Canoe Camping Trips

Two campers canoeing early morning. Canoe camping trip tips.

How To Do Canoe Camping Trips Right

Canoe camping trips are something that many people want to love…however, they are hard work when it comes to the planning part.

There are several things that you have to plan ahead of time to ensure that you have a wonderful, and safe, time while out on the water.

For those who do wish to drift down a body of water for days at a time and experience a rush, then a canoe camping trip may be exactly what you need!

Know Where to Go

Before you start packing and dash off on your canoe camping trip, where are you going? For those who are planning a canoe camping trip, they are going to want to find an area that suits their skill level.

Those who are new to this will want to go for relaxed bodies of water. While those who have been doing this for years may want to go for something that is a bit faster paced.

Check out camping grounds that offer canoeing as one of the activities there, and you have a great starting place for deciding on where you want to go.

Prepare for your Trip

Once you know where you are going, it is time to prepare for this trip. And the preparation for a canoe camping trip is more than just packing a bag and loading the canoe. Here are our suggestions:


  • Talk to people about this trip…and no just anyone, talk to those who love to canoe. These people are going to be full of numerous tips and tricks to remember about while out on the water, as well as advice for you to have a safe trip.

    Many times, by talking to someone else, you realize that you need to go to a different location or that you may want to take a buddy with you. Their advice can be priceless!

  • Find out about the launch point on your canoe camping trip and whether you will need to arrange for someone to be at the end to get you.

    Remember, when you book a canoe camping trip with a bunch of people through a service, these are often round trip.

    However, if you plan your own trip and plan to stop at a different location, then a pickup ride may be necessary.

  • Be sure that you have the paddling down right before hitting the water. This is especially important for those newbies.

    Practice makes perfect when it comes to paddling properly, as you do not want to get out on the water and not have any idea of what you are doing!

  • Be sure that you are taking the time to do your homework. For example, what is the water levels in the area that you will be?

    What locations along the way are going to be the best for camping? What types of wildlife can you expect to see?

    Knowing what you are up against is half the battle when taking a canoe or any type of camping trip.

  • Have a safety plan in hand and this is something that you need to stick to no matter what!

    This safety plan should include letting someone know where you will be canoeing, the timeline for your trip and when you should have arrived home.

    They need to know when they should alert authorities if you are not where you were supposed to be.

Be sure that you take your time when preparing and planning. A well thought out canoe trip is going to mean more fun for you in the end.


Have the Right Gear

When you are preparing for your canoe trip, this is probably one of the more exciting things about planning the trip…the new gear!

The even better news is that most canoes can carry from 800 to 1200 pounds easily, so you are not going to have count pounds for everything.

What are some of the more important gear items that you will need for a successful canoe camping trip? Here is our list:

  • You will need several items that are related to the canoe portion of your trip. These items include:
    • Paddles: the rule of thumb is one per person on the canoe
    • Personal floatation devices should be worn by each person and having an extra one is also beneficial.
    • Have a helmet that you are wearing since you are floating in water and could be facing some tough obstacles.
    • Spray covers can be put onto the canoe in order to protect your gear from the moisture…a must for those who are camping at nights.
    • Bilge pump: this should be placed in the canoe to remove water that comes in so that you are not adding weight to the canoe or getting everything soaked.
  • Canoe: You can opt to take your own or even rent one nearby. The choice is completely up to you.
  • You will need your camping gear, and you should base this on the time of the year that you are camping out. A few of the basics that you are going to want to remember to pack:
    • A tent or some type of shelter that is large enough to accommodate those that are on this canoe camping trip
    • Sleeping bag
    • Sleeping pad
    • Lanterns
    • Flashlights
    • Headlamps
    • Something to start a fire with
  • Remember that you will also need to pack items to eat. And since canoes can hold a lot more weight than what most people realize, you are going to find that you don’t have to limit yourself.
    • Consider packing:
    • A camp stoves
    • Pots and pans to cook with
    • Plates, forks, etc.
    • Can opener
    • Water bottles
    • Water purifier
    • Coffee maker
    • Cooler with ice


  • Be sure that you also pay attention to the clothes that you are packing on this canoe camping trip. You will want to have clothing that is good in the elements that you will be facing.

    For example, be sure that the footwear you have is good and comfortable, you will want to pack clothing that dries quickly, since you will be in the water a lot, along with something that is going to protect you from the sun.

    Consider light layers as it is easier to take layers off when you get hot rather than adding layers when you get cold while on your canoe adventures.

  • A compass and map are a must have. Unless you have dived into an electronic GPS that can monitor you while you are canoe camping.
  • Remember the toiletry basics that you would take while camping like toilet paper, hand towels, wet wipes and the like.

Whether you are going on a multi-day canoe trip or just a canoe day trip, you will find that proper planning is a must have in these situations.

For those who are starting and looking for the perfect destination, be sure to check out for camping sites that offer canoeing and other outdoor activities.

You can easily book a campsite from the website or the app and be ready to get your canoe trip underway. What are you waiting for? The water is waiting for you and your canoe.

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This entry was posted in Camping.