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How To: Go SUP Camping on a Multi-Day Paddleboarding Adventure

Posted by Lydia Burdett

If you’re into touring and exploring on your SUP, and enjoy nights under canvas, maybe you’re keen to upgrade your adventure to a multi-day paddleboarding expedition. Camping overnight opens up a whole new world of paddling possibilities – but thorough preparation is key to a successful SUP camping expedition. 

So let’s look at how to plan your multi-day paddleboarding adventure…

Where to Go

The first thing you’ll need to do when planning your multi-day paddleboarding adventure is to choose a destination! You might choose to go SUP camping in a properly remote location to really get away from it all. Or maybe your best bet for an overnighter is only accessible by water? Remember that not all adventures have to be in the wilderness. Instead of wild camping, you could always plan a trip that stops for the night at a recognised campsite.

Route Planning

Plan your route carefully, considering the weather, water conditions, and hazards. You must also understand the water in terms of currents, flow and/or tides.

Think about what impact various directions and strengths of wind could have on conditions, your board speed and paddling ability. Be realistic about the distances you’re comfortably able to cover. Ideally, design the route so that conditions (ie; wind and/or current) help you paddle home in the end.

Most importantly, make sure you’ll be paddling within your capabilities and always have back-up options in mind in case things don’t go to plan. Then be prepared to adapt to the latest weather forecast and/or changing conditions as necessary. 

Permissions / Licences

Check the waterway access rights, as most UK inland (ie; freshwater, and many river estuary/harbour) locations require a licence of some kind for paddleboarding. Usually, no licence is required to paddle on the sea. There are of course exceptions to both of these ‘rules’ though! 

For the SUP camping part of your adventure, make sure you know who the landowner is and that you have permission to camp. In some parts of the UK, an official campsite might be your only viable option.

Staying Safe

Safety is paramount. Arrange ground support if possible, or at least inform someone of your plans and when you’ll be back. Ideally, go with a buddy. Understand the weather forecast and water conditions, and always plan your routes accordingly.

Alongside an appropriate Safety Leash and SUP Buoyancy Aid or Waistbelt PFD for paddling, carry a reliable means of communication. Remember that mobile phones won’t always have coverage out in the wilds, so take a backup emergency comms device such as a personal locator beacon, sat-phone, VHF radio or similar. Everything needs to be fully charged, ideally with the means to recharge too.

Pack a first aid kit, and know what to do in case of emergency. Hopefully your own ground support can help. If not, you definitely need to know the local emergency procedures.

Paddling Kit

In terms of board choice, a long, stable tourer will allow you to cover longer distances in comfort. Paddleboard camping requires much more kit than you’d normally carry, so you need a floaty, voluminous board with luggage systems on the nose and tail. Our market-leading Voyager expedition paddleboards are absolutely ideal. Or, if you need to hike into the launch, our super-light 12'0" Compact PACT MSL rolls down into a half-size bag.

Don’t forget an appropriate Safety Leash and PFD – in fact, our SUP Buoyancy Aid doubles as a bodywarmer for the evening and a makeshift pillow overnight.

If you have a high-quality Paddle you really shouldn’t need to carry a spare – but if you wanted a back-up, our 5-piece Collapsible SUP Paddle is perfect to save space. Similarly, with a Red inflatable you’re very unlikely to need a pump. Just check beforehand that your board holds full pressure overnight – if you think you’ll need to top it up, pack a Titan II Pump.

What to Wear

Dress in layers to adjust to changing conditions – in low water and/or air temperatures, include a neoprene core. Choose breathable, wicking, windproof layers such as our Performance Technical Clothing, plus carry a full set of dry clothes in a waterproof bag for the evening and/or day two.

Suitable footwear will protect from injuries when launching and landing on unfamiliar shores – amphibious water shoes like our Red X Clarks are ideal.

What to Take

You’ll definitely need a Waterproof Kit Bag to pack everything into – plus a Deck Bag and Dry Pouch for easy access to your tech and valuables. Your packs should include all of your essentials for overnight camping and emergencies, including an ultra-light tent or bivvy, sleeping mat, and possibly pillow – although a Buoyancy Aid or spare clothing can provide enough comfort to rest your head. Our Pro Change Robe EVO compressed into a Stash Bag is a genuinely multi-use garment. As well as keeping you warm and cosy before and after paddling, it can replace a bulky sleeping bag overnight.

Other SUP camping must-haves are a Microfibre Towel, headtorch/lamp, toileting kit (if wild camping), plus insect repellent and/or netting.

Food & Drink

Of course, it’s important that you have enough food for the whole of your trip. Possibly something to cook it on too, like a compact stove or burner. You could also rehydrate a meal with some hot water which will stay boiling hot for 12 hours in our Insulated Drinks Bottle

Water absolutely mustn’t be overlooked, as you can’t risk getting dehydrated – but it is pretty heavy. A hydration pack is certainly a good idea. But to save on weight, rather than carrying all your freshwater supplies on board you might consider a water filter/purification system to use what’s naturally available.

Remember to minimise waste – and of course, take absolutely everything back home with you.


Properly planned, SUP camping should be a lot of fun – so get out there, leave no trace, and enjoy your multi-day paddleboard adventure…