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

Maybe it came to you in a dream? Perhaps you’ve been pushed into it by an enthusiastic friend? This possibly piqued your interest?

Whatever the 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 ensure a fun, comfortable and safe time on the water.

Just a few quick tips:

  1. You don’t need to spend buckets loads 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.


Even better, join us on our upcoming Wilderness Canoe Escape in Kangaroo Valley! The trip includes canoes and paddles, PFDs, food, fully qualified guides, as well as all insurances and permits.

Sign up here!


canoe trip clarence valley river paddleCanoe, PFD and helmet (You aren’t getting far without these)


  • 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
  • Woolen, thermal socks
  • Sweater or jacket: Fleece or Wool (doubles up as a pillow)
  • Warm, compactable shoes for the evening
  • Sarong (light weight towel and doubles up as a headpiece)
  • Raincoat
  • Warm tracksuit pants OR polyester pants


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

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 and 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


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

canoe trip clarence valley river paddle

Cooking and 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, knive, plates/bowl, serving spoon/spatula)

Food ideas

  • Porridge
  • Wraps/bagels
  • Bacon / Eggs
  • Peanut Butter
  • Coffee and Tea
  • Wraps – meat and cheese
  • Pack of tuna
  • Chutney
  • Dried fruit
  • Stews (e.g. beef, potatoes and carrot)
  • Spitroast
  • Cous Cous / Rice / Pasta
  • Fruit and nut bars
  • Trail mix
  • Fruit – apples hold up best!
  • Beef Jerky
  • Sweets

Want to join We Are Explorers on a Wilderness Escape? Here’s what we have coming up…


21 – 22 October // Wilderness Photography Escape – Sydney

28 October // Wilderness Navigation Course – Sydney

11 –12 November // Wilderness Canoe Escape – Sydney


21 22 October // Wilderness Photography Escape – Brisbane

4 – 5 November // Wilderness Survival Camp – Brisbane

11 – 12 November // Wilderness Navigation Course – Brisbane


28 October // Essentials of Navigation Course – Melbourne

25 November // Essentials of Navigation Course – Melbourne