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.


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


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


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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