What To Pack For Your Canal Boat Holiday

A narrowboat holiday is a unique experience, and if you are about to embark on your maiden voyage, you may be wondering what to take with you. All narrowboats are equipped with storage, but it’s still a good idea to avoid bringing bulky or unnecessary items that are going to take up some of your available space.

Here’s a guide to all the items that are likely to come in handy.



It is a good idea to bring non-crease clothing which doesn’t require ironing. The particular clothing you need will depend on the season and the off-boat activities you are planning. However, it’s advisable to bring some non-slip shoes and a set of waterproofs to wear on deck. A pair of tough gloves is also useful for the person dealing with the locks and steering.

In summer, a wide brimmed hat, sunglasses and thin long sleeved tops are useful to avoid getting sunburnt while on deck. It is recommended that you use soft bags rather than hard suitcases to pack your clothes, as they are easier to store.


Food and drink

The narrowboat will be equipped with cooking facilities and utensils for you to prepare your own meals. There’s no need to bring enough food for the entire trip, as you will be able to grocery shop on your stop offs, or even arrange a food delivery service. Take the food you do bring out of cardboard packaging wherever possible, to make it easier to store. 

Many people choose to eat out at the pubs and restaurants that are often found on canal side locations. You can research these in advance by using Google Maps, or asking for recommendations from your canal boat hire company.



Many hire companies will provide you with essential items such as bedding, toilet roll, towels, and cleaning supplies, so it’s best to check with them in advance what you need to bring with you. 

Useful items to bring include a torch and spare batteries, a mobile phone and charger, maps, and personal toiletries and a first aid kit. 


Electrical items

Be aware that while  the boat will be fitted with plug sockets, they may not be able to support energy intensive items such as heaters, toasters, hairdryers, and electric kettles. The boat may have a stovetop kettle supplied. Small travel electronic devices should be safe to use while the engine is running. 

It’s best to check in advance for more information about the type of sockets and appliances available, so that you can pack the appropriate items and adapter plugs if necessary. 


Hobbies and activities

Any other items you bring will depend on the specific plans you have for your trip. For example, if you are nature lovers you will benefit from a pair of binoculars and some relevant wildlife reference books to help you identify all the birds, animals, and plantlife you spot along the way. 

In the evenings, you may want to have some entertainment such as board games, DVDs, music, or just a good book or two!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed