While space can be an issue, most recreational float trips aren't counting grams, so you can haul some serious gear. These five items might not be light, but they are well worth their weight to keep you eating right, basking in comfort, and in line with river etiquette.
1) Keep it cold
Forget that plastic box in your garage. A good bench cooler is worth the price. Companies like Yeti make large coolers that can hold hundreds of pounds of ice and keep stuff cold good for days on end, even in desert environments.
2) Get in the groove
Not only is a groover (a toilet) required gear on most river trips for environmental purposes, they're a comfort item as well. Many rafters use Army surplus ammunition cans with a modified household seat for this special job, and often there's even a men's and women's facility.
It's simple, just designate a nice groover area, designate a special spot for the “key” (usually the toilet paper and a rock in a Ziploc bag) throw in some hand sanitizer and you have an eco-friendly lavatory.
3) Diving for pearls
With four pails you can set up a dish station that rivals that of any five-star restaurant: a soaker, a wash, quick rise and clean rinse. Boil some water for the soaker, add some soap to the wash, a little bleach to the quick rinse and use clean water for the final rinse.
4) One hand washes the other
With two buckets, a squeeze pump and some simple plumbing supplies, you can set up a quick hand-washing station. Simply attach a make-do faucet that hooks on one bucket to the pump, add a draw pipe that dips in another bucket full of water, and use a foot for the pump, inserted in between the two, to pump from one bucket to another.
5) Floating iron gourmet
Like lasagna? How about peach cobbler? Try cooking those on a double burner gas stove. With a Dutch oven like Cabela's Outfitter Series covered with coals bakes hot meals to perfection.