What Is SUP Touring?

What is it about exploration and adventure that draws us in? Doing something different, seeing something you have never seen, going to a place you have never been: our human nature seems inherently attracted to the unknown, to see what might lie just around the next bend in the path. While our drive for exploration might be universal, the mode of transportation varies. One unique and exciting method of traveling is via SUP. 

What Is SUP Touring?

SUP stands for Stand-Up Paddleboard. These floating platforms resemble surfboards and allow you to glide across the top of the water with the help of a long paddle. This equipment is ideal for exercise, day explorations, and even longer overnight camping trips. Using your SUP to transport you and all of your gear to overnight spots is called SUP camping or paddleboard touring.

Basics For Planning a SUP Touring Trip

Here are just a few basics you need to help you plan for your first SUP camping excursion.

Know The Weather

When planning your trip, you must know the weather. Familiarize yourself with the location you plan on visiting. What is the weather like on those days? How is the climate at that time of year? Is the weather predictable, or does it change quickly or drastically? If so, you may need to pack more gear to account for potential weather conditions. If you aren’t sure where to find this information, consider contacting a local SUP store or guide; they can often give you information on what it’s like to paddleboard in that area, even if you don’t plan to book a trip with them.

Know The Path

When planning your trip, carefully study the route you plan to take. See if you can find a trip report from someone who has previously taken the same path. Study what possible challenges you could come across. Are there dams? Areas of low water where you may have to carry your SUP? Plan out where you will sleep each night, how far you will travel each day, where you can restock on food or water if necessary, etc.

How To Access

Part of your logistical planning should include how to get to the location, access the water, and a worst-case emergency evacuation plan. Do you need to drive to the place you plan to paddleboard tour or take a plane? How do you access the water route? Is there somewhere to put your SUP in the water? What is your evacuation plan? While we don’t ever plan on anything going wrong, nature and adventures are unpredictable. It’s best to have a plan for someone to get you in events such as foul weather or severe injury.

Essential Gear For A Paddleboard Tour

Let’s discuss the essential items you should consider for your first paddleboard tour.

  • Shelter, such as a tent or tarp.
  • Sleeping bag rated for the temperatures you are likely to experience.
  • Sleeping pad to cushion and insulate you from the ground.
  • Water treatment methods like a water filter or chemical tablets.
  • Stove and fuel to cook warm meals.
  • Kitchen supplies include a pot, an eating utensil, and a water bottle.
  • Rain gear
  • Breathable, quick-drying clothes, one set to wear during the day and one to wear to sleep.
  • Board repair kit: spare fin, etc.

Keep your items in various waterproof bags based on when you will need them. Camping gear you don’t need during the day can go in one or two dry bags, and the items you will use during the day can go in another. Though you never plan to flip your board, you should always prepare as if it may happen.

Paddleboard Touring: What‘s Next?

After learning what paddleboard touring is, are you interested in learning more? We’ve discussed how to plan a trip and what to pack, but you might still have a lot of questions, and that’s a good thing! The more we plan for an outdoor adventure, the more prepared we are, and the more enjoyable our trip will be. So stay tuned to our next articled where we will discuss 'Everything You Need For a Paddleboard Tour'.

January 19, 2021 — Terry Arsenault