I recently went on my first backcountry camping trip on a paddle board with my two friends, Bridgid and Davey; here are the top 5 things I learned.
Top 5 Things I Learned on my First Backcountry Camping Trip on a Paddle Board
1. Type of Board
- iSUPs are easy to transport into the backcountry. They are also more durable, especially for portaging or in shallow waters with obstacles like rocks and logs.
- Larger boards are best. Your board will perform differently with added weight and a larger board offers more stability. Check the weight capacity of the board you plan to use.
- Front and back tie downs are key for easily securing all your items but also for best weight distribution and balance.
- I paddled the Red Paddle Co Voyager 13’2 and it worked like a dream!
2. Start Small
- Keep it a short and simple route for your first time. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
- We stuck to a 5-6km paddle from the launch to our campsite with no portages.
- Remember you’ll be slower than a two-person canoe or kayak and weather can play a bigger role when paddling on a SUP. Know how to read the wind.
3. Waterproofing & Securing
- All of your gear sits out in the open so it needs to be properly secured and in dry bags. I used the 60L Red Paddle Co. Kit Bag for the majority of my things and it worked very well. I also used the Red Paddle Co Waterproof Backpack on the front of my board for easy access to snacks and other items. See YouTube video for Waterproof Backpack details.
- Use larger strapping or bungees and carabiners; not just the bungees that come on your board. It’s also a good idea to bring a few extra.
- L’il Sucker drink holder works well to keep your water bottle or thermos handy and you hydrated. Use code ‘PaddleAdventurer’ for 15% off.
4. Ease of a Paddle Board
- It was way easier to quickly take out a paddle board for a day adventure or for a swim in the lake (our campsite had loads of leeches).
- Paddle boards are much easier to get on and off of, making it a great portable swimming dock.
5. It Was Easy!
- Bridgid and Davey had never gone SUP camping and they are both beginner paddle boarders who didn’t have any issues.
- I didn’t feel sluggish or off balance with a fully loaded paddle board and the entire experience was easier than I expected.
Taking paddle boards on our backcountry camping trip was a wonderful experience.
Standing gives you a different and better point of view of the water and wildlife and it was amazing being able to quickly take the boards out for an afternoon swim or sunset paddle.
I can’t wait to do it again!
* Please always practice Leave No Trace when exploring out in nature