Canoe camping involves off-water as well as on-water.
Besides obviously a canoe and dry box or bag and perhaps a rod for fishing and binoculars for birding, what are some essential items for canoe camping the Blue Ridge's rivers during the warm weather period?
Kristin Jankowski, marketing communications manager for Johnson Outdoors, states that a quality sleeping bag is a must-have. Here are some traits relating to a bag.
* Mummy bag design, which fits the body better than a conventional bag and takes up less space in a dry box.
* Compression stuff sack for storing a sleeping bag within a dry box – again helping with space matters.
* Polyester shell, which is less likely to tear than a cotton one.
* A quality inflatable sleeping pad (also with its compression sack) to place below a bag – thus putting another layer between you and the inevitable rocks and roots that find their way under a tent.
Since I also will canoe camp in the spring and fall when the temperatures will often dip into the upper 30s to low 40s, I purchased a Eureka Silver City sleeping bag that is rated to +30. If the night is overly warm, I sleep on top of the bag.
For a pad, a number of years ago I bought a self-inflating sleeping pad from Campmor.
Camping enthusiast Josh Ward, who works for Blue Heron Communications, offers up this gear list for Blue Ridge canoe campers:
2. Sleeping bag
3. Float bags or boxes
4. Coleman Perfect Flow InstaStart 2-Burner Stove
5. Cooler (size depending on number of campers) with food
6. Dishes, pans, kitchen utensils
7. Biodegradable soap
8. Ice or ice substitutes
9. Garbage sacks
10. Layered clothing
11. Wading shoes; shoes to keep dry, warm
12. Quality LED Quad Lantern
13. Quality 3AAA LED Headlamp
14. Coleman 2D or 4D Auto-On Flashlight (floats, turns on when dropped in water)
15. Personal flotation device
16. Fire starters (waterproof matches, wind/waterproof lighter)
17. First aid kit
18. Toiletries (includes paper towels and toilet paper)
19. 2.5-gallon expandable water carrier (enough to supply ample fresh water for all participants) [Note: author likes to also bring a water purification system.]
21. Extra batteries
22. Extra stove fuel
24. Rain gear
25. Cutlery (pocket knife, camp knife, packable saw, multi-tool)
26. Extra rope, cord or wire for tying off canoes or re-rigging tents
27. Quality insect repellant
For more information
Campmor: campmor.com, 888-226-7667
Coleman: coleman.com, 800-835-3278
Eureka: eurekatent.com, 800-572-8822
Johnson Outdoors: johnsonoutdoors.com, 262-631-6600