WHAT IS IN YOUR CANOE BAG? Updated Spring 2018!

When we decide to go paddling for a day trip, we have a mental checklist of the gear we need to bring. One of those items is the “canoe bag”, a 5 liter. dry bag, with a clear window, in which we can place the map of that day’s paddling destination. The inclusion of the “Canoe Go-Bag” means we have the most critical emergency supplies we may need, as well as those those items which can just come in handy. The bag is kept packed, and ready to go. Many of the items are duplicates of what is carried in my day pack…by having duplicates, we can insure that whether we are trekking on land, or on the water, we should not be caught short.

canoe bag 3

The bag is small enough to easily fit into a small collapsible camp bucket. That bucket can also be used to secure a throw line, bilge pump,water thermometer, small camera gear, or any other gear you we want close by. The bucket fits right behind/below my canoe seat for easy access.

canoe bag 4


In the bag are kept a waterproof emergency flashlight, a small waterproof case with waterproof matches,  sunscreen, reflecting mirror, insect towelettes, Purinize tablets, extra section of line,  and a compass. Oh, and some emergency dog treats, of course!  Our PFD’s have whistles attached to them, but an extra whistle is kept in the bag.

canoe bag 1


We also have a first aid kit, with items suitable for dogs, humans, or both….The small soft bag fits nicely in the canoe dry bag.

canoe bag 2


In this first aid kit, we keep the following items:

    • Space blanket — helpful should we have the need to stave off some hypothermia
    • Dog booties (cordura)–we have unfortunately encountered broken glass on some of our access areas, and the booties can help keep a dog’s paw bandaged/protected.
    • gloves (non-latex)
    • Triangular bandage
    • Gauze wrap, pads, tape, band-aids
    • Vet wrap
    • People Rx ( i.e. vitamin I)
    • Liquid Benadryl caplets,in case we need to give to dogs
    • Peroxide ( for inducing vomiting)
    • Sharpie pen
    • Tick remover
    • Length of pantyhose for muzzle
    • Small pen-knife/tool
    • Dental Floss and needle; for emergency repair of gear (or people if necessary)
    • Kurgo Pet First Aid Guide or Field Guide to Dog First Aid (just in case our mind goes blank!)

This is our basic “go-to” canoe bag for day trips. It has served us well, and thankfully, we have not had to utilize its contents for an emergency. As we travel further afield, and as we hear of unfortunate incidents happening to other paddlers and their dogs, we recognize the importance of being prepared. Better to have an item and never need it, than need it one time in a critical incident. Safe Paddling!



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