Canoe camping offers a lot of advantages over traditional, hike-in camping. Most notably, you can carry a lot more gear with you and cover greater distances, depending on the layout of the body of water you’re paddling. Like car camping and lightweight backpacking, canoe camping has some established practices that can make life much easier while you’re out in the wild. Here are some of the top tips for canoe camping.
A bulky umbrella isn’t something that you’ll find hikers carrying, but keeping a cheap model in your canoe can make life a lot more enjoyable. Attached to the gunwale with an umbrella holder, an umbrella can provide some shade on hot days, and it can obviously provide shelter on rainy days. When properly “deployed,” an umbrella makes a great sail, too!
Duct tape has a place in almost every outdoor activity and canoe camping is no exception. You can obviously use it to patch up just about anything, not to mention a plethora of first aid uses. However, one of the most interesting uses of duct tape is as a fly trap. Deerflies can make a daylong float trip unbearable. Placing a roll of duct tape on your hat (sticky side up) will attract flies because they like shiny objects. Once they land, the tape will glue them in place.
Everyone loves a good breakfast when camping, but carrying eggs with you into the field makes some campers nervous, as the risk of them breaking can be high. Canoes offer a unique method of protecting them, though. Simply store the eggs in the styrofoam cartons they come from the store in, then, using the aforementioned duct tape, secure them to the underside of your canoe seat. Just remember to store them with the rest of your food at night when you reach camp.
The benefit of canoe camping is that you have a lot more room so you can get away with bulkier gear. With that in mind, consider getting larger stuff sacks than you need for your tent. When you break camp you won’t have to worry about rolling and folding everything in a tight package. You can simply open your oversized stuff sack and cram everything inside, quick and easy.