From tents to tuna, duct tape to dry bags; here’s the ultimate packing list with everything you need for a wildly fun weekend canoe adventure.


Whatever your reason for committing to a river adventure, you’ve made a fantastic decision.

Once you’ve finished patting yourself on the back though, it’s likely that a degree of mild panic has taken over….Where do I go? Who can I go with? WHAT DO I PACK?!

Fear not. You’ve thrown a bat symbol to the skies and we’re here to help, just without the tasty matte-black motor. Acquiring gear is a daunting task that repels many would-be-explorers from having the best weekend of their lives, so below is everything you need to pack to ensure a fun, comfortable and safe time on the water.

Just A Few Quick Tips

  1. You don’t need to spend bucketloads of cash — beg, steal and borrow!
  2. In a group? You don’t each need all the below items. Always gear share.
  3. If buying new gear — aim for the most compact and lightweight you can afford.

Packing List For A Canoe Adventure Henry Brydon canoe trip clarence valley river paddle

Essentials

Canoe, paddle, PFD and helmet (you aren’t getting far without these)

Clothing

Day

  • River shoes (don’t skimp on these – Dunlop Volleys highly recommended)
  • Long sleeved thermal top is best for sun protection
  • Swim shorts / quick drying shorts can double as a swimsuit for men
  • Swimsuit for women
  • Baseball Cap / Bucket Hat

Night

  • Woollen, thermal socks
  • Sweater or jacket: Fleece or Wool (doubles up as a pillow)
  • Warm, compact-able shoes for the evening
  • Sarong (lightweight towel and doubles up as a headpiece)
  • Raincoat
  • Warm tracksuit pants OR polyester pants

Camping

  • Hammock/tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping mat
  • Tarp (perfect for rigging up in wet weather to provide a shelter from the elements, and to enjoy a dry meal)
  • Water filter / water purifier

Packing List For A Canoe Adventure Henry Brydon canoe trip clarence valley river paddle

Other Gear

  • Water bladder
  • Water bottle (with carabiner to loop onto your bag)
  • Headlamp
  • Sunglasses with a strap (in case you go into the drink)
  • Large zip-lock bags for wet gear
  • Matches / lighter
  • Multi-tool
  • Duct tape (Tip: you don’t have to bring the whole roll! Wrap a portion of the roll around a pen)

Health & Safety

  • Maps (ideally laminated)
  • Satellite phone and EPIRB for emergency communications
  • Spot tracker
  • First aid kit
  • Suncream (can also help with chafage!)
  • Insect repellant
  • Basic toiletries (including lip balm and wet wipes)
  • Wet wipes
  • Toilet paper

Optional

  • Wetsuit / rashie (depending on water temperature)
  • Gloves for paddling
  • Fishing equipment and license
  • Waterproof camera / GoPro
  • Lots of dry bags
  • Coffee maker

Packing List For A Canoe Adventure Henry Brydon canoe trip clarence valley river paddle

Cooking & Food

The beautiful thing about canoe travel is that you can carry a little more gear with you, although this shouldn’t be an excuse to load yourself up like you’re moving house (trust us, if you capsize, having to gather your worldly possessions downstream is about as fun as bar fight with Conor McGregor).

  • Skillet / dutch oven
  • Stove
  • Utensils (fork, spoon, knife, plates/bowl, serving spoon/spatula)

Food Ideas

Breakfast

  • Porridge
  • Wraps / bagels
  • Bacon / eggs
  • Peanut butter
  • Coffee and tea

Lunch

  • Wraps — meat and cheese
  • Pack of tuna
  • Chutney
  • Dried fruit

Dinner

  • Stews (e.g. beef, potatoes and carrot)
  • Spitroast
  • Cous Cous / rice / pasta

Snacks

  • Fruit and nut bars
  • Trail mix
  • Fruit — apples hold up best!
  • Beef jerky
  • Sweets

 


Need some canoe-speration?

When Everything Flows // Kangaroo Valley Canoeing Escape

The Clarence River — A Canoe and Kayak Dreamland in NSW

7 Kick-Ass Kayak Adventures On The Sunshine Coast (QLD)

Canoe the Mighty Blackwood River (WA)