Tips for Better Camping on Your Boat

Every camping trip is a learning experience, and this one ranked as one where I could stand to learn a lot. Here are five things I’ll do differently the next time I go boat camping.

[1] Double-check the packing list. Getting wet wood to burn wouldn’t have been an issue had I remembered to bring aboard one key item: a portable propane grill. It would have made cooking a
lot easier at the campsite. I had the spare tank with me and ... the
grill? Never made it aboard.

[2] Allow for a weather day. I should have scheduled an extra day on either end of the trip to account for any unexpected weather, which in this case showed with a vengeance. A day
after calling it quits, the local weather was 58 degrees and sunny.

[3] Store supplies off the boat. This is especially true when the boat is sitting on the trailer under the waterlogged sky. Unless it’s shrink-wrapped, any boat is going to be vulnerable to the
elements. On this trip, all the stuff stowed under my trailering canvas
got soaked.

[4] Leave a float plan. I made the decision to go but, because of the spontaneity, didn’t tell anyone where I was launching and when I expected to be back. Had anything gone wrong, I
could have been stuck for hours. The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary offers
a free float-plan download at

[5] Keep the camera handy. By burying the digital on the bottom of the gear bag, I missed out on way too many photo opportunities with bald eagles.

Source: Boating Magazine

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Tags: boat, camping, tips


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Comment by Vz Pirate on April 5, 2011 at 2:26pm

I support Jim's suggestion on all items, but really would like to stress the float plan.  This one thing will save your life more than any other item.

Some divers out of Tampa Bay area filled a float plan that covered from 0400 hrs on the 4th day of the month until 2300 hrs that same day.  The dive trip will cover a five tank dive at five different locations. That loop will cover 20 some miles out and 20 some miles up coast and return of almost 20 miles.

Their trouble was the boat cracked and sunk with in seconds and there they were in the water 0630 hrs, 21 miles at sea and waiting for someone to come and get them. 

1.)Question when will  the float plan kick into action?

2.)Will the float plan kick into action? Or did that person go to bed knowing that they are die hard divers and they will be home like always?

3.)When will the USCG start looking for the the last boat?

4.)Where will they look, via the float plan, at the beginning of trip or the end of the trip and work back wards.

5.) Will the divers stick to their dive plan?

What do you think?

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