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How to Pack for a Florida Canoe Trip

How to Pack for a Florida Canoe Trip

With our big paddle on the Indian River Paddle Adventure coming up I thought I would share how to pack for a Florida canoe trip. There are many ways that will work. Here are a few of them.

First of all, on a long trip there’s no ice. Don’t bring anything that requires refrigeration. For example, hard cheeses hold up better than do soft ones, although if it’s hot the hard ones don’t hold up too well, either. Instead of butter, bring margarine. Instead of a stick, get it in a tub. For milk you have a choice between boxed and powdered. Eggs, both raw and boiled, go in an egg carrier. Hopefully you get the idea.

Raccoons want your food and water, so you have to pack it such that their desires are frustrated. Food not in cans or bottles goes into a hard plastic cooler . The raccoons can open one of these so you must bring enough cord that you can tie it shut.

Cans and bottles can go in a crate if cooler space is at a premium.

Store breakfast, lunch, and snack items in a five gallon plastic bucket with a snap-on lid. I got mine at doughnut shops but the square ones kitty litter comes in look like they would be even better. You will need several of these. They double as camp seats, too. Use a marker to write the contents on the lid. This will make life in the canoe less confusing.

Raccoons will chew through the water bottles that bottled water comes in. You need something more durable, something on this idea

Food going into the cooler will need to be repackaged in plastic ziplock bags. A bag of pita bread is already perfectly packaged. A box of pasta or crackers is not. At your house the pasta or crackers come out of the box and go into a bag. This way you’re not carrying trash with you, the pasta or crackers are protected from moisture, and the bag will come in handy for something else once the pasta or crackers get eaten. Do this with all your food, and stow it in the cooler (except for lunches and snacks, already mentioned). Bring extra ziplock bags!

The garlic, onions, carrots, potatoes, hard squashes, and any fresh fruit also go in the cooler.

My cook kit is in another crate like the one already mentioned.

Your clothes go in a plastic bucket like the one already mentioned. Carry a large plastic trash bag for dirty clothes. Sneak a few clothespins in your stuff someplace.

Your pillow, sleeping bag, and bulky warm clothes have to go in a waterproof bag.  Carry straps are handy.

The sleeping mats, tent, tarps, extra cord, that kind of stuff goes in a big duffel bag . It’s nice if it’s waterproof.

Personal items can be carried in small waterproof bags.

This system of How to Pack for a Florida Canoe Trip may not be the best or most elegant but it has served me well over many canoe trips. If you have comments, questions, or other suggestions please let us know about them!

John Kumiski

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2013. All rights are reserved.

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  1. […] 100% sure how to pack for a Florida Canoe Trip, head over to John Kumiski’s personal blog on SpottedTail.com. He has written a complete how-to on this subject and can be viewed by click […]

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