camping Dec 10, 2023

Canoe Trip Packing List

what to bring canoe camping

Canoe Trip Packing List: Essential Items for a Canoe Camping Trip

Whether your destination is a lake, a river, a stream, or a marsh, a canoe camping trip is always an exciting and unforgettable adventure. To ensure that your trip goes as smoothly as possible, it`s important to pack the right items for your specific circumstances. Here is a comprehensive list of essential items to bring on your next canoe camping trip.

Canoe and Paddles

The first essential item on your canoe trip packing list is, of course, your canoe and paddles. Different types of canoes are better suited for different kinds of water. If you`re traveling through slow-moving water or even just traveling along a lake, your best bet is a recreational canoe. It`s a great way to explore lakes or slow-moving streams because it`s made for stability and maneuverability. For whitewater rafting, you`ll need an inflatable canoe, since it`s designed to handle larger drops and rapids. When it comes to paddles, make sure you take two per person playing the significant role that moving the canoe. Look for easily adjustable paddles that can be adjusted to a comfortable height.

Clothing and Footwear

When you go on a canoe camping trip, you`ll want to dress according to the weather and the type of water you`ll be traveling in. If you`re visiting warm waters, lightweight shorts, t-shirts, and bathing suits are fine. For cooler, whitewater rivers, consider wearing a wetsuit or drysuit, depending on the level of whitewater you`ll be traversing. In terms of footwear, you should opt for something with good support and traction that can also double as a lightweight, sandal option. Reef sandals, neoprene water shoes, or even Teva sandals are all good choices.

Safety Items

No matter what kind of canoeing you`re doing, safety should always be a priority. Make sure to pack plenty of extra clothing in the event of accidents or mishaps. We also recommend bringing a full first-aid kit, as well as a whistle, signal mirror, and a flare gun. A radio or emergency beacon is also a good idea, as it will let search and rescue services locate you if needed.

Navigation Equipment

It`s also important to bring navigation equipment for your journey. Maps, a compass, and a GPS device are essential items that should be in your canoe trip packing list. Having the right navigation equipment will help you make sense of the terrain and plan your route safely.

Food and Water

Pack enough food and water to last you for the duration of your canoe camping trip. High-calorie snacks and sports drinks are ideal for day trips, while meals-in-a-bag like freeze-dried backpacking meals are perfect for longer trips. Don`t forget to pack a reliable water filter or plenty of fresh water for drinking.

Camping Gear

It`s also important that you bring the right camping gear for your trip. A tent, sleeping bag, and a sleeping pad are essential items. Make sure the tent and sleeping bag you choose are appropriate for the weather conditions you`ll be experiencing. If you`re swimming and don`t plan on camping ashore, you can opt for a lightweight, waterproof tarp and hammock setup.


At the end of your canoe camping trip packing list, you`ll want to add miscellaneous items like bug spray, sunscreen, toiletries, a multi-tool, a camp knife, and a headlamp. Lastly, don`t forget to bring an entertainment option such as a deck of cards, a portable speaker, or a fishing rod.


By following this comprehensive canoe trip packing list, you can be sure that your next canoe camping trip will be successful and enjoyable. From your canoe and paddles, to your clothing and footwear, to safety items and miscellaneous, make sure to carefully consider every item you need for your specific trip. With the right items, you`ll have everything you need to make your canoe camping trip the most unforgettable one yet!

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