How to Choose an Inflatable Boat for Camping

Camping with PVC Inflatable Dinghy Boat

So you want to take your inflatable boat out camping with you, but you’re not sure what kind of inflatable boat to use? Not to worry—there are plenty of options available! You can go big or small, depending on how many people you’ll be sharing the experience with and how much equipment you need. 

Whatever you decide, make sure your camping trip goes smoothly by considering these tips before your journey begins.

Camping With Inflatable Boats

Before deciding on an inflatable boat, you’ll want to consider what kind of camping experience you wish to have. Different boats are designed for different situations and experiences. For example, if you’re looking to get out on a lake with some friends and family, then it might not be so important that your boat is made of heavy-duty material or has room for six people. 

However, if you plan to use your inflatable boats in cold weather or rough seas, it would probably be worthwhile to find one that could handle these conditions well. The kind of activities you hope to engage in also need to figure out which inflatable boat to use. 

If you want to go fishing while out on your trip, finding a model equipped with plenty of storage space for all of your equipment should be high on your list. Just remember: wherever there is water and wilderness, there will always be unexpected things—so expect anything when choosing campsites and never forget about safety even when exploring new environments.

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Choosing a Durable Inflatable Boat

One of the most critical factors you should consider when choosing an inflatable boat for camping is durability. The best way to measure durability is by looking at materials. 

Most inflatable boats are made from PVC vinyl, making them highly durable. When comparing different boats, look closely at how thick their hulls are and look at their seam-sealing techniques. Both of these factors affect how long your boat will last through the wear and tear during camping trips or boating events on open water.

Choosing an Easy to Maneuver Inflatable Boat

If you’re planning on camping out of your inflatable boat, then you’ll want to look into how much weight it can handle. Most people using their inflatable boats for personal watercraft will take a large capacity inflatable boat. Large capacity inflatable boats usually come with seats and many other accessories such as cup holders and cooking equipment to get all your supplies onto your vessel. 

All of these features are great, but they tend to add quite a bit of weight, which is why you should consider choosing an inflatable boat without too many bells and whistles. An easy-to-maneuver inflatable boat is ideal because it won’t be bogged down by too much equipment.

An outboard motor is also another accessory that can be added to inflatable boats of all sizes, making them far more maneuverable in bodies of water. It won’t power up any steep hills, but they are pretty handy if you need just a little bit of extra power when maneuvering through flat water. Please read our article: Choosing the Outboard Motor.

Choosing a Large Capacity Inflatable Boat

If you’re planning on bringing more than four people camping or you want more room to get some gear, it’s a good idea to choose a boat with a larger capacity. Large boats provide enough space and stability for five or six people and some extra supplies and gear. If you plan on fishing while out on your trip, look into bringing along a live well as well—it can help make catching fish easier and provides more storage space.

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Overall, inflatable boats made for large groups have ample storage space, plentiful seating, and sturdy handles to secure yourself down, so you don’t get thrown overboard from high waves or rough waters. They typically have three air chambers, so they will still float even if one should burst during your trip.


Plan your visit to camping and accommodations at Parks Canada.

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