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Preparing for a Canoe Camping trip
Camping Hacks

The Ultimate Canoe Camping Trip Checklist

It’s great that you’re ready to start your next canoe trip adventure, but are you prepared? You can use our canoe camping trip checklist on your next trip.

Getaway Well by Prepping for Your Next Canoe Trip

When you’ve got a lot of experience with camping, you may be looking for ways to take your camping experiences to the next level.

If you have a thirst for adventure, you should consider planning a canoe camping trip.

On a canoe camping trip, you move from campsite to campsite throughout your trip, which can involve canoeing down rivers and across lakes.

Portability is absolutely crucial when it comes to planning your canoe camping trip checklist because you need to be able to easily pack up and bring all of your belongings along with you from place to place.

The perfect Canoe camping trip checklist

With that in mind, we’ve put together some things you should keep in mind when you’re building your own canoe camping trip checklist.

Planning Your Canoe Camping Trip Checklist

A little preparation goes along when you’re trying to Getaway Well, so when you’re designing your canoe camping trip checklist, be sure to carefully consider:

Canoe Camping Trip First Aid

If you’ve built yourself a road trip emergency kit, you’ll know how many different situations can require first aid supplies.

Canoe camping trips are no exception to this, so even if you only bring the bare essentials, don’t neglect to include first aid supplies in your canoe camping trip checklist.

You may want to consider including a few items, such as:

  • Band-aids
  • Gauze
  • Surgical tape
  • Scissors
  • Antibacterial soap
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Tensor bandages

You could expand your first aid kit to include more than just these vital first aid items. However, if you’re trying to keep packing light, be sure to add these to your canoe camping trip checklist.

Finding the Right Clothing for a Canoe Camping Trip

Packing lights can be a challenge when it comes to clothing because you’ll want to plan for all types of weather conditions, just in case things change unexpectedly.

Pants or Shorts?

Proper Clothing for a Canoe Camping trip

If you can find the right pair, we’d recommend buying a pair of convertible pants that change into shorts. This will allow you to get double use out of the same pair of pants, and you’re protected if the temperature swings in either direction.

Shirts, Vests & Sweaters

Vests are comfortable, but fashion is hardly a concern on your canoe camping trip. We’d say you can probably skip bringing them along unless you happen to have a vest that offers a lot of extra pocket space. Then it might be worth bringing it along.

Bringing a selection of t-shirts that can be rolled and packed tightly inside your travel pack, allows you to have a change of shirt each morning, without taking up a lot of room or adding a lot of weight to your bags.

The hardest choice to make is how many heavier pieces of clothing you need to bring on your canoe camping trip. We’d recommend sticking to 1-2 heavy sweaters or sweatshirts.

Make the best out of your canoe camping trip

If you pack enough t-shirts to wear a new one each morning (and maybe one extra in case you get soaked midday), you can change your undershirt. This means you don’t have to be as concerned about always having a fresh overshirt. Packing this way will save you space and weight, by not overloading your pack with a lot of extra heavy clothing you may not even use.

Socks & Underwear

This is one area where we’d never recommend packing too light. You can’t Getaway Well if your feet are soaked, or you don’t have comfortable clean underwear.

We never pack less than one pair of each for each day (and usually 1-2 extra pairs, just in case). These pieces of clothing don’t take a lot of room in your bag, but you’ll miss them if you don’t bring enough to cover your canoe camping trip.

Rain & Snow Gear

Regardless of which time of year you’re planning your canoe camping trip, you should always be prepared for the weather to shift unpleasantly.

Waterproof jackets and rain or snow pants can make a huge difference to your comfort throughout your canoe camping trip. They can also save you from having to make unscheduled wardrobe changes, which could affect your clothing plan while you’re away.

Cooking Equipment for a Canoe Camping Trip

The reality is that when you’re looking at a canoe camping trip checklist, cooking equipment may seem like an unnecessary or challenging burden to plan for your trip.

Kitchen equipment for your Canoe Camping trip

We’d recommend trying a portable electric BBQ for your next canoe camping trip.

This grill is more portable than many alternatives, lightweight enough to easily carry, and doesn’t require propane or charcoal to use. Yet, it will give you all the versatility you need to cook anything you could want.

Just be sure if you’re going to invest in getting a good quality electric BBQ for your canoe trip, you pack it in waterproof packaging. There needs to be no chance of it getting wet when you’re portaging between campsites.

Food for Your Canoe Camping Trip

Creating a camping meal plan is vital to eating well on your canoe camping trip.

By planning each meal throughout the day carefully, you’ll save yourself from over or under-packing food for your trip.

In addition to whatever you’re planning to eat, be sure to include:

  • Protein-based snacks (in case the weather is bad, and you can’t cook a meal)
  • A water filtration system (Lifestraw is a fantastic, portable choice)
  • Coffee or tea (for that extra boost of caffeine when you need it)
  • Cooking oil or butter (It can be hard to cook without these)
  • Pre-prepared, ready-to-eat meals (also a saving grace if the weather doesn’t allow cooking, and you need something heavier than a protein bar)

Canoe Camping Trip Paddling Gear

Not only will you need to bring paddles and your canoe along for your trip (otherwise, it wouldn’t be much of a canoe camping trip), but you should also consider including some paddling gear.

Paddling Gear ideal for Canoe Camping trip

This way, you’re covered in case you end up traversing more aggressive waters.

Water shoes can be a great choice for this, especially if you need to walk across streams periodically throughout your journey. It’s also fantastic for saving your shoes from getting soaked, while you’re in the canoe.

You don’t need to bring a water suit with you on your canoe camping trip, but if you’ve got enough people to help share the load, it could be worth considering. This will allow you to protect all your regular clothes from getting splashed while you’re making your way along on the water.

It also means you can swim your gear across in the canoe when you need to cross deep rivers or streams, but don’t want to paddle across.

Finally, one of the most overlooked pieces of paddling gear that you may want to consider including are guide gloves, which are perfect for making sure that you always have a good grip on your paddle on the water.

It can be terrifying dropping a paddle in the water, while you’re canoeing – especially if you’re moving at a good pace. These gloves will help save you from having to face those scary moments by giving you a consistent, comfortable grip on your gear.

Don’t Forget a Repair Kit for Your Canoe Camping Trip

No one wants to consider the possibility that your canoe could suffer a major crack or hole when you’re taking a canoe camping trip, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

The most simplistic way to plan for this kind of issue is to pack some waterproof duct tape, which you can use to temporarily seal damaged parts of your canoe.

However, we’d recommend grabbing some Gator Patches. Not only are they affordable, but they’re specifically designed to function for this type of on-the-fly repair.

Just get to land, let your canoe dry for a bit, peel off the back of the patch, and then slap it on. Give it a chance to set, and you’ll be ready to roll out again in no time!

A little Preparation Goes a Long Way

Peace of Mind is Important for You to Getaway Well

It doesn’t take months of planning to build an effective canoe camping trip checklist, but it does take time. There’s a fine line to tread between overburdening yourself on your trip, and not packing enough to get you through your adventure.

Canoe Camping trip - Guide, Checklist and more

Spending a bit of time before your trip making sure you’ve got all your essentials, saves you some frightening moments during your trip.

No one wants to plan for emergencies or worst-case scenarios, but anyone who regularly does will tell you that it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

And once you’ve built your well-rounded canoe camping trip checklist, you can reference it again anytime you need to plan for a canoe trip in the future 

Being prepared will give you peace of mind to start all your canoe trips on the right foot, which is the first step for you to Getaway Well.