A few years ago, I embarked on an overnight canoe trip in Wells Gray Provincial Park.

For some, this might not seem like such a wild escapade. After all, there are plenty of explorers doing week- and month-long paddling trips, ranging from remote routes in the north to boutique stays near cities.

But for me, this was a milestone. It was my first overnight canoe trip. Ever.

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So, you want to go canoe camping?

Whether you're a wilderness expert or a novice explorer, canoe camping is for you. Unlike overnight hikes/backpacking, you don’t have to carry the weight of the supplies on you. No, the canoe does that for you.

Although you could still opt for a lightweight night in the woods, why not toss in a small bottle of tequila and BarCountry margarita mix or a deck of Basecamp Cards? It's true; your adventure vehicle can fit more for a night of car camping, but you might be surprised what your canoe can hold—as long as you don’t have a long portage, of course.

What to bring for a night of canoe camping:

Basic needs

 

Campsite essentials

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But what will I wear?

  • Fleece sweater
  • Quick-dry pants
  • Sandals with secure straps
  • Hat with brim
  • Hiking boots
  • Warm wool socks
  • Toque, mittens and scarf
  • Quick-dry underwear
  • Moisture-wicking top
  • Spray jacket
  • Rain gear
  • Swimsuit
  • Drysuit or neoprene wetsuit (not necessary for one night, unless you want to look really hardcore)

 

Bonus items you know you’ll want

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When you lay it all out, planning and packing for your first-ever overnight paddling trip doesn’t seem that daunting anymore, does it?

I hope not. I hope you’ll get out on the water and fall in love with canoe camping, just like I did.

  

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