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Paddle Board Camping Tips

Paddle Board Camping Tips

Camping is one of the most fun activities you can do. People have been going on canoe and kayak camping trips for centuries ago. Recently, water sports enthusiasts have started enhancing their camping experiences through paddle board camping. With numerous open glacial lakes, smooth-flowing rivers, little waterways, and curving coastlines where you can paddle from shore to shore and between islands, it's no wonder sup camping has gained a massive following in recent decades.

Paddleboard owners can use paddle boards to visit unique camping destinations with friends or family. Sup expeditions, just like traditional camping, are quite simple. It can be an overnight expedition, a weekend excursion, or a multi-week camping trip.

While paddleboarding and camping can be an excellent outdoor event, it can be hard to plan a successful sup camping trip. Where do you start your sup camp planning? Where do you go? How much should you pack? How do you ensure your safety during your first sup camping trip? All these questions and many others may be crossing your mind. Therefore, we've gathered a few helpful sup camping tips to guide you on planning the perfect campout.

What is SUP Camping?

Sup camping is a combination of camping and stand up paddleboarding. The activities of paddle board camping are much similar to those of regular overnight or regular camping. The only difference is that you'll need a paddle board and accessories such as a dry bag and a fast-drying swimsuit or workout outfit.

You can experience SUP expeditions in several ways. First, you can erect a base camp and explore the surrounding areas while returning to the same camp daily. Alternatively, you can pack all your camping gear on your paddle board while going on your camping adventure each day. The first style is easier and suited for paddle boarding beginners. The latter style is excellent for skilled and adventurous paddleboarders.

SUP enthusiasts camping at a river bank

How to Prepare for a SUP Camping Trip?

The key to an excellent paddleboarding camp experience is proper planning. Your planning should consider important factors, including:

  • Experience level

  • Touring paddle boards type

  • Weather conditions

  • Paddling location

  • Number of camping days

  • The distance you want to cover

Stand up Paddle Boarding Experience

Your paddle board skill level will greatly impact your paddling experience. Experienced paddleboarders can manage to paddle long distances and withstand paddling in almost any water body, regardless of water conditions. Since different paddling locations come with hazards, it would be best for beginners to consider friendly locations with calmer waters.

In addition, beginners should take it easy on their first overnight trip. Perhaps, you can start your first trip on a calm lake and slowly advance to rivers with time and experience. we also recommend

Paddling Location

There are numerous water bodies suitable for stand-up paddle boarding; It could be a slow-flowing river, the ocean, or even some lesser-known lake bank. Different locations come with different risks to consider. Some are suitable for sup camping beginners, while others are ideal for only experienced paddlers.

Before setting out on a paddling adventure, it would be best if you considered a location best suited for your skill level. For beginners, we recommend a location with flat water and less wildlife.

Paddling Distance and Camping Length

Your camping plan is incomplete without considering the number of days and the distance to cover on your sup adventure. First, you'll need to determine the length of your multi day adventure, then map out the route you'll take.

You'll want to take a short paddling distance for your first sup camping trip. Five miles per day is an excellent start. You can build up your paddling tour distance with more time and experience

What to Pack for a SUP Camping Trip?

Packing is often a daunting experience for most people. Whether for a road trip, canoe camping, or any type of trip, it's crucial to prepare a packing list containing all the gear that will make your SUP camping more fun. You'll need to balance weight and space when packing gear on your paddle board.

The best thing about SUP trips is that you don't need to pare down your luggage, unlike regular backpacking or car camping. In fact, the extra weight will play a massive role in your paddle board's stability, so you're less affected by the tides and wind.

For your SUP camping trip checklist, you'll need to consider the following categories of gear:

  • Camping gear

  • Safety gear

  • SUP equipment

  • Food and Water

SUP Equipment

The most important equipment for your sup camp is a paddle board. Your paddle board will work as your transport vessel. Other essential equipment for an epic SUP adventure includes:

  • Paddle boards (preferably an inflatable sup)

  • Hand pump to inflate your SUP board

  • SUP leash

  • A paddle; we recommend carrying a spare paddle

  • paddle holder

  • instant repair kit

Camping gear

Camping gear contains an extensive list of things you'll need for a successful SUP expedition. Essential gear to add to when packing gear includes:

  • Tent or hammock

  • sleeping bag

  • a dry bag

  • Quick dry clothes

  • small camping gas or stove

  • compass

  • toiletries

  • Sun protection lotion

  • torch

  • insect repellant

  • Hat or Cape for sun protection

Dry bag

Safety Gear

Nature is uncontrollable, and sometimes you cannot predict weather conditions. But when the worst happens, you must be ready to tackle the situation and ensure your safety.

To adequately prepare for paddleboarding risks, you'll need to pack the following gear:

  • A personal flotation device (PFD) or a safety life jacket

  • Ditch bag (a dry bag to keep your valuables attached to yourself)

  • A whistle

  • First aid kit

  • Sunscreen

  • Waterproof map

Food and Water

While paddling deep in the wilderness, you'll unlikely find an eatery to fill your stomach. So, you'll need to carry food to fuel your body. Opt for traditional camping meats and easy-to-cook food such as:

  • Cereal bars and nuts

  • Milk Powder

  • Dried meat or fruit

  • Instance coffee

  • canned food like tinned beans and tuna

  • Halloumi

  • one pot meals

Hydration is critical for any outdoor adventure. However, carrying all the water, you might need for your multi day adventure could way you down. Consider purchasing a water filter to use the water that surrounds you.

How to Get in Paddling Shape

Whenever you're paddling, you engage muscles and joints to perfect the activity. Getting in shape and maintaining in shape for SUP will help you enhance your skills, enjoy doing SUP, and prevent injuries.

If you're planning a SUP getaway, you should train and exercise and practice paddling regularly to make paddleboarding easier.

Paddleboarding Training Tips

It's quite easy to get some form of trauma during water sporting. Whether it's muscle tightness, imbalance, or minor tissue injury, every paddler will experience some discomfort. To help avoid injuries, paddlers can train on modalities such as strength, mobility, stability, and flexibility to improve performance.


Mobility allows you to move from place to place and easily change from one condition to another with fluidity and ease. You can use mobility training as a warm-up before a paddleboarding session. Mobility exercises you can indulge in include lunge twists, cat/cow, worm crawl, and torso twists with elbow.


When you have low mobility, you'll compensate by using tendons, muscles, and ligaments. Strength and stability allow your joints to align properly while reducing stress on connective tissues.

A full-body workout routine can help engage all your main muscle groups.


Flexibility increases with an increase in muscle length. It improves joint motion leading to enhanced joint mobility and stability. Flexibility training usually happens at the end of a workout session.

When performing flexibility exercises, it's critical to hold your stretch between 30-90 seconds.

Best SUP Type for camping Trips

SUP trip can be done on most types of paddle boards. However, it would be best to choose a broad specifically designed for touring as they come with additional space to store your gear. It's also advisable to pick up inflatable paddle boards because they're super light, foldable, and easy to transport and store.

While solid boards may be bulky to carry around, they perform better in all water conditions. They're faster, smoother, and easy to maneuver. The choice of a paddleboard will entirely depend on your personal preference.

Choosing the right Paddle Board

There're some key factors to consider when buying a board for your outdoor trip:

  • Length - the best length for a SUP is between 11 and 12 inches. Longer paddleboards are easier to paddle and accelerate easily.

  • Width - With increased width comes stability and more space to store gear. Ideally, it would help if you had a 31-inch width minimum board size.

  • Attachment points - It's important to attach your gear for sup camping. Ensure the board of your choice has hooks for your own straps or straps or a gear net already attached.

A inflatable paddle board for camping

How to load your SUP for a camping trip?

Did you know you can do SUP camping on most paddle boards? However, choosing a paddle board that has been designed with touring in mind and has sufficient deck space to store your gear can make your trip more enjoyable. 

Packing for a SUP trip can be stressful. Pack smart, light, and efficient while saving space and weight on your paddle board. 

With all gears packed in coolers and at least three watershed dry bags with varying sizes, load your heavier equipment at the back of the board, saving the front part for lightweight dry bags. 

Ensure the weight is evenly distributed across your SUP with less weight at the front, so the nose does not dip in the water.

 A paddle board packed with camping gear at the back

Lastly, secure your gear in place with bungees, carabiner clips, or ropes.

It may take a few paddle boarding trips to find the perfect way to load your SUP, but the more you do it, the more you know what works for you and what doesn't.

Where Can I camp for SUP Camping Trips?

Choosing the best place for SUP camping is like choosing a location for any other outdoor adventure. Whether it's your first SUP camping trip or you are an experienced paddler, setting up your camp in a place with easy access to calm waters is vital.

While you may be looking for somewhere different from where you stay, here are basic principles to guide you on where to camp:

  • Go to a discreet area with no settlements or houses around.

  • Camp in an area with excellent and beautiful views.

  • Avoid private lands unless you have permission from the owner. 

  • Get a sheltered area with dry and flat ground.

  • Avoid narrow river valleys.

  • Ensure the location is close to safe drinking water if possible.  

  • Check for current and expected weather forecasts before heading out.

You can find grounds for your SUP camping trip along your route that have excellent access to water or are directly on the water's edge. Such areas have facilities and amenities that can make your camping experience enjoyable and memorable. 

Remember to map your route and prepare for your overnight SUP trip, weekend, multi-day camp, or legendary multi-week expedition. 

SUP camping is easiest with little winds and calm waters, and it's easy to find these conditions on small lakes. 

The best thing about paddle boarding camps is that you don't have to stay on dry land once you reach your destination. Get started adventuring on the lake, river, or ocean. 

How to Choose a Campsite for SUP Camping?

If you're planning to go on your first SUP trip, you're probably looking for the perfect campsite. Choosing a campsite for SUP camping depends on various factors, including

  • Where you're located

  • Your paddling skill level

  • Finances

  • How far are you willing to travel?

  • Weather forecast

  • Water levels and surf conditions, including currents and tides

  • Time

Like every camping trip or outdoor activity, keeping a few things in mind while exploring and adventuring in the wilderness is imperative. The nature of paddle boarding means you'll always camp close to water, bringing a few challenges.

  • Terrain - What kind of terrain are you going to encounter?

  • Wildlife - SUP camping will get you to wild places with incredible creatures. From fish to birds, to large mammals to dangerous poisonous snakes. Moreover, the beautiful tranquil beaches ideal for SUP camping may be habitats for large wildlife. So check the area well before settling in for your night.

  • Dams - If you're touring a lake and choose to stay on its edge, check if it is dammed. Otherwise, you might feel the water lapping your feet in the middle of the night. 

  • Bugs _ Depending on the season and location, you run the risk of mosquitoes, especially since you are camping near water. You may need to adjust your packing list to include insect repellants or mosquito nets. 

As you enjoy your SUP camping tip, leave no trace behind. Leave only your paddling trail and footprints behind. Always be respectful of nature and carry all your trash home.

The Takeaway

Preparing for a SUP trip could not be easier without the tips mentioned above. If you're a newbie to SUP, remember to start small and slow and build it up. Always check the weather updates, plan your route properly, and, most importantly, exercise. So. pick up your favorite board and have the time of your life SUP camping.

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