As the leaves change color, and the temperature declines, fewer travelers are embarking on canoe voyages. However, the cooling temperatures give the true outdoorsman the chance to save some money (many sites do not require fishing permits this time of year) and their pick of camp sites. Also, this gives beginners a chance to prepare for a trip that involves a fun form of exercise in the great outdoors while enjoying the beauty of the lake and maybe catch their first fish! When deciding what canoe gear to pack, evaluate your skill level, destination, length of trip and time of year.

Photo Credit: Garden State Hiker gives an excellent overview of what canoe gear you'll need. Make sure everything is packed in water proof bags as you never know when you may take a spill. It is important to pack for different weather conditions but remember to pack light. You most likely will be carrying everything you bring along with finding space on your canoe. Below is an overview of the essentials.

Boating Gear

Lightweight aluminum canoe for beginners

Lightweight Kevlar canoe for experienced canoeists (helpful for lifting and portaging)

Life Jackets which fit comfortably

Car top canoe rack like Yakima

Tie straps/ropes

Seat pad

Paddles which fit your height

Camping Gear


Fishing Pole

Lightweight cotton work gloves (helpful for collecting fire wood)

First aid kit

Sunscreen (you burn easier on the water)

Drinking water

A map of the lake


Bug repellent

Sleeping bag

Camp stove

Trash Bags


Food for all meals


Mess Kit

Matches, lighter


Layers for warmth


Long Underwear

Brimmed Hat

Hiking boots


Long sleeve shirt




Long Pants


Glasses, contact lenses

Hygiene supplies

Good Book

Playing Cards