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What to Bring on Your Inflatable Boat Trip

What to Bring on Your Inflatable Boat Trip

A sunny day, gentle waves lapping against your inflatable boat, and the promise of adventure on the horizon. But before you set sail, it’s important to pack wisely. 

Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or a newbie to the water, knowing what essentials to bring can make your trip safer and more enjoyable. This guide will help you prepare for your next inflatable boat trip by ensuring you have everything.

Before you go:

  • Conduct a pre-trip inspection: Ensure a smooth journey by meticulously checking the condition of the boat’s tubes, inspecting electrical components (if applicable), and confirming that everything is properly inflated.
  • Make a float plan: Enhance safety by informing a trusted individual of your intended route, estimated time of departure, expected time of return, and the number of people on board. These precautions create a safety net in emergencies and aid rescuers in locating you swiftly if needed. Remember, taking these simple yet crucial steps before you go ensures a safer and more enjoyable inflatable boat excursion for everyone involved.

Safety Equipment:

  • Life jackets: Prioritize safety by always wearing life jackets while on the water. These crucial pieces of equipment provide buoyancy and can save lives in case of an emergency.
  • Cell phone (in a waterproof case if necessary): Stay connected and accessible by bringing a cell phone with you on your inflatable boat trip. For added protection against water damage, consider storing it in a waterproof case.
  • Food and water: Sustain yourself during your adventure by packing an ample food and water supply. Whether a short outing or an all-day excursion, nourishment ensures you stay energized and hydrated throughout the journey.
  • Compass and nautical charts (as a backup to GPS): Equip yourself with navigation tools such as a compass and nautical charts to supplement your GPS. In the event of GPS failure or signal loss, these traditional navigation aids are reliable backups to help you find your way.
  • Distress signals (flares, sirens, etc.): Prepare for emergencies by carrying distress signals such as flares or sirens. These items can attract attention and signal for help when needed.
  • First-aid kit: Bring a well-stocked first-aid kit for minor injuries and medical emergencies. Include essential items such as bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any necessary medications to address common ailments or injuries. Safety should always be a top priority.

Boat Gear:

  • Air pump: Ensure your inflatable boat stays properly inflated throughout your journey by bringing an air pump. This essential equipment allows you to quickly and easily inflate or top up the boat’s air chambers as needed.
  • Oars: Equip your inflatable boat with oars for manual propulsion, providing you with the means to navigate even if your motor fails or you encounter shallow waters.
  • Anchor and anchor line: Secure your boat when you want to stop or anchor in a specific location. An anchor and an anchor line allow you to control your boat’s position, especially in windy or turbulent conditions.
  • Repair kit (PVC and Tear Aid): Be prepared to address any punctures or tears during your trip by carrying a repair kit specifically designed for repairing PVC materials. Tear Aid patches are particularly useful for quick and reliable fixes.
  • Duct tape: A versatile and indispensable item, duct tape can serve as a temporary fix for various boat repairs or equipment issues that may arise unexpectedly.
  • Seats: Ensure comfort and stability on your inflatable boat by installing seats for you and your passengers. Comfortable seating enhances your overall boating experience, especially during longer excursions.
  • Electric pump adapter (if applicable): If you have an electric pump, don’t forget to bring along the appropriate adapter to ensure compatibility with your inflatable boat’s valves.
  • Knife: Carry a sturdy knife as a versatile tool for various purposes, including cutting ropes, lines, or fishing lines in case of entanglements or emergencies.
  • Tool kit: Be prepared for minor repairs or adjustments by bringing a basic tool kit containing essential tools such as screwdrivers, pliers, and wrenches.
  • Manual bilge pump: Stay prepared for emergencies by having a manual bilge pump on board to remove excess water from the boat in case of leaks or flooding.

Personal Gear 

  • Camera: Bring a camera to capture memorable moments and scenic views during your inflatable boat trip. Whether it’s a waterproof action camera or a smartphone with a protective case, having a camera allows you to document your adventures on the water.
  • Sunglasses: Protect your eyes from glare and harmful UV rays by wearing sunglasses with polarized lenses while out on the water.
  • Fishing hat: Stay comfortable and shielded from the sun’s rays by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, especially if you’ll be spending extended periods fishing or cruising in sunny conditions.
  • Sunscreen: Prevent sunburn and sun damage by applying sunscreen with a high SPF rating before and during your inflatable boat trip. Choose a waterproof formula to ensure long-lasting protection, even while on the water.
  • Fishing license (if applicable): If you plan to fish during your trip, ensure you have a valid fishing license as local regulations require. Obtaining the necessary permits beforehand helps avoid legal issues and supports responsible angling practices.
  • Rain gear: Be prepared for inclement weather by bringing along waterproof rain gear, including a jacket and pants, to stay dry and comfortable if rain showers occur during your trip.
  • Boating operator’s license (if required in your state): Familiarize yourself with local boating regulations and ensure compliance with any licensing or certification requirements for operating a boat in your area. Obtaining the necessary permits or licenses in advance helps ensure a smooth and legal boating experience.

What Not to Bring:

  • Glass containers: Avoid bringing them on board, as they pose a safety hazard if broken and can cause injury or damage to the boat.
  • Excessive valuables: Minimize the risk of loss or damage by leaving unnecessary valuables at home. While it’s essential to have essentials like phones and cameras, consider whether items like expensive jewelry or electronics are truly necessary for your trip.
  • Overly bulky or heavy items: Opt for lightweight and compact gear to avoid overburdening your boat with excessive weight or wasting valuable space. Choose multi-functional items whenever possible to streamline your packing list.
  • Illegal or prohibited substances: Respect local laws and regulations by refraining from bringing any illegal or prohibited substances on board. This includes drugs, weapons, or any other items that may be restricted in your area.
  • Non-biodegradable litter: Help preserve the natural beauty of the waterways by avoiding single-use plastics or other non-biodegradable litter. Pack reusable containers and bags for snacks and drinks, and properly dispose of trash you generate during your trip.
  • Unnecessary electronics: While bringing along gadgets and devices for entertainment is tempting, consider whether they’re essential for your boating experience. Excessive use of electronics can detract from your enjoyment of nature and the peacefulness of the water.
  • Large quantities of food or beverages: Avoid overpacking; excessive quantities can take up valuable space and contribute to unnecessary weight on the boat. Bring only what you’ll realistically consume during your trip, and opt for lightweight, non-perishable items whenever possible.
  • Loud or disruptive items: Respect the tranquility of the natural environment and your fellow boaters by refraining from bringing loud or disruptive items such as loudspeakers or fireworks. Keep noise levels to a minimum to ensure a peaceful and enjoyable experience for everyone on board.

Packing Tips:

  • Pack strategically: Optimize space on your inflatable boat by packing items in waterproof bags or containers and distributing weight evenly to maintain stability. Consider using dry bags or waterproof cases for electronic devices and valuables to protect them from water damage.
  • Consider weight distribution: Distribute heavy items evenly throughout the boat to prevent tipping or instability. Place heavier items in the boat’s center and distribute lighter items towards the bow and stern to maintain balance.
  • Prepare for emergencies: Pack a separate emergency kit containing essentials such as a first-aid kit, distress signals, and a spare repair kit. Store this kit in a readily accessible location on the boat so that you can quickly access it in an emergency.
  • Check weight capacity: Be mindful of your inflatable boat’s weight capacity and avoid overloading it with excessive gear or passengers. Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure you stay within the recommended weight limits for safe operation.
  • Secure loose items: Prevent items from shifting or falling overboard by securing them with straps or bungee cords. This helps keep your boat organized and prevents accidents caused by loose gear.
  • Plan for waste disposal: Dispose of trash responsibly by bringing a small trash bag or container for collecting garbage. Pack out everything you bring in and avoid littering to help preserve the natural beauty of the waterways.
  • Review local regulations: Familiarize yourself with any local regulations or restrictions regarding boating and camping in the area where you’ll be traveling. This includes rules regarding fishing permits, campfire restrictions, and designated camping areas.

Prepare with confidence

Now that you’re prepared with the essential gear for your inflatable boat trip, it’s time to choose the perfect vessel! At Stryker Boats, we’re proud to offer a wide range of high-quality inflatable boats designed for exploration, fishing, and adventure.

Unlike some inflatable boats, Stryker Boats boast ample storage space to comfortably accommodate all your must-have safety equipment, boat gear, and personal items. Whether you’re planning a day trip or a longer excursion, you can rest assured knowing you have everything you need on board without feeling cramped.

Visit our website today to browse our selection of inflatable boats and find the perfect Stryker companion for your next aquatic adventure!