How to pack a canoe for a river trip

It’s easy to fritter through the hours leading up to your excursion, wondering what to pack, which paddle to use, debating what shoes to wear, these dilemmas can eat up the hours, cutting short that precious time out on the water.

To help you minimise the hours it takes to get ready for your river trip, we have compiled a comprehensive check list that will allow you to maximise the time you spend on the river.

Firstly, you must decide on where you are going to spend the day paddling your canoe, to help you to decide read our guides on canoeing in the UK and 8 fantastic places to paddle in the UK. The next stage is to go through the following checklist.


  • The canoe itself!
  • Paddles and spares. We have a great range of canoe paddles for sale that are strong, durable and affordable.
  • A pump, if your canoe is inflatable.
  • Life jackets.
  • Dry bag.
  • Bail bucket. You never know what potential obstacles may be thrown your way.
  • Small first aid kit. (To be placed in your dry bag)
  • Small Repair kit. (To be placed in your dry bag)
  • Mobile phone. (To be placed in your dry bag)
  • Water
  • Food, think more trail mix and energy bars as opposed to a club sandwich.

Below you will find a video that shows a thorough walk through of how and what to pack on a canoe trip. If you’re packing for an overnight canoe trip, the basic principles and equipment list are much the same as what is needed for a canoe day trip on the river.


Video courtesy of Canoe & Kayak Magazine/Youtube

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