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 had been the “canoe box”, a plastic shoebox-sized not-quite waterproof box in which the “little stuff” goes. The box served well, but was upgraded, and is now 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. Image

The bag is small enough to easily fit under or behind a seat in the canoe….the line can be used to secure the canoe to a shoreline anchor if needed, and the floating camera strap gets put on the camera when we are in the canoe.


We keep nature guides to help us identify birds and other wildlife, laminated maps,small dry bag for cell phone, QuikPod monopod for “out of boat” shots, a waterproof emergency flashlight, a small emergency kit with matches, reflecting mirror, insect towelettes, and a compass. Oh, and some dog treats, of course!  Our PFD’s have whistles attached to them.

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.


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 penknife/tool
    • Kurgo Pet First Aid Guide or Filed Guide to Dog First Aid (just in case our mind goes blank!)

So, I think that is about it. Many of the items we have never used ( thankfully), and others have become essential, relied-upon gear that we use nearly every trip.  Of course, there are always new gadgets coming out that I think…hmmm, we’ll have to give that a try!  We have recently added a LifeStraw, should we need to rely on “iffy” water sources for hydration. I also picked up some map sealant/waterproofer….I needed a small item to put an REI order into the realm of free shipping, and this met the qualifications. We will see if it is an improvement over lamination of maps with clear Contact paper.


Okay, so this is not a paddling picture…BUT, if you look in the center of the photo, amongt the green hills , there are the blue waters of the Waterbury Reservoir, one of our frequent paddling destinations.



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