The difference between kayak camping and normal camping is that you stay on the water, and when you are on water here arises some limitations. Kayak camping is more or less the same as other camping. For this type of camping, you also need to pack your backpack according to your camp duration and location.
Once you start your kayak trip it is near to impossible to stop it near the ground to buy any essentials. Therefore you need a proper packing before going for kayak camping.
Packing for Kayak Camping Trips
Packing for kayak camping trips needs some precautions and preparations. For the average campers who don’t have much experience on this need to prepare themselves using these tips.
Make a Checklist for Kayak Camping
the checklist will mostly depend on your trip duration and weather. There is one more factor which will also decide how much gears you can take with you, that is your kayak shape and size. Kayak backpacking has to be lightweight as you will be staying on a boat and the boat needs to lightweight.
If you are going on a day-long kayak trip then the packing will be of style if your kayak trip is planned for a night stay or the trip will be for 2 or more days the packing pattern will be different. Try to think like a backpacker. The gears you need for a multi-day kayak trip is almost the same as your backpacking trip gears.
There are mainly two types of kayaking: whitewater and flat water kayaking. These two divisions have some subdivisions. Whitewater kayaking includes recreational, inflatable, sit-on-top, pedaling and kayaks. Flatwater kayaking includes river runner, creek-boating, playboating, duckies and old school kayaking.
Whitewater kayaking trips are mostly long trips and flat water kayaking are the shorter ones.
Best Kayak Camping Area Near Me (USA)
There are many areas in the United States to have a day and multiple camping trips. Check out these places from the list.
- Northern Forest Canoe Trail
- Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia
- South Fork Shenandoah River
- Umbagog Lake State Park
- Bowron Lakes, British Columbia
- Folsom Lake State Recreational Area
- Council Grounds State Park, Wisconsin
- Guadalupe Canoe Livery, Spring Branch
- Lake George Escape, New York
- Nahanni River National Park Preserve, Northwest Territories
- Kayak Morris Campground
- Green River, Utah
- Canoe Outpost-Little Manatee River
- Lathrop State Park, Colorado
- Trading Post Canoe Kayak & Campground
- Hillsborough River State Park, Florida
Preparation For a day Kayak Trip
Now some kayaks are one-seater and some kayaks come with two seats. White water kayaks are usually big in size. If your boat is wider and longer with a big opening then you will be able to carry a good amount of gears with you. If your kayak does not have a compass, do not forget to take one. Take proper kayak gears like fishing kayak paddles, boating etc.
Pumper and Signal for Kayak
Do not forget to take water pumper. Swamped kayaks are very uncomfortable and scary. If you see excess water inside your kayak you should pump out the water, remember the water in the hull is very risky for kayaks.
As a safety measure, carry a rescue signal. If you are lost this can help you or if your friend or another kayaker is lost then she/he might find you with the help of this rescue signal.
Pack and Food for Kayak Trip
For a day trip, you need a waterproof duffle or a backpack where you can put all your essentials.
You can also take an extra foldable bag where you can put your wet clothes if needed. Put your backpack in a dry place to keep everything clean and dry.
Take some dry or cooked foods in sealed boxes. If you are going on the trip with your partner then you can pack your foods together to save up someplace. It is very much impossible to use a washroom while kayaking; therefore you should always eat light foods. Do not make yourself too full and also do not starve, eat only as much as you need.
Take Water Bottle for the Trip
As you will be out for a short trip you can take your water with you. A short trip does not really need a water filter. Take at least one or two liters of water per person for a day.
You can also take some other liquids with you that will serve you for the rest of the day. It’s better to have fun on any trip meals when on the kayak.
Take Rain Coat for Protection
I am sure nobody wants to enjoy a camping trip with wet clothes on. If you see any chance of raining you should take a raincoat with you. You should always research the weather before leaving for a kayak camping.
If it is not rainy season but still you see a 1% chance of raining, do not ignore it and take proper gears in your backpack.
Clothes for Kayak Camping
in a short kayak trip, people usually do not get out of the kayak, but you should always keep an extra pair of clothes with you. Also, pack your backpack according to the weather.
As you will be on a water body, you should always carry one set of thermal clothes. Also, try to wear some water shoes or rubber shoes while kayaking.
Life Jacket is a Savior on Water
Whether you are on a short or long kayak camping life jacket is a must. Do not forget to take it with you.
Accidents do not call before coming, so you should always be prepared to fight any occurrence.
Take Waterproof Torch
You must be thinking why you need a torch for a day-long kayak trip. As you will be on a water body you do not know when the sky gets dark, or if it gets dark before you come back then this torch can really help you and others to locate you.
First-aid Kit Is Important for any Camping
never forget to carry your first-aid kit. Also, try to keep you first-aid kits inside a waterproof bag to keep them safe. Additionally, keep these close to yourself so that you can find it easily when needed.
Preparation Multiple Day Kayak Trip
For a multiple day kayak trip, bigger kayaks are preferable as you need to carry more gears. For this purpose, you can take a touring kayak.
Now for backpacking 1st, you add all the essentials for a day-long kayak trip which includes: pumper and signal, food, water bottle, raincoat, clothes, life jacket, first-aid kit, and waterproof torch. The extras you need for a multiple day kayak trip:
Portable Water Filter
You will be floating on the water but the water is not drinkable. You cannot carry gallons of water as it will make your kayak heavy. Therefore if you take a portable water filter then you can drink filtered water comfortably without worrying about anything.
Sleeping Bag or Tent
If you have company and you all want to spend your night out of your kayak, somewhere on the ground, then you might want to take you tent gears.
You can also use waterproof or resistant sleeping bag for sleeping.
Waterproof sleeping bags are the best option for winter kayak camping. If you want to spend your night inside your kayak, then you should take a sleeping bag with you. Waterproof sleeping bags not only can protect you from the weather but also from mosquitos and other insects as well.
Sleeping Quilts and Mats on Water
as a sleeping gear, you can also use a sleeping quilt if you do not want to carry a sleeping bag or you are not comfortable with sleeping bags. Quilts are also comfortable and can give you better comfort in summer.
If you are planning for a ground night stay then you can also carry a sleeping mat. Sleeping mats are very lightweight and you can also use it to float in the water if needed.
Burner or Griller for Kayak Camping
A burner will be a little much to carry on a kayak, therefore you can just bring a griller and some minimum utensils to cook your food. Make a campfire. Place the griller on top of the fire and cook your food.
Food for Kayak Trip
As you will be camping for multiple days you will be in need to cook some foods. Try to carry groceries which can sustain for a longer time. Also, pack and keep the uncooked materials in a dry and ventilated place.
Last Few Words
Always keep in mind that your backpack needs to be light in weight. Therefore do not take any unnecessary gears which can make your pack heavy. Also if you have options between two similar products then try to take the lighter one. Take a knife, ropes and mosquito repellent for safety.
Always carry a garbage bag in your kayak so that you can keep the water body clean. Throw all the wastes inside the bag and zip the lid and dispose of them properly. Kayak camping is a unique way to stay out of your daily life and from the chaotic environment. Pack your bags properly; enjoy your trip to the fullest by keeping yourself and others safe.
Looking at the bluest sky, I forget all my stresses. Going through the green I try to breathe, more than I do in my reality. So, that’s why I love camping.
Awesome post. I love kayaking and camping and I’m looking forward to do both together! The first aid kit is a must, I’m with you.
The article was a great read