We always seem to take too much gear when boat camping in our 19-foot Cobia Center Console.
Approaching a low bridge while navigating a shallow channel recently, I scrambled around gear on the deck to release the strap clips so I could lower my Bimini top.
I also made the mistake of stacking camping gear above a hatch where I stored dock lines. How dumb is that?
As it was, I had already cut back on cooking gear.
Still, one must take into account the unique needs of camping from a boat, especially wind, water and rapidly changing weather.
Taking a few queues from kayaker Warren Richey, who packs far more useful gear in dramatically smaller space, I’m revising my checklist. While requirements for a motorboat are less restrictive, there are lessons to be learned from Warren’s frugal approach.
Read: Kayak Camping: Sharkchow’s checklist
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- Dry-seal duffle bag to contain and protect clothing from water.
- Broad-brimmed sun hat or baseball cap
- Lightweight, breathable rain jacket
- Quick-dry shorts
- Quick-dry shirt
- Quick-dry underwear
- T-shirts (short and long-sleeve)
- Water shoes
- Sweatpants and sweatshirt (in winter)
- Tent (and poles) or jungle hammock
- Sand stakes and hard-ground stakes
- Tent fabric patch kit, seam sealer
- Ground tarp, which is also a quick set-up emergency shelter
- Boat cushions (use as mattress)
- Sleeping bags (stuffed in dry bags)
- Waterproof flashlight or lantern
- Bug repellent or Thermacell Mosquito Repeller
- Biodegradable body wipes and/or toilet tissue
- Portable potty (optional)
- Biodegradable soap
- Backpacker’s 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
- Marine cooler
- Gallon jugs of frozen drinking water
- One-pot meals, pre-cooked and frozen **
- Cold cuts, cheese and fresh bread
- Fruits, vegetables
- Granola bars
Related article: Beach Camping in the Ten Thousand Islands
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Bob Rountree is a beach bum, angler and camper who has explored Florida for decades. No adventure is complete without a scenic paddle trail or unpaved road to nowhere. Bob co-founded FloridaRambler.com with fellow journalist Bonnie Gross 12 years ago.