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How to Pack a Canoe for an Overnight Fishing Trip

May 14, 2021

Be sure to check out our product recommendations and related blogs posts after the article!

Canoeing on its own is a relaxing experience that draws you out of the mundane world of business, concrete jungles of suburbs and cities. It drops you into the wilderness with the elements as your companions. When you add fishing to the mix, you have the full experience of being a modern-day explorer and becoming one with nature.

Being in nature can be a soulful experience when you are well-prepared for it, and part of being well-prepared is packing correctly for the journey.

Packing for an overnight fishing trip is part of the experience, the thrill, and the adventure. It’s not just about packing for the activity you’ll be performing but also thinking about drinks, snacks, and everything you’ll need to make an overnight fishing trip an experience worthy of being remembered.

Plan ahead for your fishing adventure

Creating a practical and functional plan requires some analysis of the activities, leisure time, and of course, the basics in case of an emergency. For an overnight canoe fishing trip, pack everything you need while keeping the load light to paddle with ease.

Bring the essentials

While prepping gear, think of what you’ll need in terms of eating, cooking, sleeping, clothing, and equipment.

Sleeping gear

  • Sleeping bag: Choose your sleeping bag based on the climate and forecasted temperature to ensure you have a safe and comfortable trip.
  • Sleeping pad: Sleeping pads are necessary to help your body retain heat. Choose an inflatable sleeping pad for added comfort, but foam pads will also get the job done.
  • Tent: Preferably with a footprint or a tarp and with a full fly to better protect you from the elements. Make sure to check your tent before packing to ensure it’s not missing any pieces.
  • Extra phone battery: You carry your music, GPS, and camera on your phone, so you will want to have an extra battery just in case it dies.
  • Clothing: Depending on the weather, you’ll want to pack cotton for summer or synthetic fabrics for autumn and winter. Always make sure your clothing is SPF 50 and waterproof. Pack a rain jacket, two extra pairs of socks, waterproof pants, a hat, water boots, sneakers, a pair of jeans, and a hoodie for the bonfire.
  • Toiletries: Don’t forget to bring things like bug spray, sunscreen, first aid kit, flashlight, toothpaste, toothbrush, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, etc.
  • Extras: Dry bags for your valuables and electronics such as your phone, headphones, car keys, wallet, matches, and anything else that can’t get wet.

Here’s a full list of canoe camping essentials to add to your packing list.

Plan your meals

What would a trip in the wilderness be without delicious food and drinks?

You’re going fishing, which means that you want to enjoy your catch at dusk while drinking a well-deserved drink. Make sure to take extra food with you, though, on the off chance that you aren’t able to catch a delicious fish.

Breakfast: Make it healthy, filling, energetic and small. Peanut butter and jam sandwiches, dry fruits, oatmeal, and food that can be re-hydrated are also a good choice since they’re lighter and easy to pack.

Snacks: You’ll want to nibble on something while you’re paddling and fishing. Try dry fruits, nuts, and jerky as some great snack foods that are light and easy to pack.

Seasoning and spices: If you love preparing your catch on the fire, bring your favorite spices and some olive oil. These small additions will make your catch taste as it came from a five-star restaurant.

Drinks: Water is essential, and you’ll need to pack enough for at least the start of your camping trip, if not for the entire trip. Once you’ve set up camp, you can boil local water and filter it depending on where you are. In this case, however, you should pack a filter thermos.

Water is necessary, but your favorite spirits and alcoholic drinks can add to the experience. Pack miniature bottles of your favorite spirits since they will take less space.

There is, however, nothing like a good cup of coffee in the morning. It’s light to pack and delicious, and although it won’t be a cappuccino with extra foam, you’ll still love every sip.

Cooler: The cooler will be practical to keep your drinks fresh as well as the catch of the day. Since it will be an overnight fishing trip, you can bring it packed with ice, and it will last around a day.

Basic kitchen utensils: You’re packing for an overnight fishing trip, so you won’t need to bring the entire kitchen. The basics include matches, lighter, knife, a small cup-sized pot, a gas cooker, or a fuel tin (this will help you start a fire if you aren’t using a gas cooker).

How to pack your canoe for an overnight trip

Beyond the standard canoe camping gear essentials we mentioned above, you’ll also need your fishing gear. The fishing gear is a pivotal part of packing for an overnight fishing trip. Make sure to bring the basics, as well as the necessary items to enjoy your fishing experience, such as:

  • Three rods
  • Bait
  • Rod holders
  • Plyers
  • Tackle crate

Remember that it’s about quality and not quantity, it’s one night, but you’ll also be packing enough to enjoy it. Keep in mind that you won’t have to carry all this on your back since the canoe will be doing the “heavy lifting,” and you’ll be smoothly paddling along on a trip to remember.

Be sure to check out our product recommendations and related blogs posts below!


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