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Boat Camping Checklist

Last updated on January 27th, 2020 at 01:17 pm

Transporting gear into the Ten Thousand Islands

Transporting gear into the Ten Thousand Islands

My wife and I always seem to take too much gear when boat camping in our 19-foot Cobia Center Console. Approaching 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.

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


  • 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


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


  • 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


  • 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

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The information in this article was accurate when published but can change without notice. Please confirm details when planning your trip by following the links in this article.

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