How to Pack a Canoe

How to Pack a Canoe
Canoe camping is a great outdoor recreation activity. Boating lets you to travel further in a day than backpacking and allows you the luxury of bringing extraneous items such as coolers, heavy food, camping chairs, fire pans and instruments. Recreational canoeing doesn't require any whitewater knowledge, making it a good option for family trips and amateur boaters. A well-packed boat is an important part of a good experience on the water. Follow these tips on how to pack your canoe.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Rope or webbing
  • Rope or webbing
Step 1
Make sure you have an extra paddle, an extra life jacket and a bailing device in each boat.
Step 2
Invest in dry bags and dry boxes to guard all gear against getting wet and mildewed. If you cannot afford to rent or buy dry packing, at least by sure to double line all bags with heavy duty trash liners.
Step 3
Start by packing gear in the center of the canoe and pack heavy, solid objects (such as your kitchen box, kitchen table or the dry bag with your tents inside) first.
Step 4
Keep the weight low and centered. Pack weight out evenly on both sides, as well as towards the front and back of the canoe. Fit items together as tightly as possible.
Step 5
Secure gear by tying it to the thwarts as you go so you will not lose everything in the event of a capsize.
Step 6
Split group gear evenly between boats. Have a conversation before you put on the water about carrying non-desirable group items such as the loo and the trash. Will this duty rotate each day or will the boaters that carry these items be rewarded with first pick on campsites, or not having to dispose of the waste at the end of the trip?
Step 7
Keep a daypack with rain gear, snacks, a camera and a topographical map easily accessible and be sure the first aid kit and the bailer are easily accessible as well.

Article Written By Caroline Schley

Based in New York City, Caroline Schley has been writing articles on fitness, social interaction and politics since 2008. Her articles have appeared in "The Tahoe Weekly," "Second Line News" and websites, including Schley graduated from CU Boulder in 2005 with a degree in environmental science.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.