What to Consider on Your Kayak Camping Checklist

Did you know that kayak camping has become one of the most popular ways to enjoy the great outdoors? I can understand how this could be appealing to people who like to take on long trips on foot and/or in their vehicle without spending every waking minute worrying about whether or not they will break a leg, fall into some deep trouble, or even get lost. Kayaking also alleviates stress because there are very few risks to kayakers, other than the chance that they might get tangled up in something and have to walk away from your kayak for help. Most people can maneuver a kayak quite well with the correct type of leash and the right positioning, so kayaking is an extremely safe and fun recreational activity. And once you get good enough at using a kayak, it becomes a hobby that you can invest in and make into a business, making it easy to earn a very nice living!

I always try to start my new kayak camping trip out on the easiest rivers and lakes first, to minimize the risk of a bunch of sudden, and perhaps inexperienced kayakers getting stranded in deep waters. Luckily enough I have never had to do that personally, but I’ve seen other people do just that, so I know it isn’t impossible. There is nothing worse than trying to paddle your kayak through some ripples in a large lake or river, only to find that your kayak is aching and falling apart a few minutes after you start paddling it. Then you have to swim against strong current to get to shore where your kayak is still seaworthy. It’s just not a very fun experience. This is where having a decent kayak camping checklist comes in handy.

Before you even set out on your kayaking adventure you need to consider a few safety essentials first. One of the most important items on your list should be a good quality sleeping bag. A sleeping bag is essential for two reasons. The first is that you will need to bring along food and water for both eating and drinking while you are on the kayak camping checklist. The second reason is that it will be very difficult to sleep if you are wet and sticky at night. Your sleeping bag will help you stay dry and comfortable, plus it makes carrying food and drinks a lot easier.

Some people mistakenly believe that they need to purchase neoprene foot soles for their shoes in order to have a secure footing throughout an overnight kayak camping trip. This is a misconception, however. Although neoprene does offer excellent traction, there are many other waterproof and flexible materials that will work just as well. My recommendation is simply to go with a pair of standard kayak socks, and get a pair of neoprene that you can wash when you get home.

In terms of your clothing and kayak equipment, the biggest thing on your list will be the tent. Depending on the forecast, you may not want to invest in a two-person tent that has a footprint size that suits your needs (i.e. one man, one woman, etc.). Some people prefer to bring a small folding tent that works for them during an extended camping trip. It is, however, a good idea to double check with local campgrounds as some may have reservations that change with the weather. Regardless of which tent type you choose to buy, be sure to add a little more packing than normal to your list of supplies.

Once you have packed everything you need, it is time to get to work. This means you need to know exactly where you will be spending the majority of your time while you are on your kayak camping trip. Are you going to be stopping at a river to do some fly fishing, or are you planning on staying dry and fishing on a dry lake? You should have your fishing tackle and other necessary items in the car already, so when you get to your destination, make sure you have a couple of extra hooks, lines and lures. Having these items will be very handy if you run into trouble at a location.

Another item to add to your kayak camping checklist will be a sleeping bag or pad. For extended trips, it may be necessary to carry your food and gear with you, so purchasing a topnotch camping pad can help alleviate the weight you are carrying along with the added comfort it provides. A portable water filter is also a great item to consider putting on your backpacking list. These devices can easily purify water and keep your body hydrated without any additional effort on your part.

Other items to add to your kayak camping checklist will include a supply of spare parts and cleaning supplies. If your kayak gets damaged while out in the elements, having this gear available will ensure that you can get back to kayaking again soon. Finally, don’t forget a variety of paddles and straps for holding your kayak up while in motion. Having the right equipment on hand can help to ensure a safe and fun vacation and a great memory of your trip.