3-4 litres is required. Important as on many trips we will not always be camping by water.  
Torch A small head torch is ideal  
Fleece or warm jumper A lightweight fleece should be sufficient  
A change of dry clothes and underwear Keep this dry inside your pack.  
Swimming costume You will be wearing this most of the time when in the creek or canyon.  
Walking shoes For further advice on walking shoes, contact me directly  
Shirt and shorts for canyoning These should be made of a material that dries quickly. eg: lighweight sports clothing.  
Wetsuit or set of thermals to wear in the canyon. The wetsuit is optional. An alternative is one or two layers of thermal underwear over which you wear your lightweight spray jacket (with hood) and your shorts.  

Cooking and eating utensils:

  • Billy
  • Plastic cup
  • Spoon
  • Pocket knife
  • Fork (optional)

We use campfires for cooking so this means you do not need to bring a stove.

A "billy" is a small aluminium pot which is used to cook over the fire.



Bring enough food for yourself for the duration of the trip. Normally everyone brings their own food unless specific arrangements to share food are made.

Make sure it is kept dry by packing it inside the plastic bags that you line your pack with.

See food suggestions below for help on what sort of food to bring.


Personal items:

  • Toilet paper
  • First aid
Keep to minimum. Do not use soap or anything that will pollute waterways.  


Food Suggestions

It is normal practise for everyone to bring their own food for the trip. That way, each person can eat according to their own preferences and diet, and less time is spent organising communal food.

Below are some suggestions on the sorts of food that are suitable to bring on a bushwalking trip of up to 1 week in duration. These are suggestions only, based on what I normally take on a weekend canyoning trip. Everyone's tastes and diet are different, so feel free to make any changes to the list below based on your preferences. Also feel free to contact me if you have any other questions about what sorts of food to bring.

Make sure your food is packed so it will stay dry.

General Comments

Things to avoid:

On the other hand, food can be fun and easy to cook when camping, and it is possible to have good variety, including fresh foods, especially on shorter trips.









If you like to snack between meals then you can bring anything such as chocolate, nuts, biscuits, snack bars or other snack food.



Web page last updated 18 Jan 2014