Required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

All PPE can be obtained through the SSI shop at discounted student pricing – (must be registered for a course to login)



  • Warm synthetic layers for classroom activity and on-land training sessions (as we re-pack throw bags your outer layer will get dirty over your shoulder – don’t wear your best clothes)
  • Personal throw bag if you have one – highly recommended (SSI will also provide some loaner throw bags)
  • Dry clothing to wear before and after the river session
  • Rain jacket/pants for on-land demonstrations in poor weather
  • Warm gloves for outside classroom time
  • Warm hat or sunhat (weather dependent)
  • Basic repair materials for your personal gear (Tear-Aid, Duck Tape, Aqua Seal, etc.) Optional, but helpful to make an emergency repair


  • Please reference any specific or additional PPE required for your course – this can be found in the “Welcome Packet” on the course registration page. Not all courses require additional equipment such as carabiners and cordelette, but many of them do, especially in the PRO track. Please make sure you reference the Welcome Packet or contact us for more detail.
  • River rescue specific shoes or sneakers appropriate for river swimming – closed toed shoes with a grippy sole; old tennis shoes work as long as they fit well and will remain secure . NO CHACOS or strap style footwear.
  • Wetsuit or Drysuit (for most classes, a drysuit is required and this will be indicated in the Welcome Packet). For summer courses, a full wetsuit or Farmer John wetsuit with a dry top with proper moisture wicking base layers may be acceptable. Drysuits are worn by instructors in every class, all year long. They are highly recommended, but not always necessary. We do understand they are not easy for everyone to obtain, but we have a rental program in place with Immersion Research.
  • Personal Flotation Device (PFD) – USCG approved type III or V (a rescue vest is strongly recommended, but not necessary) *A rescue vest is necessary in the PRO-II course, along with other specific tools.
  • River knife (one handed accessible) – a backup knife stored in PFD pocket is recommended
  • River gloves (not necessary, but nice to have)
  • River whistle (one handed accessible and attached to your PFD, but not your main entry zipper)
  • Helmet intended for whitewater application

We invite students to bring their own rescue gear to experiment with application and gain a strong understanding of equipment limitations. Please note: If the instructor deems your gear non-functional it will not be permitted in class. No NON-LOCKING carabiners will be allowed.


  • Sunscreen
  • Towel
  • Camera
  • Food and snacks for the day
  • Drinking water


  • All supplemental group rescue equipment including ropes, webbing, carabiners, pulleys and all other technical rescue gear. SSI has extra throw bags, but we highly recommend bringing your own, along with the other specific tools listed in your welcome packet. SSI also provides a field training manual (course specific), on-land and in-river instruction, all teaching material and a course completion certification (course specific) card as well as on-going administrative support and record keeping.

*Certification cards will be e-mailed after the course has terminated.