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What to Pack for a Houseboat Trip

What to Pack for a Houseboat Trip. Everything you need to have the best time on your trip. From kitchen essentials, games, clothes and more!

Houseboating is one of our favourite holidays of all time.  You just can’t beat the sunshine, heat and water!  Not to mention campfires on the beach every night.  It’s the best.

What to Pack for a Houseboat Trip

Seriously, look how much fun this is.  Boat.  Sand.  Water.  Campfire.

Houseboat Trips are THE BEST!

Our houseboat trips are always on Shuswap Lake in British Columbia, and over the years we’ve gotten to be pretty good with packing for these fun filled trips. The boats are stocked with very basic supplies, so you will need to pack along more items…things like groceries, bedding, axes, rope and more.  But don’t worry, we’ve come up with a pretty comprehensive checklist for your next houseboat trip.

What to Pack for a Houseboat Trip

But before we get to the list, here are some tips that we think you’ll find useful on your houseboat trip!  Biggest tip though, have the MOST fun everrrrr!

What to Pack for a Houseboat Trip

Best Tips for Houseboating:

  • Don’t overpack!  Trust us, you will pretty much live in the same outfit the whole time!
  • Water:  You don’t need to bring water, as the boat will supply you with a drinking water cooler.
  • Have cash on hand in case you need to buy supplies from the stores on the lake.  Especially for ice!
  • Kitchen:  The kitchen is stocked with only basic dishes and cutlery. You will also have a gas range and oven, microwave, refrigerator, plus a cold storage cooler and propane BBQ.  You will need to bring extra kitchen supplies…refer to the checklist.
  • Towels:  Assign a specific hand towel/facecloth colour to each person, so everyone knows which is theirs.  Also, make sure each person has at least 2 towels (one for bathing, one beach towel)
  • Bedding:  Fitted sheets are a must!  The bed mattresses are vinyl and very slippy.  You’ll want a fitted sheet to cover it.  Plus it’s more comfortable being on a sheet versus plastic.
  • Beds:  We don’t find the beds very comfortable, so you might consider bringing a memory foam.
  • Meal Planning:  If you’re going with a group, share the meal planning!  Assign each couple/person meals to look after for everyone.  Decide everything before you go so you don’t end up with duplicate meals and ingredients.
  • Packing Food:  Freeze your meat before you go (pack it frozen solid).  This is really helpful to prevent food waste.
  • Fridges:  Some of the older boats have very small fridges, so make sure you have extra coolers and lots of ice for your food.
  • Drinks:  To keep space in your fridge for food, keep a separate cooler just for drinks.
  • Music:  Most of the boats now have docking stations for phones and iPods, so you can play your own music.  Download our 150 Songs for #Canada150!

What to Pack for a Houseboat Trip

Now for the fun stuff!  This looks like A LOT of stuff, and it is, but you’ll need most of it.  It’s surprising how bare minimum the boats really are.  Picture a camper with nothing in it.  And remember, if you’re going with other people, you can split the list up between you all.

What to Pack for a Houseboat Trip:


  • You will need everything. Make a menu.
  • Ice
  • Coffee and coffee filters
  • Spices (cinnamon, seasoning salt, steak spice…)
  • Butter
  • Cooking oil/Olive oil
  • S’more supplies!

Kitchen Essentials

  • Dish soap (biodegradable)
  • Paper Towels
  • Saran Wrap
  • Tin Foil
  • Ziplock bags
  • Garbage bags
  • Blender
  • BBQ Utensils
  • Corkscrew
  • Plastic Glasses
  • Spatulas
  • Paring knives
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Measuring Cups
  • Big Wok or Skillet
  • Baking Sheet
  • Toaster
  • Plastic containers for leftover food


  • Ax
  • Matches and Paper
  • Rope
  • Binoculars
  • Camera
  • Deck Chairs
  • Flashlight
  • Insect Repellent
  • First Aid Kit (bandaids, polysporin, peroxide)
  • Duct Tape (you never know when you’ll need it!)
  • Cleaning wipes
  • If you like to fish, bring fishing gear


  • Bath Towels
  • Beach Towels
  • Face Cloths
  • Hand Towels
  • Bedding (sheets, pillows, extra blankets or sleeping bags)
  • Tea Towels
  • Dishcloths (1 per day)
  • Large rags/towels for drying the floor. It gets really wet, and the mop doesn’t cut it!


  • Bathing Suit
  • Shorts, T-shirts, tank tops, long sleeved shirt, warm pants
  • Sweaters for cool evenings and campfire time
  • Rain jacket
  • Pajamas
  • Hiking or Walking Shoes
  • Sandals or Flip Flops
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses


  • Your personal toiletries
  • Biodegradable shampoo, conditioner and soap
  • Sunscreen
  • Aftersun lotion
  • Moisturizing Lotion
  • Toilet Paper (there is some, but not much)

Sporting Gear & Games

  • Playing Cards
  • Games for kids and adults
  • Books
  • Music
  • Kayak or small boat for exploring the shoreline
  • Floaties, noodles and tubes

Download the checklist and print!

If you like, feel free to download the checklist and print it off to use! Download the Houseboat Packing List Here

What to Pack for a Houseboat Trip

More Handy Checklists:

Thank you for PINNING!

Happy Houseboating!

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One Comment

  1. This is awesome! Thanks for sharing! We’re just about to go to Lake Powell with some friends and this has some great tips. Do you have an article on food ideas to make onboard? We are sharing meals, each couple is in charge of a breakfast & a dinner, there’s 12 of us, 6 days, but fridge space is limited and not sure if there’s a freezer or not. Thanks so much!

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