Paddle Camping Gear Checklist

I am a big fan of checklists. I like making them, and like checking them off.

And I often think that planning for a bitchin’ paddle camping adventure is just as cool as the adventure itself. Maybe I just like going to REI once a week.

In any event, to give you an idea of what I pack for a trip like this, see below.  Apart from the paddleboard and paddle, I put almost all of my gear into one large drybag.  Mine is a Seal Line 70 liter Pro Pack, and it gets strapped to the front of my paddleboard.  It also doubles as a backpack, which is critical for getting to and from the boat.  It holds nearly everything and keeps it all perfectly dry. I highly recommend it. And yes, I got it through REI.

Inside my Seal Line drybag, I have four smaller bags, which represent my bedroom, my kitchen, my garage, and my bathroom. (I should note here that this four room designation was not my original idea).

The “bedroom” bag has the following:

  • Backpacker tent/footprint
  • Sleeping bag and inflatable pillow
  • Sleeping mat (may not need if you’re sleeping on sand on the beach)
  • Lightweight Camp chair (for backpacking)
  • Clothes (if you’re paddling all day, you don’t need much at all)

The “bathroom” bag has:

  • Toiletries
  • TP
  • Waste bags/ziplocs come in handy too
  • Wipes/paper towels
  • sunscreen

The “kitchen” bag has:

  • Jetboil stove
  • Gas canister (plus extra)
  • Cookset (if needed)
  • Cutting board
  • Mug
  • All meals, snacks, drinks
  • Extra water bladder
  • You may also need a water cube if where you’re going does not have potable water
  • Optional Yeti Hopper cooler (a cold beer after a long day of paddling is magical)

My “garage” bag has the following:

  • Firestarters (weatherproof matches or lighter)
  • Leatherman
  • Pocketknife or dive knife
  • Portable chargers and cords (for phone, watch, and gopro)
  • Apollo lantern (which can also charge electronics)
  • GoPro and accessories
  • First aid kit
  • Headphones
  • Headlamp
  • Clothesline for drying wet clothes at the campsite
  • a foot of duct tape (always comes in handy)
  • (Optional) binoculars
  • Reading glasses? (if you’re old like me)

On my person, while paddling, I also have the following:

  • Camelback, with water and snacks
  • Marine radio (and my phone)
  • Pfd (waist belt pfd which can inflate with a CO2 canister if needed in emergency)
  • Hat/glasses/sunblock
  • Garmin InReach satellite tracker and two-way communicator

Below is a pic of my rig loaded up. As you can see, the Seal Line drgbag is strapped to the front with basically everything in it.  On the back of the board is the backpack which carried the rolled up paddleboard, my paddle sheath, and for this particular trip, I needed a 4 gallon cube of water. 

That’s the basic packing list. Now do something scary!

Have fun!

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