Keeping your Gear Dry when you go Canoeing

The summers coming and I bet there’s a lot of us that are looking forward to getting out on the water, having a paddle and a lot of fun.  Talking to the guys here at Outdoor Revival HQ we’re looking forward to getting out for a paddle.

If you figure that you’re likely to get wet while you are in your canoe, (my suggestion is that you do figure you’re going to get wet and it would be a bit silly to think otherwise), you will be aware that everything else with you is likely to get wet as well. Wet cameras, cell phones or sandwiches can really ruin your day.



A dry bag will keep things dry… I know, that’s why they’re called dry bags! Dry bags can be sealed with air in them, so they float which is good for the gear you have in them and can also be useful if you need a floatation aid of some sort to help you in the water.


It is wise planning to have protection for any valuable or moisture sensitive items you have with you, seal them up in the dry bags. A standard 20-gallon bag will fit most of the things you’re likely to be taking with you. Included things like your keys, wallet, multi-tool, phone hat, extra pants, shirt and socks, and there would still be space for other items.

Zip lock bags are a great low-cost answer to keeping gear dry, and you can use different sizes to suit the items you to protect. Remember that you will then also need a place on your canoe and something to put them in to keep them safe. A duffle bag or tackle box that’s tied to the Canoe are two possible options.



It’s not just your clothes and electronics to be kept dry – sometimes it’s the other way around, wet kit can be just as awkward to have to deal with and if you’ve got a dry bag you can carry wet gear like clothing in it and it keeps everything else from getting wet.

There’s a chance that you’re going to get water in your canoe and it’s going to pool in the bottom, wet tackle boxes or gear bags can be a pain, even if they’re not damaged by water fishing around for them can be a pain. Keep these items off the floor of the canoe by using an inflatable cushion, or you can use a net like a hammock, a block of foam, etc.

It is a good idea to make sure you have a bailing device which can be used to remove any water in your canoe. The basic, straightforward method of using cups, buckets or sponges works for a small amount of water, something bigger like a plastic jug might be more useful.


For larger storage, plastic barrels can be use, particularly those with screw on lids, they’re generally cheap, waterproof, sturdy and easily available.



Another idea is to use a cooler, as these are waterproof, and you could use one as a dry box. They float too and can be attached by a rope to the canoe so that it floats alongside. The cooler should have reliable locks or a strap to keep it closed tight.

So, if you have to take items that have to stay dry, you will need to minimize the risk of water damage. Having to dry your things out at the end of a trip can spoil what would have been a great day. Plan ahead and be prepared.


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We live in a beautiful world, get out there and enjoy it.

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fmssolution is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival