Let’s assume you have the fishing stuff taken care of—the hooks, lines, sinkers, rods, reels, and 11 full tackle boxes for a weekend canoe or kayak fishing trip. What you need now is the camping swag that makes your time off the water just as unforgettable as hooking a big fish. Here are 10 items that will take your weekend home to the next level.
Nobody thinks they’ll turn the boat over. But should things go upside down, the Fishpond Thunderhead Backpack is 100-percent waterproof and completely submersible. It holds 28 liters, so it’s compact enough to pull double duty as a daypack to distant waters. Sure, it’s pricey. But so is your camera.
The beauty of boat camping is that you don’t have to pare ounces and cut space, as when backpacking, which means you can tote a gourmet-worthy camp stove like this compact beauty. It’s tough enough to shove in between coolers and drybags without extra padding, and with two 10,000-BTU burners, there’s not much grub it can’t handle.
Even if it’s warm during the day, you can still get the dawn and sunset shivers at many prime fishing locations. Huk’s performance hoody is just heavy enough for cool mornings and evenings. It’s made with water-resistant fleece, so it turns away sprinkling rains, and you can slobber it with fish slime and it will still come out clean, thanks to a proprietary stain-release treatment.
Wearing wading boots in a canoe is a pain, since they tend to drench the inside of the boat every time you get in. That’s no problem with these case-hardened steel strands, which stretch over the bottoms of most shoes and boots. No, you shouldn’t stomp around inside a canoe with them, but they’re super easy to pull on whenever you want to hop out for a quick smallmouth bass stalk.
Quit looking: This is the perfect outdoor hat. Its slick reinforced front brim won’t flop in the wind, and a super-cool one-handed cinch system keeps it on your head even in a gale. There are four styles—two boonie and two low-profile panel hats—with a couple of different brim widths. My favorite is the Griffin, which offers a bit more sun protection than the other models.
This brand-new 18/8 stainless-steel frying pan has a heavy-gauge aluminum core, so it’s lightweight and quick to heat—just what you need for a shore lunch or big fish dinner. A laser-etched nonstick surface keeps fillets from falling apart, and the removable handle makes it a cinch to pack.
You can’t scrimp on a warm-weather tent. You want plenty of mesh for hot nights and the option of going topless without the rainfly, but also a tough build to turn away vicious storms. The Limelight fills both bills, plus the vertical-wall design leaves you plenty of room to move around inside.
It’s fair to say that the handheld Thermacell units forever changed warm-weather hunting and fishing, and the new Backpacker model may do the same for camping. Screw a standard 4-ounce butane canister into the device, and it will emit a proven mosquito repellant for up to 90 hours.
More than just mood lighting, this upgrade to the wildly popular Luci light is brighter than the original, with more power settings, and it comes with a nifty hanging tab. The inflatable light crushes down to an inch thick, and though it’s not going to help if you need to guide a floatplane in for a landing, it pumps out plenty enough 100-percent-free light for tent chores, reading, and after-dark food prep.
Sure, this fold-up chair is a bit bulky, but you’re canoe-camping, not backpacking, so what’s the big deal? After a day in a canoe seat, you’ll thank the stars above that you didn’t scrimp on a creek-side lounger. The King Kong is practically a love seat, with an 800-pound weight limit that can handle backsides a full 2 feet wide. Treat yourself.
Written by T. Edward Nickens for Field & Stream.