Clothes Luggage 1682694

What Should I Bring With Me On My Canal Boat Holiday?

With summer in full swing and the temperature soaring, what could be better than getting out into the great outdoors, and soaking up some of the idyllic Great British countryside? And what better way is there to take in all that scenery than on the Waterways Network

If it’s your first time on a canal boat then you’ll probably be wondering “What should I pack for life on a canal boat?”. It’s an understandable thought as you don’t want to get ten miles downriver only to find out that you forgot your phone charger!  

So with that in mind, the team at ‘Elms Moorings’ have compiled this handy guide to packing for life in the waterways.

Appropriate clothing:

Making sure your prepared for the weather is a good starting point. By all means, pack your shorts and t-shirts, but be prepared for a downpour just in case. A decent waterproof jacket and trousers will be ideal for manning the tiller in the rain should you need to. non-slip deck shoes are also a must. A hardy pair of work gloves will also come in handy for dealing with locks. 

Be aware that water amplifies the power of the suns UV rays so make sure that you include sunglasses, a hat (of some description) and, of course, your factor fifty suncream (especially if you have a tendency to resemble a lobster when you’ve been in the sun). 

Food & Drink: 

Canal boats are self-catering, which means you’ll have to bring your own food and drink on board with you. There are likely to be shops on your chosen route so don’t worry about stocking up to excess. Also part of the appeal of a canal boating holiday is the waterside pub!


Chances are you’ll be either on deck, or if you’re not on board, then out in the countryside exploring the local area. However, it’s a good idea to take a couple of board games or a deck of cards for those long summer evenings. Electronic devices are also an option as most canal boats will have at the very least a cigarette litter style 12V connection to plug your charger or device into. 

What to avoid: 

As canal boats only have limited electrical output, we would advise against bringing electrical devices that require a large amount of energy, i.e. toasters etc. We would also advise against bringing harsh cleaning products aboard as they will ultimately end up in the canal which could be a hazard to the local eco-system. 

Additional items/Useful hints: 

When packing for your canal boat holiday be sure to use a holdall or soft suitcase to hold your belongings as these are easier to store than hard suitcases. In the interior of a canal boat, where space is limited, having a bag you can squash down and store easily is beneficial. 

Make sure you pack enough toiletries for your holiday, these can be picked up en route as needed from shops along the way, but ensure you have enough essentials to last until then. You don’t want to be caught without loo roll after all!

If you’re thinking of taking a canal boat trip this summer, then ‘Elms Moorings‘ is the ideal place to moor up and experience the sights and sounds of the Lincolnshire countryside. Situated in the picturesque village of Torkesy there are plenty of local attractions to enjoy.

For more information on mooring costs, visit our private moorings page.