What to Bring on a Lake Camping Trip

What to Bring on a Lake Camping Trip
Camping near a lake is well sought after by those who camp and enjoy the outdoors. In campgrounds, lakefront sites are always the first to become occupied.  Whether you're adventuring to a busy campground with other campers or to the backcountry where peace and quiet await, bringing along the right items is important. Organize your gear with the lake in mind. 
Camping by the lake requires different supplies than when camping away from a large water supply. In addition to safety and security, you want to come prepared for recreation and, if necessary, using lake water for sustenance.

Fishing Equipment

One of the main reasons people camp near a lake or lakeshore is to be able to access the lakeshore for fishing. Fishing poles, tackle, buckets, fish nets, life jackets and water boots are essential for lakeshore fishing. Other things to consider are fish cleaning equipment, Swiss army knives and fillet knives. A small aluminum fishing boat may be used for those wishing to explore the lake further. For hikers who have trekked to the campsite---a portable, lightweight, one-man blow-up boat will suffice.

Water Purifiers

Camping by a lake means you have a ready supply of potential drinking water, but you should never assume that lake water is safe to drink. Bring along water purification equipment to increase your chances of safety and decrease your chances of bringing home unwanted critters inside your digestive system. Fresh water can be purified by boiling, chemicals or filters. "The Campsite Companion," written by Rob Beattie, reminds you that polluted lake water is never safe enough to drink.

Swim Gear

Adults and children alike enjoy swimming along the coast of a fresh or saltwater lake. Keeping everyone safe will make for a fulfilling experience. Sunscreen, water shoes, scuba gear, wet suits, life jackets and beach towels are essentials for a day on the lakeshore. For uncharted lakes---especially those in the backcountry---care needs to be instituted while swimming. Drop-offs and dangerous water reptiles such as snakes and certain types of fish are poisonous in some locations.

Hiking Gear

The outer perimeter of a lake has many nooks and crannies. Exploring and discovering these areas is an adventurer's paradise. Being equipped with the proper hiking gear will assure that a hike around the sparkling blue will be successful and satisfying. A good pair of hiking boots, from brands such as Merrell and North Face, make for safe travel through forest paths and steep climbs. A compass or navigational system will assure a safe round-trip. Trek poles and climbing gear assist in an easy passage over rocky and steep terrain.


What would camping by the lakeshore be without venturing out on the lake for a kayak adventure? Kayaks are lightweight and easy to maneuver---even during transport. The kayak moves swiftly through smooth and turbulent waters. Kayaks thrive off of unpredictability---especially when going against the current. When equipped with navigational gear, safety glasses and a life jacket, the kayak is an indispensable tool for the water enthusiast.

Campsite Equipment

Setting up camp along the lakeshore will allow the campers to enjoy firsthand the feel of being around water. Popping the tent at least 25 feet from the shoreline will assure that the site doesn't get waterlogged from a high tide or storm. A good tent for weathering waterside elements is the GoLite Valhalla. This lightweight tent weighs only 5 lbs. and works overtime to keep out moisture and water. Having a tarp extending from the front of the tent outward will assure chairs, equipment and food stay dry from the natural elements. Being close to water, mosquitoes and ticks could be a problem; making sure to pack plenty of bug spray, long sleeve shirts and long pants will keep bites at bay. A portable camping table and chairs are perfect for enjoying meals waterside.

Life Preserver

Bring along a life preserver, even if you don't bring along a kayak or canoe. If there's a lake by the campsite, chances are there will be some kind of boating available. A ready supply of life preservers, however, may not necessarily be available. Take safety into your own hands by coming prepared.

Plastic Bags

Resealable plastic bags prove useful when camping near a lake. Proximity to water means things can get wet. Placing cell phones, wallets, matches and other water-sensitive items inside a protective plastic bag offers insurance against the unexpected.


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