Plan your overnight kayak or canoe trip with these essential tips + bonus camping checklist
- 28 Apr, 2016
Overnight paddling trips are a great way to immerse yourself in the wilderness and truly experience lakes and rivers, but they can present more challenges for preparation and packing than a regular campout. Refer to our camping checklist for a good general camp packing list, and carefully consider the following 4 tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable jaunt on the water.
1) Protect your goods
Nobody wants a wet sleeping bag, a shorted flashlight, or ruined matches. Make sure you have waterproof containers & cases to keep everything dry when you’re on the water. A garbage bag is a great way to keep larger items from getting wet, and bring plenty of sandwich bags / Ziplocs to protect smaller items.
2) Sun’s out guns out
There will be very few opportunities to get shade on the water, and the sunlight will be reflecting off the water at all times – especially around midday. Wear polarized, UVA/UVB filtering sunglasses for enhanced vision and protection from sunlight reflecting off the water. Wear SPF 30+ sunscreen and bring a full bottle/tube, reapplying generously ever 1-2 hours.
3) Pack light, young grasshopper
There’s limited space in a kayak or canoe, and overpacking will slow you down and be cumbersome. Pare the usual camping checklist to make sure that you are only bringing the essentials.
4) Safety first – always!
Safety is always the first thing on the responsible paddler’s mind. A first aid kid in a waterproof case is a must. Remember to pack a personal floatation device (life jacket) and always wear it when you’re on the water regardless of your swimming ability. Lastly, don’t forget your compass, map, and a multi-tool to help out in a pinch.
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