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Canoe Camping Gear

Having a good canoe camping gear checklist is important! You don't want to paddle across the lake only to discover that you have left an important item at home!

family and gear in canoe

How to use this list

Use this list as a starting point to make your own family's list.

  • Remove any items that you won't need.
  • Add other items you know you'll use.
  • After each trip, you'll probably think of more things you wish you'd had along. Add them to the list.
  • Make the list as specific as you can. For example, list exactly how many bowls you'll need.

Before you know it, you'll have the perfect canoe camping checklist, and preparing for a family canoe trip will be easy!

If you'd like to use this list as is, click here for a printable canoe camping list.

Keep your canoe camping gear dry!

Make sure that your bedding and clothing stay dry if they go for an unexpected swim! Pack them securely in garbage bags and put the garbage bags in duffel bags - or consider buying dry bags.

Compressible dry bags like this one really reduce the volume of your gear and let you fit more into the canoe.

The basics

young child carrying Thermarest

Canoe and gear

dad and boys in canoe with PFDs

Cooking and Eating

  • stove, fuel and funnel
  • lighter and matches
  • pots and lids
  • skillet
  • knives, forks, spoons
  • bowls, plates
  • cups, mugs
  • serving spoon, wooden spoon
  • flipper
  • can opener
  • Swiss army knife
  • aluminum foil
  • water jug (full of water)
  • cooler and ice
  • stainless steel water bottles (filled)
  • food Click for camping food ideas.


  • basin
  • dish soap
  • dishcloth and scrubbies
  • dishtowels
  • garbage bags


  • washcloth
  • hand towels
  • beach towels
  • soap
  • toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • hairbrush or comb
  • sunscreen
  • lip balm
  • deodorant
  • women's sanitary supplies
  • toilet paper


  • pants and shorts
  • T-shirts and long shirts
  • pajamas
  • underwear
  • socks
  • sunhats
  • warm hats
  • rain gear
  • warm layers (fleeces and jackets)
  • footwear (hiking shoes, beach shoes)
  • bathing suits

children on beach near canoe


  • camping knife
  • books
  • deck of cards
  • small games (we like Uno & Farkel)
  • pails and shovels
  • camera and batteries
  • cash (for fees or emergencies)

Don't forget

  • to tell someone where you are going and when you will return
  • this list

Having a good camping list will get your family canoe trip off to a great start!

Now that you have a good canoe camping gear list, visit this page for more camping list options.

Before you start packing for your next trip, be sure to visit The Camping Family home page. You'll find lots of helpful information!

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