General Paddling Planning Trips
Creating a complete gear list from scratch can be a difficult task for beginning paddle campers. If you don't have the experience necessary to make your own list, use the gearlists produced by REI. After a few trips, you'll be able to customize this general list as you learn more about paddle camping and the specific gear you like to have on board.
Check Equipment Condition and Operation
Check all of your gear before packing it. Make sure that you know how to assemble/use it correctly, that it's in good physical condition and that it works correctly. Pay special attention to important survival items like water filters, stoves and tents.
Double-check the Essentials
Many a cold, dark, hungry night has been spent in the wilderness because someone forgot to check the batteries in their flashlight, the fuel levels in their fuel bottles or the matches in their pocket. To avoid such problems, include a list of specific "Essentials Checks" at the bottom of your written gear list to be performed just before leaving home.
Learn to Share
Many canoe camping trips involve more than one boat. With a little bit of cooperation and extra planning, you can save space, weight and effort by identifying community gear items that can be shared among group members. Sharing equipment lightens everyone's load. Typical community items include cooking stoves, pots and pans, lanterns and water purification systems.
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