There’s nothing like living out of your kayak for days at a time. Planning a multi-day kayak camping trip means fitting everything you need into the confines of your boat, plus your CreekKooler if you have one in tow. Whether you find the concept simple or overwhelming, here are six tips to get you started.
What And How To Pack For a 3 Day Kayak Camping Trip
Assume Everything Will Get Wet
That’s right. Assume your boat will tip and everything will fall into the river. Assume you’ll have to do a wet exit. Assume the worst and plan for the best. Buy enough dry bags to fit all your gear. And if you’re using older dry bags, try lining them with garbage bags to ensure they stay waterproof. You are in a river, after all.
Use Multiple Small Dry Bags
You may want to stuff a few large dry bags with your goodies, but what happens when you find a leak? Then all of a sudden the majority of your clothes or camp gear or (God forbid) food gets wet. Packing a lot of smaller dry bags means less opportunity for total soakage.
Distribute Weight Accordingly
You don’t want too much weight in the bow or the stern. Ideally, your boat should sit on the water like it normally would, meaning no side should be sinking deeper into the water than any other. Pack heavier items near the cockpit where you sit, and lighter items in the bow and the stern. Don’t forget also to consider what you need access to throughout the day. If you’re stopping for lunch during the day, make sure you have food and kitchen essentials close by just in case.
Your Boat Makes a Difference
If you’re striking out on a multi-day kayak trip, having a touring or sea kayak can make all the difference in efficiency and comfort. These boats are made specifically for storage and to float well when loaded down with gear. While you can make anything work, having a touring or sea kayak will make the trip more enjoyable. That's even more true if you have your touring kayak has tow behind storage.
Check the Weather, Know the River
Like you would with any other outdoor trip, make sure you know where you’re going and what you might encounter along the way. If you’re powering through an epic storm system with hordes of rain, bring extra warm clothing and extra rain gear. And don’t forget the PFD! Life jackets are one of the most important parts of safety on the water.
While it’s always important to pack your first-aid kit, it’s also important to have the kit accessible while you’re locked into your skirt. When packing your kayak for a camping trip, strategize what items you'll need closest at hand and how you'll access them without having to go ashore and unpack your whole kayak and kayak cooler.