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Essentials For An Autumn Weekend Water Adventure

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I was halfway to Taos when I received a dreaded phone call from my housemate: “Um… Claire? I think you left the paddles in the living room.” I was on my way for some R&R in the San Juans, with a morning float planned down the Rio Grande. 

Despite our paddle debacle (we haggled with a local raft company to rent us some gear) our early autum float and camping adventure was lovely. Taos as a whole was uncrowded and the established sites we stayed at in Cimmaron Canyon and Pilar were quiet and mellow.

In other words – float the relaxed stuff in the fall. Your crowded summer lakes and overrun tourist towns have begun to clear. If water levels are low or a whitewater-grade raft is out of reach, opt for the more reliable, classic mountain lake. Sure, the weather is cold and you’ll have to be diligent about layers, but there’s nothing like some spiked hot chocolate and a campfire as the Aspens begin to turn. 

So jump on in, the water’s… cold. But, we got you. We’ve rounded up some autumn weekend water adventure essentials from West Marine. 

The first task at hand, make a cozy home base. 

Going car camping on the water? As the weather dips, opt for a more streamlined setup, like adding a rooftop tent. When the sun sets, make sure to have layers ready. 

The Yeti Lowlands Blanket is built to brave the damp, featuring a waterproof Hydrobarrier. Plus, the blanket is designed to repel pet hair – so snuggle your pup as the moon rises. 

The Helinox collapsible chair  is the next pick on this essentials list for its simplicity. It packs down small and sets up in a breeze. It’s modest profile also keeps it versatile – use it car camping or pack it out on a multiday float.

Want to make your camping affair more luxurious? The ENO Lounger DL Chair  changes the game. An adjustable height and integrated pillow and cupholder ups the ante if you have the space. Add the Voyager Marine Audio Fire Pit for extra warmth and tunes. Marine grade speakers and a 30+ hour battery keeps the music jamming on the shore all night long. Just bring along a propane tank and you’ve got a bonfire on demand. 

Oh yeah, and don’t forget Roadie 24L Marine Cooler

Plan to take a dip? Here are some essentials for the water. 

My Nomadix towel has been my go to camping towel for over four years. It folds up small enough to backpack with, dries quickly, but is truly a full-size beach towel (which means I’ll never go back to those tiny, quick dry towels that barely wrap around your waist). Plus, the Nomadix designs are fun and stylish and the towels are grippy enough to double as a thin yoga mat – yes please! 

If you plan to haul some items on the water with you, consider investing in a Sea to Summit dry bag set. A 4L bag is roomy enough to pack in some essential items like rain gear, your keys, and some creature comforts like medicated lip balm  and croakies .

Last but not least, stay afloat! 

Try this Hybrid Standup Paddleboard/ Kayak. Versatile, this setup packs up into a backpack and transitions between a paddle board or kayak within minutes. Want something a little more classic? The Tahe Beach LP1 inflatable Kayak has everything you need to get out onto some mellow water – paddle, pump, and three removable fins. Grab a PFD and you’re ready for a lake adventure. 

When you work on the water you pick up more than a few safety tips. Catch some tips on staying safe out with the Into the Blue captains. Learn safety tips from the Into the Blue Captains now! Shop for boating safety products now.

About West Marine

Founded in 1968, West Marine is the leading integrated, omni-channel provider of aftermarket products and services to the boating, fishing, sailing, and watersports markets in the U.S. With 236 physical locations across 38 states and Puerto Rico and two eCommerce platforms reaching consumers and professional customers, West Marine is recognized as the leading resource for cruisers, sailors, anglers and water sports enthusiasts. West Marine uses its scale, product breadth, and expert field crew members to service all the needs of consumers seeking an exceptional on-water experience.