Friday, 29 August 2014

Packing for a Weekend Canoe/Camping Trip

A post by Ed Arsenault.

I am back with another article on how to pack up for your upcoming adventure. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my original article on packing up a carry-on suitcase for an all-inclusive trip.

The theme of today’s packing tutorial will be based on our annual Man of the Year camping trip. This trip sees us gentlemen off to the beautiful French River, Ontario region where we canoe out to our island and set up camp for two nights. This is by no means a survival trip or a survival packing tutorial as we still take many luxuries. This is a tutorial to help you pack less while still having some luxuries on a fun manly excursion into the woods for a day or two. With that said, I present to you my how-to pack guide for a not-so-serious weekend camping/canoeing trip.

Everything I would need for this weekend camping trip.

All needed camping gear

Pictured Above:

1 pair of swim shorts
1 pair of shorts
3 pairs of underwear
2 pairs of socks
1 pair of sweat pants
1 sweater
3 shirts

55L backpack
Fishing kit (reduced to have three spinners, bait, one lure, spare hooks and parts, gloves and a knife)
Fishing rod
Single sleeper tent
Heavy duty tent stakes
Sleeping bag
Sleeping pad
15L compression sack
Water shoes
Fillet knife
Utility knife
Bungee cord

Not Pictured:

Clothing I wear day of:
Comfortable shoes
1 pair of shorts
1 t-shirt
1 hat

Folding chair
Snacks (jerky, trail mix, granola bars)
Dinner (stored in a group cooler)
Toiletries (I brought them but didn't show them in this tutorial) 

The Process:

Uncompressed Sleeping Bag
Uncompressed sleeping bag (black) and 15L compression sack (bright green).

Sleeping bag compressed to fit in backpack
Compressed sleeping bag ready to be packed.

Tent Stakes Added to Back Pack
 I add the tent stakes first to the bottom to avoid any tearing and ripping of fabrics.

Putting my Tent Into my Back Pack
Then I squeeze my tent into the lower 10L compartment of my bag on top of the stakes.

Now I put my sleeping bag in through the opening up top. Note that I put in vertically then maneuver it to be horizontal in the bag.

Adding my fishing kit to my pack
I then add my fishing kit and squish it in beside my sleeping bag on the front side of the pack. This gives me a nice flat front to my bag.

Adding clothes to my pack
Next I jam my clothes into the sack on top of the fishing kit and the sleeping bag. *I would recommend a compression sack for all your clothes too. I, unfortunately, didn't purchase one in time for this trip but will in the future.

Bag is nice and sturdy and has a flat front
Here you can see how sturdy this set up is and how flat the front of the bag has become.

Adding flashlight and bungee cords to side pocket
Utilizing the side pockets of my pack, I place my flashlight and a few bungee cords in. I use bungee cords on trips like this because it is quick and easy to set up a clothes line or whatever else you need with no knots.

Adding knives to side pocket of pack
On the opposite side pocket I pack up my fillet knife and utility knife.

Strapping sleeping roll onto front of pack
 Using snaps already on my bag I then attach my sleeping roll to the bottom of my pack. The material of my sleeping roll repels water and would dry the quickest if I were to get caught in rain, hence leaving it on the outside.

Securing tent poles and fishing rod to my pack
 I use the slot for a drink in my bag to be the base to hold up my tent poles and fishing rod. Using some straps already on my bag I just tighten them up to keep the rod and poles secure. 

Attaching my water shoes with a carabiner
Using a carabiner I then attach my water shoes to my pack on a strap that doesn't move too much on the opposite side of my rod and tent poles.

Attaching a PFD via a carabiner
Last but not least I attach my PFD to my bag via a carabiner to a strap near the top. This way the PFD doesn't hang too low when walking.

All packed up and ready to go
My bag is all packed up and I am ready to go canoeing and fishing for a few days. *Note, I forgot to zip up my PFD for this photo, that's why it is hanging awkwardly. 

There we go, I have a full pack that is not too heavy and two free hands to carry my folding chair and most importantly a case of beer! I know the guys that I go on this trip with and can pack according to them and what they bring. That is why I have opted out of most "essential" items. Between you and your group, make a list of who has what and spread the load carried. 

I hope this helps you get an idea of what you would need for a quick excursion into the woods with some buds. If you think I missed anything important or have anything you'd like to say please reach out to me via the comment section below, Twitter or Facebook.


  1. This is such a great article! I never went camping before and I don't know what to pick with me. Thanks for sharing

  2. This really this amazing piece of writing! I just do not ever attended going camping previously not to mention I just are not aware appropriate get by himself. Thanks a lot for the purpose of showing.

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