A good bet to find paddling gear close to the North Fork of the American is the Sierra Outdoor Center. They’re on Lincoln Way in Auburn, close to Hwy 80. This kick-backed store has a wide range of gear for rafters and kayakers and is staffed by people who boat themselves. Call ahead to see if they have what you need: (888) 502-7066.


REI Roseville has a decent stock of boating gear and always has sundries like sunscreen and ear plugs as well as heftier stuff like dry bags, life jackets, and dry tops. REI also rents reliably clean and basic camping gear like sleeping bags and tents–helpful if you’re going on an overnight river trip with a commercial outfitter and don’t have your own. Call to reserve at (916) 724-6750.

Gear Tip

The North Fork American is cold. Even when the weather is warm, the water is cold because it is coming directly from snowmelt. Make sure you have the proper clothing and gear to keep you warm on the river. Pogies are a good idea for kayakers and neoprene gloves and booties for rafters.


Paddlers have lots of gear supply options in Sacramento, which is pretty conveniant to the North Fork of the American River. For instance, California Canoe and Kayak has been in Sacramento for over 30 years and has a good selection of boating gear at their Rancho Cordova location. REI is always an option as well for gear needs and camping rentals like sleeping bags and pads. Kayakers could also check out Kayak City.

Online Retail Gear Shops Great named brand gear at affordable prices. Visit a retail store or shop online.

Altrec’s Outlet Warehouse: 30-60% Off : Huge discounts on named brand gear from Patagonia, The North Face, Marmot and more.

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