Camping on Your Boat – Checklist

You can get a lot of inspiration from boating camping, 4X4 camping and hiking camping. Here are the unique things to remember when camping in your boat:

Safety and Security

  • Carry all boating safety gear for your region
  • Check the weather, conditions can change quickly and become dangerous
  • Have first aid gear – not just general but also snake bite kit and vinegar for stinger bites
  • Enough water for your trip and back up options
  • Emergency boarding ladder ready to go
  • Be educated on dangerous animals in your area (Land and an in water)
  • Understand the hazards such as submerged logs, visibility, shallow water, Other boats, navigation aids, Over head cables, cables ferries, etc
  • Ensure personal security. Be aware, look for signs (rubbish), lockable cabinets and boat security, carbon monoxide and other vapor risks
  • Core temperature control – in and out of the water
  • File a trip plan with a friend or coast guard


  • Take care anchoring. Look for smooth bottoms, keep the boat in the direction of the wind, keep away possible falling trees on bank, be aware of current and tide variation
  • Ideally have shelters that keep rain out of the boat. A heavy downpour can sink a small boat
  • DIY tarps work well when lashed to the boat
  • Consider the wind, temperature and insect conditions in your area
  • Control condensation with ventilation and sponges
  • Ensure your sleeping gear can keep you warm if it is wet
  • Have layered clothing sets to easily adjust to conditions


  • Smaller containers of water are easier to carry and make it easy to adjust weight distribution around the boat
  • Carry fresh water filters for emergency use
  • Consider desalination options if travelling more remotely or on in salt water
  • Carry a tarp to catch rain water


  • By all means take a cooler or refrigerator if you like, but keep a good supply of food that does not need cooling
  • Keep it simple
  • Keep food in watertight containers
  • Be careful cooking on your boat. Fire hazards, fuel vapors, carbon monoxide poisoning and other risks are real!
  • Vacuum sealed food lasts longer
  • Keep cooking gear simple and easy to maintain (have a back up)

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