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What Is Canoe Camping & Why You Must Try It

What Is Canoe CampingWith the summer months coming upon us, it’s important to prepare for one’s hobbies. It’s time to clean out the camping gear, make sure the pickup truck is ready to go off-road, and pack up the canoe for some great canoe camping.

Do you not do that? Well, if you’re a big fan of the great outdoors and you have never heard of canoe camping, then it’s time your are enlightened.

What Is Canoe Camping Explained For Beginners?

Canoe camping is a term generally referring to the combination of two outdoors activities; Camping and Canoeing.  The idea is that you can go canoeing down a river, enjoying the sights and sounds of nature as you move along. Then each night, you pull your canoe to the side, pitch your tent, and sleep out under the stars. Now this is what I call living. A camping canoe is best suited to this adventure.

This is why it’s such a great idea to go canoe camping if you’re a fan of the outdoors. It’s the camping trip of a lifetime. Or the canoeing trip of a lifetime, depending on which one excites you more!

Why Canoe Camping Is The Best Outdoors ActivityWhat Canoe Camping Equipment To Bring


I still remember the first time I went canoe camping. It was when our family went on a summer vacation to Finland. My parents have relatives whom had a summer house in Finland. So they so kindly donated a couple canoes and the gear for us.

Let me tell you, if you have never been on the lakes in Finland. Then add it to your bucket list. Simply incredible. Anyways, the true blissfulness of sitting out on the water without neighboring campers disturbing us, making noise was a new experience for me.

After a few hours on the water, drifting, paddling we found landfall. A remote and simply beautiful place we never would have normally found via car/foot. This is the number one reason canoe camping is better than traditional camping. You can discover locations once never thought possible. Peaceful and tranquil. The best part is, when you wake up in the morning, you can do it all again in a new location.

What Do I Need For Canoe Camping?

In theory, all you need is a camping canoe and a tent! Even better, a tent cot. In practice, you may want a bit more than that. Canoe camping is essentially the same as backpacking, only with a canoe. Since canoe travel is faster than foot travel, you can get further with a single day trip.

Since canoe camping trips tend to be several days or longer, you’re going to want enough camping equipment to keep yourself alive. Bringing fresh water is vital, so you’ll want to ensure you have enough thermoses and metal containers of water. Make sure not to depend on gallon jugs. The plastic could get punctured, leaving you with no water and no way to carry more if you have to boil water.

Somewhere To SleepTent Cots For Camping Solo

During the excitement of packing safety and survival gear, don’t forget about packing something to sleep on. There are many routes you can take for sleeping while canoe camping. An air mattress, or a camping cot, a sleeping pad and a tent for shelter.

While a airbed is probably to best for space saving on the actual canoe, there is something that I personally prefer to take. That is a camping tent cot. This is a sleeping bed raised off the ground enclosed by a tent. This is all one piece of equipment. Sometimes they even include pillow and sleeping bag. So for convenience, packing a tent cot is ideal for canoe camping.

Don’t Forget To Pack Food

You’ll also want to figure out travel food. MREs, or meals ready to eat, are great for this. While the military can’t sell them directly to civilians, there are a number of private companies that make civilian versions. These contain dried foods, such as pasta, or canned foods that can be eaten cold. They can be expensive, however. So you may want to bring pre-packaged foods in coolers if your trip is shorter.

Can You Take Coffee When Canoeing?

If you plan to set up a campfire or take a gas burner of some sort, then absolutely. Making coffee in the middle of nowhere banked on the shores of some random lake. There’s no better way to drink coffee. If you are like me and cant go more than 12 hours without a coffee, here are 6 ways to make coffee camping.

Cheap Canoe Camping Gear

Of course, most canoe camping equipment can be expensive. So how do you make sure to find the high-quality stuff? Make sure to research! Don’t just head to Google and type “canoe camping gear”, you’ll get a bunch of sales sites. Google finds websites based on relevance, which means you have to narrow your terms.

Try looking for specific outdoor gear brands. Canoe camping gear from Columbia Sportswear might be a good search term. Or you could be specific about what kind of gear. Best canoe for canoe camping, for example, can help you narrow your search as well.

You can also go to a sporting goods shop and talk with employees. Thanks to online shopping, physical locations are starting to become rare. However, you can still find some sporting goods shops if you live in a big city, and it’s a great place to ask for advice.

So what is canoe camping? It’s nothing but backpacking with a canoe. But what is canoe camping really? It’s one of the greatest outdoor experiences a person can have. It allows you to see nature in a way you simply can’t when you’re hiking. It lets you relive the kind of experiences written about by Mark Twain and other great American authors.

And most importantly, it gives you a great experience during an otherwise lazy summer. So gear up, get your canoe ready, and head out on that canoe camping trip!