Why Inflatable Paddle Boards are Perfect for Camping

Camping is a beloved outdoor activity that allows people to reconnect with nature, unwind, and create lasting memories. But for those looking to take their camping experience to the next level, inflatable paddle boards, also known as iSUPs, offer a unique and exciting way to explore the great outdoors. In this blog, we will delve into the rising trend of SUP camping, the utility of inflatable paddle boards, how to select the right iSUP for your camping trip, and tips for traveling, setting up camp, and maximizing the fun factor with your iSUP. So grab your paddle and let's dive in!

The Rising Trend of SUP Camping

SUP camping, or stand-up paddleboard camping, is a rising trend that combines the thrill of paddling with the freedom to explore and camp in remote locations. It is a unique form of adventure where paddle boards serve as a means of travel and a place to rest. What sets SUP camping apart from traditional camping is the ability to access hard-to-reach areas, including secluded waterways, pristine beaches, and hidden coves. This growing trend is gaining popularity for the complete outdoor experience it offers, merging water-based and land-based activities into a single adventure.

What is SUP Camping?

Two Glide Paddle Boads on a river shore with a woman in a hammock in the background

SUP camping involves using inflatable paddle boards as a mode of transportation and accommodation for camping trips. Instead of relying on traditional modes of travel, such as hiking or kayaking, campers paddle their iSUPs to reach their desired camping spot. Once they arrive, the paddle board doubles as a comfortable lounge platform. SUP camping allows for a seamless transition between paddling, exploring, and sleeping, making it a convenient and exciting way to immerse oneself in the great outdoors.

Why SUP Camping is Gaining Popularity

SUP camping is gaining popularity for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, it offers a complete outdoor experience, combining the thrill of paddling with the freedom to explore and camp in remote locations. It provides a unique opportunity to connect with nature, basking in the tranquility of the water while camping along the shore. Additionally, SUP camping is appealing for its versatility, allowing campers to paddle to hard-to-reach areas and access secluded spots that are inaccessible by other means of travel. The convenience and flexibility of SUP camping, along with the sense of adventure it brings, is what is making it a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts.

Understanding the Utility of Inflatable Paddle Boards

In order to fully comprehend the value of inflatable paddle boards for camping, it is essential to define what iSUPs are and the advantages they offer. Let's delve into the world of inflatable paddle boards to better understand their utility for your camping adventures.

Defining Inflatable Paddle Boards (iSUPs)

Inflatable paddle boards, or iSUPs, are designed for easy transport and storage, making them the ideal choice for camping. Unlike solid paddle boards, iSUPs can be deflated, rolled up, and packed into a backpack or travel bag, allowing for hassle-free transportation to your camping destination. iSUPs are constructed using durable materials, such as PVC, to ensure rigidity and durability when inflated, making them a reliable option for water-based activities during your camping trip. Their lightweight nature also makes them easier to maneuver and carry, providing a great advantage for campers on the go.

Advantages of Using an iSUP for Camping

Tent and a Glide Paddle Board on a lake shore

Using an iSUP for camping offers a multitude of advantages. Firstly, iSUPs provide the portability required for accessing remote camping spots. Their inflatable nature allows for easy transportation to your desired location, whether it's a serene lake, a tranquil river, or a secluded beach. iSUPs also offer a stable platform for a range of activities, making them a versatile choice for paddlers of all skill levels. Whether you're fishing, practicing yoga, or simply exploring waterways, iSUPs provide the stability needed to enjoy your chosen water-based activity. Furthermore, iSUPs are durable, making them capable of handling the rigors of a camping excursion, and their easy storage and transportation make them a hassle-free option for your outdoor adventures. The versatility of iSUPs is a key factor in elevating your camping experience, as they offer the opportunity to engage in a wide range of water-based activities, making your trip truly unforgettable.

Selecting the Right iSUP for Your Camping Trip

Now that we understand the value of iSUPs for camping, it is crucial to know how to select the right iSUP for your specific needs. Let's explore the factors to consider when choosing an iSUP and discover some recommended models for your camping adventures.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an iSUP

When selecting an iSUP for your camping trip, there are a few key factors to keep in mind. First, durability is essential, as you want your board to withstand the rigors of the great outdoors. Look for iSUPs made of durable materials, such as high-quality PVC, to ensure longevity. Portability is another crucial factor, as the whole point of using an iSUP for camping is to have a board that is lightweight and easy to transport. Consider the board's weight, dimensions, and the ease of inflation and deflation to ensure hassle-free travel. Additionally, versatility is important, as you'll want a board that can handle various water conditions, from flat water to light waves, to cater to your paddleboarding preferences during your camping trip. Lastly, warranty is worth considering, as a solid warranty is a testament to the manufacturer's confidence in the board's durability and longevity, providing you with peace of mind for your camping adventures.

Recommended iSUP Models for Camping

When it comes to selecting the right iSUP for your camping trip, a few models stand out for their durability, portability, and versatility. These recommended iSUP models have been chosen for their ability to meet the specific needs of campers seeking a reliable and versatile watercraft for their outdoor excursions. Some of the top iSUP models for camping include the Bote Aero, Thurso Surf, Isle Switch, Gili, Bluefin, and the Glide lineup, to name a few. These boards offer a great balance of durability, portability, and performance, making them the perfect companions for your paddleboard camping adventures.

How to Pack Your iSUP for Multi-Day Excursions

Once you've chosen the perfect iSUP for your camping trip, the next step is to pack it efficiently for your multi-day excursion. Proper packing techniques can save space, ensure the safety of your iSUP, and allow for a hassle-free travel experience. Let's explore some packing tips to make the most of your inflatable paddle board for your camping adventures.

Packing Techniques to Save Space

When packing your iSUP for a multi-day excursion, space-saving is a top priority. Here are a few techniques to help you pack your inflatable board efficiently:

  • Roll your iSUP tightly: Start by deflating your board fully, ensuring all the air is released. Then, roll the board tightly, starting from the fin side, to expel any remaining air. This will create a compact bundle that can be easily packed into a backpack or travel bag.
  • Utilize the travel bag wisely: Invest in a travel bag designed for inflatable paddle boards, as they are specifically designed to accommodate the board's shape and accessories. Utilize the bag's compartments to pack your paddle, fin, leash, and other accessories, making the most of the available space.
  • Consider a board bag for extra protection: If you anticipate rough handling or want to provide additional protection to your iSUP, consider investing in a board bag. These bags are padded to prevent any damage to your board during travel, ensuring it arrives at your camping destination unscathed.
  • Pack your iSUP last: If you're traveling to your camping destination by car, pack your iSUP last to ensure easy access when you arrive. This will also prevent the board from getting damaged or compressed by the weight of other items during the journey.

By employing these space-saving packing techniques, you can ensure your inflatable paddle board is packed securely, leaving you with ample space for other essential camping gear.

Essential Gear to Pack Along

While your inflatable paddle board is a crucial component of your camping trip, there are a few essential accessories to pack to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Here is a list of must-have accessories for your paddle board camping adventure:

  • Life jacket or personal flotation device (PFD): Safety should always be a priority, especially when engaging in water-based activities. Packing a life jacket or a PFD is essential to ensure your safety while paddling, particularly if you're a beginner paddler or will be paddling in areas with stronger currents or waves.
  • Dry bag: A dry bag is a great investment to keep your personal belongings dry and secure during your paddleboard camping excursion. It is a waterproof bag that can hold your phone, wallet, keys, and other valuables, ensuring they stay dry, even if your iSUP happens to take a dip in the water.
  • Sleeping bag: A sleeping bag is a must for a comfortable night's rest. Choose a lightweight, packable sleeping bag designed for camping to ensure a good night's sleep, even in the great outdoors.
  • SUP accessories: Depending on your preferences, you may want to pack additional SUP accessories, such as a kayak seat for added comfort, a deck pad for a solid stand, or a coiled leash for increased safety.
  • Tent or Hammock to protect against the elements and insects.

By packing these essential accessories, you'll be well-prepared for a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable paddleboard camping excursion.

Ensuring Safety and Comfort

When embarking on a paddle board camping trip, it is essential to prioritize safety and comfort to make the most of your outdoor adventure. Here are a few tips to ensure a safe and comfortable experience with your iSUP:

  • Be aware of water conditions: Before paddling, familiarize yourself with the water conditions, including the current, waves, and any potential hazards. This will allow you to make informed decisions and paddle safely during your camping trip.
  • Dress appropriately: Wear appropriate clothing for the water conditions, ensuring you're dressed for the weather and the water temperature. Consider wearing a wetsuit or a rash guard to protect your skin from the sun and any potential scrapes or cuts.
  • Use the leash: Always attach your leash to your ankle or calf to ensure your iSUP stays within reach, even if you fall off the board. The leash is a crucial safety accessory, preventing your board from drifting away from you, especially in windy conditions or strong currents.
  • Stay hydrated: Pack plenty of water to stay hydrated during your paddle board camping trip. Paddling is a physically demanding activity, and it's important to replenish your fluids to maintain your energy levels.
  • Protect yourself from the sun: Apply sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays, even on cloudy days. Consider wearing a hat, sunglasses, and a lightweight, long-sleeved shirt to provide additional protection.

By following these safety and comfort tips, you can ensure a worry-free paddle board camping trip, allowing you to fully enjoy the great outdoors.

Traveling with Your iSUP

While inflatable paddle boards are designed for portability, traveling with your iSUP requires a few additional considerations. Let's explore some tips for flying with your iSUP, transporting it on the ground, and ensuring its protection during travel.

Tips for Flying with an iSUP

If your paddle board camping adventure involves air travel, here are a few tips to make the process hassle-free:

  • Research airline policies: Before booking your flight, research the specific policies of the airline regarding inflatable paddle boards. Some airlines may have size, weight, or packing requirements, so it's important to understand and comply with these regulations to avoid any issues at the airport.
  • Deflate your iSUP: Deflate your iSUP fully, ensuring all the air is released, before packing it for your flight. This will make the board more compact and easier to pack into a travel bag or suitcase.
  • Protect your iSUP: Consider using a board bag or a travel bag designed for inflatable paddle boards to provide an extra layer of protection during air travel. These bags are padded to prevent any damage to your board, making it a worthwhile investment for frequent flyers.
  • Pack your accessories separately: If you're traveling with accessories, such as a paddle, fin, or leash, pack them separately to prevent any damage to your iSUP during transportation. Place them in a bag or a suitcase to ensure they remain secure throughout the journey.

By following these tips, you can travel with your iSUP hassle-free, ensuring it arrives safely at your paddleboard camping destination.

Ground Transportation with an iSUP

When traveling to your paddle board camping spot, whether it's a road trip or public transportation, here are a few tips for transporting your iSUP on the ground:

  • Utilize a board bag or a travel bag: Similar to air travel, using a board bag or a travel bag for your iSUP is a great way to protect your board from any potential damage during ground transportation. These bags provide padding and a secure enclosure for your iSUP, ensuring it remains in pristine condition throughout the journey.
  • Secure your iSUP: If you're traveling by car, make sure to secure your iSUP properly to avoid any shifting or potential damage during the ride. Use straps or bungee cords to secure the board to the roof rack, ensuring a snug fit.
  • Consider inflatable roof racks: If your vehicle doesn't have a roof rack, inflatable roof racks are a great alternative for securely transporting your iSUP. These inflatable racks can be easily installed and provide a stable platform for your board, allowing for hassle-free transportation.

By implementing these ground transportation tips, you can travel confidently, knowing your iSUP is protected and secure for your paddleboard camping excursion.

Protecting Your iSUP During Travel

Whether you're traveling by air, land, or water, protecting your iSUP is of utmost importance to ensure its durability and longevity. Here are a few tips to safeguard your inflatable paddle board during travel:

  • Avoid extreme temperatures: Inflatable paddle boards are designed to withstand a range of conditions, but it's best to avoid exposing your board to extreme temperatures for extended periods of time. Excessive heat can cause the board to expand, while extreme cold can make the material more brittle, potentially leading to damage.
  • Inspect your board for damage: Before and after each travel excursion, inspect your iSUP for any signs of damage, such as punctures, tears, or leaks. If you notice any issues, address them promptly to prevent further damage during your paddleboard camping trip.
  • Store your board properly: When your iSUP is not in use, store it properly to maintain its durability. Keep it in a dry, cool place, away from direct sunlight, to prevent the material from deteriorating. Make sure to fully dry your board before storing it to avoid the growth of mold or mildew.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure the protection of your iSUP during travel, making it a reliable companion for your paddleboard camping adventures for years to come.

Setting Up Camp with Your iSUP

Glide Inflatable Paddle Board on top of a set up rooftop tent in a winter wonderland.

Once you've arrived at your paddleboard camping spot, the next step is to set up camp and make the most of your iSUP. Let's explore the importance of choosing the right spot, campsite rules and etiquette, and how to maximize your camping experience with your iSUP.

Choosing the Right Spot

Choosing the right camping spot is essential for a successful paddleboard camping trip. Here are a few factors to consider when selecting your ideal camping location:

  • Accessibility to water: Since your iSUP is your means of travel and exploration, choose a camping spot that provides easy access to water. Look for a spot near a lake, river, or ocean, ensuring you can paddle directly from your campsite.
  • Scenic beauty: Consider the natural beauty of the area when choosing your paddleboard camping spot. Look for a location with stunning views, serene surroundings, and the potential for breathtaking sunsets or sunrises.
  • Privacy and seclusion: If you value privacy and seclusion, opt for a camping spot that is away from crowded areas or heavily trafficked waterways. This will allow for a more peaceful and intimate paddleboard camping experience.
  • Amenities and facilities: Depending on your preferences, consider the amenities and facilities available at the camping spot. Some campgrounds offer restroom facilities, showers, picnic tables, and fire pits, providing added convenience for your paddleboard camping adventure.

By considering these factors, you can choose the perfect paddleboard camping spot, setting the stage for a memorable outdoor experience.

Campsite Rules and Etiquette

When paddleboard camping, it is important to be aware of and adhere to the campsite rules and etiquette to ensure a respectful and harmonious experience for all campers. Here are a few essential guidelines to follow:

  • Respect quiet hours: Many campgrounds have designated quiet hours to ensure a peaceful environment for all campers. Respect these hours by keeping noise to a minimum, allowing everyone to enjoy the tranquility of the great outdoors.
  • Leave no trace: Always pack out what you pack in, leaving your paddleboard camping spot as pristine as you found it. Dispose of your trash properly, avoid damaging vegetation, and refrain from disturbing wildlife to leave a positive impact on the environment.
  • Follow water regulations: If you're paddling in a waterway, familiarize yourself with any water regulations, including speed limits, no-wake zones, and restrictions on fishing or water activities. By following these regulations, you can help preserve the natural beauty of the water and ensure the safety of yourself and others.
  • Be considerate of others: Respect your fellow campers by keeping noise to a minimum, choosing a suitable distance between your paddleboard camping spot and others, and being mindful of your impact on the shared facilities. Treat others with kindness, making the paddleboard camping experience enjoyable for everyone.

By observing these campsite rules and etiquette, you can contribute to a positive paddleboard camping environment, fostering a sense of community and respect for the great outdoors.

Maximizing the Fun Factor with iSUP Camping

The versatility of inflatable paddle boards, combined with the unique experience of paddleboard camping, allows for a multitude of opportunities to maximize the fun factor of your outdoor adventure. Let's explore some of the exciting activities you can engage in to make the most of your paddleboard camping excursion.

Can You Fish from an iSUP?

One of the great advantages of paddleboard camping is the ability to engage in a variety of water-based activities, including fishing. Fishing from an iSUP offers great maneuverability, allowing you to access hard-to-reach fishing spots that may be inaccessible by other means of travel. iSUPs have durable deck pads, providing a solid stand for your fishing adventures, and many boards come equipped with grab handles, making side-of-the-board access for fishing a breeze. For added comfort, iSUPs can be equipped with kayak seats, allowing for a more enjoyable and relaxed fishing experience. With the versatility of inflatable paddle boards, the possibilities for fishing during your paddleboard camping trip are endless.



In conclusion, inflatable paddle boards (iSUPs) are the perfect companion for your camping trips. They offer convenience, portability, and versatility, making them an excellent choice for outdoor enthusiasts. iSUPs allow you to explore remote waterways, enjoy fishing excursions, and even relax and sunbathe on the water. With their durable construction and easy setup, iSUPs provide a hassle-free camping experience. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced paddler, there's an iSUP model that suits your needs. So, pack your gear, inflate your board, and embark on your next adventure with an inflatable paddle board. Happy camping!