Transporting gear into the Ten Thousand Islands
Transporting gear into the Ten Thousand Islands

My wife and I always seem to take too much camping gear in our 19-foot Cobia Center Console. As I approached a low bridge recently while navigating a narrow, shallow channel, I had to scramble around gear on the deck to release the strap clips so I could lower my Bimini top.

I also made the mistake of storing camping gear above a hatch I needed for dock lines.  How dumb could I be?

As it was, I had already cut back, eliminated some cooking gear.

Taking a few queues from kayaker Warren Richey, who packs far more useful gear in dramatically smaller space, I’m revising my pack checklist.  You can see Warren’s kayak camping checklist here.  https://www.floridarambler.com/florida-best-camping/kayak-camping-checklist/

While requirements for a motorboat are less restrictive, there are lessons to be learned.

CLOTHING

  • Dry-seal duffle bag to contain and protect clothing from water.
  • Broad-brimmed hat or flats hat and baseball cap
  • Lightweight, breathable rain/wind jacket
  • Quick-dry shorts
  • Quick-dry fishing shirt
  • Quick-dry underwear
  • T-shirts (short and long-sleeve)
  • Water shoes
  • Sweatpants and sweatshirt

CAMPING GEAR

Our campsite on the beach at Panther Key
Our campsite on the beach at Panther Key
  • Tent (and poles) or jungle hammock
  • Sand stakes and hard-ground stakes
  • Tent repair kit w/ seam sealer
  • Ground tarp
  • Inflatable mattresses (Boat cushions work, too)
  • Sleeping bags (stuffed in dry bags)
  • Flashlight and/or lantern
  • Bug repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Biodegradable toilet paper
  • Portable potty (optional, but good to have)
  • Biodegradable soap

COOKING GEAR

  • Backpacker’s propane stove
  • Cooking pot
  • Coffee pot
  • Lighter and waterproof matches
  • Forks and spoons
  • Plates and/or bowls (paper is disposable in campfire)
  • Multi-tool with can opener and corkscrew

FOOD AND WATER

  • Maximum-cold marine cooler
  • Gallon jugs of frozen water and drinking water
  • One-pot meals, pre-cooked and frozen ** 
  • Cold cuts, cheese and fresh bread
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Yogurt
  • Granola bars

Related articles

Kayak Camping: Sharkchow’s checklist

Beach Camping in the Ten Thousand Islands