oldbie to paddling, newb , camping???

Hi all, Been a paddler on and off for quite some time, but now

I am going to take the plunge and plan on doing some canoe camping this year, never been in a tent in my life,I guess I do know the basics of it though as I have read many many things about it.

Gear is the question, I need some kind of list of gear to get for weekend camping, spring, summer’ fall, with a canoe… Are there any lists online?? Anyone have any suggestions??

I would be with others with experience so I am not too worried about once I get there, just what do I need??

Thanks Tony

Start by putting together a checklist.
Probably the 1st thing I’d recommend is to start making a checklist of all the gear you intend to take. I had a memorable camping trip almost 30 yrs.ago where late at nite I, my 4ft.10-1/2in wife, and 2 year old son arrived at the campground to pitch our tent amidst some of the hungriest mosquitoes in the world and quickly discovered that instead of putting the lantern and the hatchet I used for driving in the tent stakes had been left sitting on the ground where we had loaded up. Trying to more or less singlehanded get the tent up in the dark without anything to drive the stakes in the ground while being eaten alive was a learning experience.

Actual items to put on the list (at a minimum) should include a good tent (equipped to keep the wildlife out), a sleeping bag suitable for the temps expected, cooking gear, lantern and flashlight, an air matress or other pad, hatchet, a rope and something to keep your food in suspended from a tree limb or something where bears, raccoons, etc., can’t get to it. You don’t want to cheap out on the tent and sleeping gear. Back in the early 70’s I decided I could make a solo trek up the Appalachian trail in VA with minimal gear—a poncho to double as pup tent and a sleeping bag but no kind of air mattress or pad. After the 3rd straight day of cold rain all my gear including the sleeping bag was soaked. The poncho/tent helped slightly as the ground under it was probably the driest place in miles. In fact the wildlife appreciated how dry it was and joined me under the poncho. I fell to sleep after listening to flood warnings on my radio while feeling various creatures wriggle under my soggy sleeping bag.

Be careful buying gera, you may get carried away. IMHO all you need from a camp is food, clean water, and shelter. Food that reqires no cooking is the easyest. If you like the comfort of hot food, consider keeping that simple, like stuff you just add hot water to. If you must “cook”, look for the lightest stove, pan, you can get. You must have a way to make water safe for consumption. For shelter I like a simple tarp/bivy/polartec bag combo. I must also have good breathable raingear. Also NO cotton clothes at all. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it and don’t cary it.

canoe gear
you can check out our suggested gear list for a boundary waters or quetico wilderness canoe trip at http://www.moosetrackadventures.com/personal.list.html

this is what we reccomend to our customers. hope this helps and if you have any questions feel free to contact me.

Canoe camping…
Watch your weight. You don’t have to be extreme and cut off half your toothbrush, but think more in terms of backpacking instead of car camping. When you’re in a canoe, it’s tempting to bring anything that comes to mind. But paddling a heavily loaded canoe and dragging all that stuff in and out of it will quickly become a chore rather than a pleasure. Reassess your gear and organization after every trip.

Dry bag everything. Break the gear down into organized groups, i.e., kitchen gear bag, tent bag, etc. I don’t have any experience using these bags (I use Sealine), but they are on sale at Sierra Trading Post:


Here’s a canoe camping checklist to give you an idea of what you’ll need:


The same site has more info on canoe camping and trip reports:


CCR has lots of info on canoe camping, and the forums offer lots of tips and gear reviews:


Thanks guys, I have made a list of stuff to buy, it should be everything I would need, as you say I am not getting carried away, and don’t think I would carry it all on any one trip, just am going to buy all the basics and go from there. Thanks for the links


Thanks guys, I have made a list of stuff to buy, it should be everything I would need, as you say I am not getting carried away, and don’t think I would carry it all on any one trip, just am going to buy all the basics and go from there. Thanks for the links


Check mil surp.
stuff for cheap deals on gear. If ya like camping ya can always upgrade. But realistically for summer /warm weather camping cheap basics are a good start.

Just do it

Camping isn’t that tough. I’ll add my 2 cents on making it easier. Consider using a Hennessey Hammock. This sets up in less than five minuites, solves the problem of muddy or wet ground, is very comfortable and light. Downside is you need one for each camper and they aren’t cheap.

Go out a few times when portaging isn’t involed. YOu don’t have to pack very light and can bring a coleman stove, lanterns and other luxuries. Plan to stay out one night. After that you can develope your own list of must brings.

Above all have fun.Frogge.