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The RV market is continually aflame with newcomers, both on the customer and manufacturer sides. Because of this boom, prices have gone through the roof, especially for anything in the overlanding camper or adventure travel categories. However, there is another type of RV out there that is often overlooked; boats. Overnight boat camping trips can be just as fun and adventurous with a little bit of preparation. 

an RV camper and a small boat camping set up next to a lake
Boat camping | Discover Boating

Boat camping is the next frontier of adventure travel 

While Instagram is littered with #vanlife posts, there is an adventure travel segment that remains largely untapped. Boat camping is the ultimate summer getaway that can remove you from the hustle and bustle of real-life and put you alone in some of the most remote places in the world. However, like camper van travel, preparation and planning is the difference between beautiful and lasting memories and disaster. 

What do you need to plan an overnight boat camping trip? 

Discover Boating is a site that is all about empowering boaters of all stripes. They have a long list of ideas for things to plan for and keep in mind while preparing for a boat camping trip. 

Just like with RVs, Boats come in all shapes and sizes. Depending on which kind of craft you use, the camping style may vary a bit, but the overall goal remains the same. Although, no matter which kind of boat you use, this kind of adventure travel is unique and exciting. 

For adventure travel, always remember; location, location, location

small sail bot heading out into the lake
small sail boat | Michal Fludra/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Adventure travel comes with a certain amount of uncertainty. For this reason, picking the right location for the trip you want is key. There are a lot of factors to consider while boat camping locations. Seeing as how marine crafts and waterways have specific laws, it is important to research the area you plan to camp in before beaching your boat or dropping anchor.

After picking a location, it is always important to make a physical list of the gear you’ll need. A physical list is key because it makes forgetting things harder when you can read and physically check items off the list. This list can also help to organize your gear onboard since space can often be an issue. 

Prepare your gear before you leave 

Any experienced camper will happily preach the importance of inspecting all your gear before leaving on a camping trip. You want to verify that all the gear you bring along is the right gear for boat camping and that it is in good working condition. It is helpful to check all batteries, chargers, and anything else that might put you in danger if it were to die while traveling. 

Part of preparing for any adventure travel is preparing for your journey and telling someone else who is not traveling with you where you are planning to go. Making a float plan and sharing that with a reliable person is one of the best ways to stay safe on a boat camping trip. 

Boating can be dangerous. Several factors can waylay even the most experienced captains and campers alike. Telling someone where you are planning to be and when you plan to return can be the difference between life and death. If a catastrophic event like engine failure, capsizing or getting incapacitated, there can be someone on land who knows to look for if you are late or missing. 

Make sure to have a ton of fun

Adventure travel can get stressful at times. As long as you prepare and plan, the chances of problems and stress-inducing situations should be dramatically more limited. The point of boat camping is to have fun, after all. Make sure you plan and double-check everything so that the relaxing getaway can actually be relaxing. 


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