Gathering Gear and Packing the Canoe

Now that you have decided where to go on your canoe trip, you need to decide what gear to take. Most canoeing destinations have local outfitters where you can rent or purchase everything you will need. One of the best options is to purchase your online, but many find it best to personally check out products first. If you have an outdoor store nearby, can find knowledgeable staff that can help you find all the necessary equipment to enjoy your canoe trip.

One of the most basic principles to keep in mind concerning anything you purchase that when you canoe, things get wet. Anything you bring with you will likely get wet at some point. That fact alone makes wool or synthetic clothing better than cotton. Also, consider wearing layers of clothing so you can easily change to accommodate the weather. Remember, too, that if you are caught in a storm, rain gear is well worth the money. That doesn’t mean you need to buy the most expensive gear available. In fact, the basic plastic bag can greatly help waterproof your supplies just like an old wool sweater will keep you just as warm as an expensive high-tech fleece shirt. The most important thing to remember is to consider the weather conditions you will be in on your trip.

Once you have purchased your gear, you must consider how to best fit it all in the boat. There are some packs that are made specifically for canoes, such as the Duluth pack. These packs are constructed by synthetic materials and are very similar to backpacks with easily adjustable straps and hip belts. They are short, boxy, and stout and fit very well in a canoe. You can typically fit two of these packs to one canoe compartment. They are a great way to keep the center of gravity low within the canoe. If you are just getting started, though, and don’t want to spend the money, you can use any pack as long as it is able to get wet, will fit easily into the canoe, and is comfortable enough to carry.

When packing your canoe, the heaviest items need to be pack towards the bottom. This will help keep the canoe from being top-heavy. If you are using a pack that is not waterproof, you will want to purchase some heavy-duty garbage bags to line the packs for putting your stuff inside.

Now that you know what to pack and how to pack your canoe, it is time to get into the nitty-gritty of the canoe trip itself.