Most Helpful Canoeing Accessories

5-minute read

Day trips are a marvelous way to enjoy canoeing on local rivers and lakes. Whether you’re on the water for an hour or a full day, here are the most helpful accessories to make your day-long excursions comfortable and fun.

 two canoeists on a super calm lake in the fall

(Photo courtesy of @bmaguidhur)

NOTE: We assume you already have your canoe paddle—or paddles, if your canoe is a tandem—and a PFD for each person. These should be sized for the people who will use them.

If you don’t already have your paddles and PFDs, these will help:

Now, to our list. You can easily find most of these items at various retailers through an online search:

Padded Seat with or without a Back

Most canoe seats direct from the manufacturer aren’t all that comfortable for more than an hour or two of canoeing. Padded seats designed for canoes are widely available, including several that have a backrest.

This can make a big different with your comfort, and therefore your enjoyment, if you like to be out for several hours at a time. A back rest makes it extra comfy, and may even be necessary if you suffer from back strain or pain.

There are seats designed for canoes, or you can even go with a simple stadium seat. As long as it can be attached securely to a canoe seat and is water resistant, it’ll work for you.

Kneeling Pad

Some canoeists love the kneeling position from the stern because of the lower center of balance and maneuverability. If this is you, a kneeling pad will keep you there more comfortably and longer.

Thwart, Seat and Bow Bags

Bags designed to be attached to a canoe thwart (the braces that span the width of your canoe), seat or bow are super handy for stowing small items like maps, sunglasses, sunscreen, First Aid kit, snacks, water bottles and keys.

These bags keep items off the floor of the canoe and out of the wet, keeps them organized and keeps them attached to the boat in the (unlikely but possible) event of a capsize.

 man paddling in canoe bow sitting in a seat with a backrest

A padded seat with a back is a big plus!

Waterproof Daypack or Dry Bag

Will your canoe day trip take you to a picnic spot, a hike or other destination where you’ll get out on shore? A waterproof daypack or dry bag is perfect for stowing your lunch, extra clothes, hiking shoes and other items to take with you.

These come in an amazing array of sizes, colors and fabrics. Some include shoulder or carry straps and some don’t.

If your day trip will take you into the wilderness, you’ll want a waterproof daypack for an emergency kit: a change of clothes, fire starter, flashlight, kevlar blanket and anything else you may want to bring along should you run into unexpected trouble.

Cooler Made for Canoes and Kayaks

There are several coolers on the market designed to fit inside a canoe or kayak. These are ideal for day trips that include a stop or two for snacks, rest breaks or lunch.

You can even find towable coolers that float, like these two from CreekKooler. Just rig up a tow strap and it follows you everywhere. Then you have more room in your canoe for people or pets.

Filtered Water Bottle

If you plan to canoe on lakes or rivers that are relatively free from silts, a filtered water bottle is a super easy way to stay hydrated. The high-quality brands build water bottles that filter out any harmful bacteria so you can dip your bottles right in the water you’re paddling.

Bungee Dealee Bobs

These handy little bungees are perfect to attach items together or to the canoe thwarts or seats. They’re great for attaching an extra paddle or fishing rod to your canoe, too.

These are specialty items made by a small business in Minnesota called Old Scout. They’re available directly through them or from select paddlesports retailers.

Bilge Sponge

A bilge sponge is handy anytime you want to get rid of extra water and silt from the bottom of your canoe. It can be easily stowed away in a bow, thwart or seat pack and taken when needed.

Waterproof First Aid Kit

A basic First Aid kit should find a place in one of your canoe bags or daypacks (if you leave it in a canoe pack you don’t have to remember it each time you get on the water). If it’s not already in a waterproof container, you can store it in a dry bag or even a waterproof tackle box that’s easy to store.

two people paddling a canoe on a lake

(Photo courtesy of Emily Hendricks)

Canoe Cart

If you’d like a little extra help getting your canoe to-and-from your vehicle and to-and-from your launch point, consider a canoe cart. Your canoe sits on top of this 2-wheeled cart and all you need to do is hold onto the bow and pull your boat wherever you need it to go.

Some of them are collapsible if you want or need to take it in the canoe with you.

Canoe Ceiling Hoist

If you store your canoe in a garage or shed, a ceiling hoist or pulley system helps you easily get it off the floor and out of the way. You can raise it high enough to park vehicles underneath, and generally keep it safe and dry while leaving floor and wall space for other items.

Do you have a handy accessory you never leave shore without? Let us know about it!

Do you have paddle questions our friendly Customer Service Team can help you with today? Contact them: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]

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