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How much stuff do you take on a day trip?

Glenn MacGrady

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Two different approaches a couple miles down the road from Mia Farrow's house. The aluminum canoeist also has a car battery in there to power his electric motor.

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Okay, the guy in the yellow canoe isn't as parsimonious as it looks. He usually takes two or three paddles to switch among, a water bottle, a small waterproof day bag with some medical and rescue gear and a change of clothes in shoulder seasons, maybe a digital camera in a small Pelican case, and on this particular route. . . egad, the old bones . . . a full size reclining bag chair.

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I typically take a water bottle, a spare paddle, a small first aid kit, and a throw bag. I may or may not bring along some snack foods. If rain is a possibility I will take along a splash jacket. On moving water with any significant current I will have a pin kit of some type. I have never taken a light weight chair on day trips but I am considering doing so in the future.
 
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If I have a kid with me, I have a cooler along for ballast. Plenty of water to drink, sardines and ritz crackers. Minimum 2 paddles, lately 3. Dry bag with towel, sunscreen, binocs… I need to build up a dedicated FAK to stay in my dry bag.
 
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Glenn- that is one beautiful paddle.

A haversack with my fishing gear, canteen/cup, alcohol stove, coffee filled tea bag, and a snack. Fly rod and or spinning rod, PFD, and two paddles of course. If it is the shoulder season, a change of clothes.
 
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I have ruminated about this a bit. If I can walk out of any predicament I might sink myself into I carry , bug repellent, sun screen, water and a spare paddle maybe some duct tape and gauze for ad hoc first aid. A camera but I love taking pix.

If its a day trip in wilderness when I am base camping I carry a ditch bag... Fire starter, saw medical pouch some instant soup a plastic tarp some string, dry clothes especially socks, compass map bug dope. That is if something comes up that I cant return to my cozy campsite until the next day.. like wind..

Not all day trips are alike.
 
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Schenectady, NY
I bring my daypack which always has a lighter, compass, bug repellent, Advil, a multitool, water filter (Sawyer) and water bottle, rain gear, sun glasses, my 3.5 lb Nikon DSLR, paper maps specific to the trip and a pair of dollar store reading glasses (or else leave the maps home!). Depending on the length of the daytrip, snacks or a full blown lunch. Oh, my PFD and paddle are always with me.
No stove.
No chair.
No spare paddle.
No clothes change.

All the clothes I wear are either full synthetic or all wool, hence no need for a spare outfit.
 
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Altoona, Pennsylvania
I take a spare paddle, cooler with lunch, a couple beers, a 12” skottle grille, a stool, a small folding table, a camera, and a dog.

If it looks lake rain, I’ll take a cuben fiber tarp to have lunch under.
 
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Day trips? That's right up my alley. Like everyone else it depends on the weather. I'll pack my wannigan full of clothing, snacks, water, sandwiches and anything else that will fit. That's what it's for, right?
 

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The Hereford Zone along the Mason-Dixon Line
Day trip always gear:

Appropriate clothing and footwear

PFD with rescue knife on lash tab, whistle, $20 bill and spare truck key in pouch in pocket, lighter, expired driver’s license as ID.

Paddle and spare paddle (single blade ad double blade)

Sponge/bailer

Throwbag (even when solo, just cause. . . . . .)

Backband (not just cause, blown L2/L3)

Water bottle, sometimes plural

Essentials bag containing snacks, WP camera, sunglasses, bandana, flashlight, mini 1st aid kit, compass, Leatherman, garbage bag, toilet paper and a folding Silky saw

Day trip sometimes gear, added as needed or desired:

Gloves

Dry bag with spare clothes

Lunch/small cooler

Thermos

Short push pole

Sail

Spray covers

Lunch

Map

Sunscreen/bug repellant

Field Guide(s)

Hunting/fishing license or permits if required
 
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My list is a lot like others here, but varies by the season, destination and expected conditions. Regardless, everything goes in a dry bag and a thwart bag. In addition to what others have said, I bring my inReach mini, a BeFree water filter, rain gear and an emergency blanket. I always have photo gear and in the last couple of years, field recording gear as well.
 
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In warm weather:

Water
Sun block
Hat
Spare paddle
Splash jacket
Hammock
Tarp with stakes
Sunglasses
Snack/lunch
Fishing gear
TP and wag bag
 
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I bring my daypack which always has a lighter, compass, bug repellent, Advil, a multitool, water filter (Sawyer) and water bottle, rain gear, sun glasses, my 3.5 lb Nikon DSLR, paper maps specific to the trip and a pair of dollar store reading glasses (or else leave the maps home!). Depending on the length of the daytrip, snacks or a full blown lunch. Oh, my PFD and paddle are always with me.
No stove.
No chair.
No spare paddle.
No clothes change.

All the clothes I wear are either full synthetic or all wool, hence no need for a spare outfit.
Glad I’m not the only one using the DG reading glasses 🤓
 
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Aberdeen, MD
Normally almost the same stuff I take on a day hike... small backpack, poncho, lunch, junk bag (compass, headlamp, TP, first aid kit, repair kit, notebook/pencil), water bottle. I leave the sit pad at home though, since i have a Crazy Creek folding seat for the canoe.

I add a pair of binos just because I like to see what's ahead of me on the water.

Additional stuff for canoeing is PFD, bailer/sponge, paddle.

Additional stuff for fishing is at least one rod and a small tackle box... sometimes 2 rods and 2 boxes, especially for snakehead.
 
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I take most of the same gear for a day trip as well as a multi day trip. I leave out the tent, sleeping bag, etc. I also take less food for a day trip. I am 70 years old and mostly canoe alone here in Alaska so I need to be self sufficient since there won't be any help coming for me.
 
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Dog, often an extra paddle, water bottle, spare clothes in shoulder season, PFD. That's pretty much it but my day trips are pretty low key, often not more than a few hours, and in the last few years they've been few and far between at all.

Alan
 
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I take a lot of stuff on a whole day trip. This includes at least a tarp and blanket as well as food, water and extra layers. If it's a trip where wind might be a problem I may also bring a small tent. I usually take binoculars and sometimes take a small stove and pot for coffee. I also take an axe, not so much for emergencies, but in case I find a spruce pole that I need to take home.

If you are paddling in remote areas your ditch kit can also come in handy if you have car problems. I found myself stranded when my truck wouldn't start, 8 miles from the main road and cell service. Luckily there was someone still at the launch that gave us a ride or we would have been sleeping in the truck without the ditch kit.
 
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