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Canoe Camping Check List

The following is a list of items frequently used on my canoe camping trips. Of course not all the gear is brought on all trips, but is adjusted for the specific area and length of the trip.

Travel & Navigation
Canoe (s)
Paddles (take an extra along in case one is lost or broken)
Life jacket
Map (s), if your maps are not waterproof, use zip lock bag.
Compass and/or GPS

Camping
Tent (s) with rain fly
10' X 12' lightweight tarp
First aid kit
Rope (100')
Toilet paper (in zip lock)
Sun block
Insect repellent
Flashlight and or headlamp
Batteries
Duct tape
Small sewing kit


Buffalo River, Arkansas
Buffalo River Arkansas


Cooking
Food
Backpacking stove
Extra fuel
Fire-starter sticks or cubes
Lighter in waterproof container or waterproof matches
1-litre water bottles (2 per person)
Collapsible water bag
Water purification filter or boil all water for 7 minutes (requires extra Fuel and time)
Stainless steel cookware (preferably nesting type)
Non-stick frying pan
Pot gripper (usually comes with cookware)
Sharp knife
Spatula
Plastic mugs (can double as bowl)
Plates (often lids of cookware pans can double as plate)
Lexan cutlery
Biodegradable dish detergent
Nylon scrubber
Drying towel
Nylon mesh bag (for chilling water bottles in the lake/river)

Personal Gear

Clothing
pants
shorts
long-sleeved shirt
jacket (if weather demands)
T-shirts
rain gear
socks
underwear
bathing suit
hiking boots or running shoes
Water Sandals
hat
sunglasses with safety strap

Optional
Fishing rod, lures, license, etc..
Camera and film
Binoculars
Lantern & fuel
Lightweight folding saw
Book
Deck of cards
notebook & pencil

Other
Backpack
Sleeping bag (in waterproof bag such as garbage bag)
sleeping pad
Cell phone (not to call your friends, but in case of emergency)
Towel
Toiletries
Spare set of car keys (have two people carry car keys on the trip)

Leave in Car
complete change of clothes
snack and drinks to leave in the car for the trip home


Double bag it!

Most backpacks will leak if exposed to rain for any length of time or dropped into the water. This double-bagging system will help to keep your gear dry under any conditions, I use it for both canoe camping and backpacking:

  • Seal articles that you do not want to get wet in clear, heavy-duty freezer bags (e.g. Ziplock bags). You might want to pack socks in one freezer bag, underwear in another, t-shirts in another, camera in another, etc.
  • Line each backpack compartment with a large, thick, plastic bag (e.g. a garbage bag or commercially-available waterproof camping gear bag), pack each lined compartment with as many gear-filled freezer bags (above) as will fit, and then tie or twist-tie the liner-bags shut to provide a second barrier against water.
 

Related Links & Resources:
Camping at Mammoth Cave National Park
Camping at Big South Fork NRRA
Camping Games
Car Camping Check List
Smoky Mountains Camping
Kentucky National Parks

 

 
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