Nothing can quite beat the ageless design and functionality of a dry sack. They serve as the perfect tool to have on an outing away from your vessel to explore a hidden cove or sandbar – in conjunction with providing in-transit storage options for valuables and electronic devices. The easy to fold handles can also strap to your deck railing – making for quick access to cleaning materials and extra marine lines. One reliable and affordable brand is the Earth Pak. Depending on the size, prices can range from $20 – $60.
In an age of digital devices, creating your own blog comes along with the journey. We are not always “charged up” to be able to capture live moments, though. That is where a waterproof notebook can come in handy. Whether on the river or at sea, you can easily jot down those “in the moment” experiences or navigation notes on the spot with the simple, yet effective, go anywhere feature that these notebooks provide. The best part is that they don’t break the bank. The Rite in the Rain brand has a plethora of colors and affordable spiral bound notebooks ranging from $6 – $15.
Portable Solar Panels
Solar panels have come a long way in the past decade. Keep your devices – including phones, tablets and laptops – charged at all times without using energy from your battery. Depending on the size, prices can range from $40 – $300. A popular product for adventure travel and thru-trips is the GOAL ZERO.
Extra Gas Cans
As we list all fueling stops in Quimby’s Cruising Guide, it is technically feasible – with a large enough gas tank – to make it from one marina to the next without extra containers. However, we highly recommend carrying at least five portable gas cans on board and having those topped off at each stop, as well. This is especially important when cruising through the lower Mississippi as the marinas become sparser. Gas cans are readily available at any home improvement or auto care store.
Not much more that we can say about these; except that they are a must for nearly every trip. Versatile and functional, these handy cords can help you tie down nearly everything on the deck – including those all-important gas cans. Similarly, these can be acquired at any home improvement store. Online purchases may also qualify for bulk discounts – because you can never have too many.
Think of these as tiny bungee cords. Use these handy devices for attaching gear or buckets to your taffrail for extra storage or for easy access to frequented items. Additionally, zip ties can become useful in an emergency to tie down splash guards that have ripped or become disconnected from the frame. Extremely affordable, a bulk box of these is most likely to last you for your entire trip.
Inflatable SUP Board
Not every transient or looping boat is large enough to carry a proper dinghy. This is where an inflatable SUP Board can come in handy. Easily packed into a large backpack, these boards inflate with a hand pump in 3-5 minutes; providing easy access to venture off of your boat, make hull repairs or enjoy some recreation on the plethora of inlets, sloughs and lakes on the Inland Waterways! Prices range from $200-$2000 depending on the size and additions. If you are looking for an affordable option, we recommend the Ancheer SUP Line. A lower cost option, but they still include military grade PVC lining to avoid any punctures from driftwood, rocks and other debris.
Similar to solar panels, electric scooters have developed leaps and bounds in the past two years. These two-wheeled transportation devices take up little space and can be charged in a short amount of time. Making stops along the waterways often involves trips into town to pick up some needed revisions. Avoid Uber fares with your very own mode of transportation. Still new to the market, the price can range from $500-$2000. We recommend finding one with short charging times and a decent range of use.