What You Need to Know Before Going Kayak Camping

Going on a kayak camping trip offers a distinctive perspective on nature. You get to spend the day in the water and the night under the stars. Kayak camping is less stressful than backpacking because you don’t have to carry as much weight. You’ll be able to access campsites that aren’t accessible by foot or car thanks to your craft’s additional storage space.

However, things will not always be as they seem! Paddling for long periods of time can be physically taxing. And being on the water and exposed to weather elements puts your health in jeopardy if you aren’t prepared.

These tips will help you have a successful and enjoyable trip.

How Can You Make A Kayak Your Home For The Night?

1. Choose a suitable kayak camping trip

Your choice of location and campsites will have a significant impact on the quality of the kayak camping experience you have. Determine where you want to go kayaking based on how experienced you are in the sport. You do not want to be too exhausted after paddling down the rapid for three to five consecutive days. You should begin with a simple camping spot and plan to paddle anywhere from 5 to 15 miles per day for the first one to two nights of your trip. You will gain a better understanding of what it takes, both mentally and physically, to kayak camp in this manner before you push your limits further. You are also aware of the necessary items of equipment as well as those that may not be required.

Lakes and rivers with a slow current that have established camping areas are both fantastic options for beginners. If you are required to select a camping spot, it should be located no closer than 200 feet from the water’s edge. When camping near the coast, position the tents as far away from the water as possible to avoid being flooded.

2. Kayak selection is an important part of the trip planning process

There is no way you can have a relaxing camping trip if your kayak is uncomfortable. It’s best to stick with what you’ve already mastered because you know it the best. For new purchases or rentals, make sure the best kayak for camping meets the following requirements:

Ample compartmentalization and waterproof compartments: The kayak you choose should have enough room for all of your gear. The waterproof compartment is a convenient place to store your valuables, such as your camera and phone, even though you’ll be packing everything else in dry bags. Touring kayaks are the best choice because they are easy to steer for long distances and meet the other desirable features.
Kayaks with supportive seats and foot braces make it possible to paddle for long periods of time without getting tired. The added stability provided by a model with thigh pads is an added perk. In order to enjoy kayak camping in comfort, you should install separate seats if your kayak does not have one.
Choose a paddle size that matches the length of your kayak and your height, and you’ll be ready to go. Make your hands more comfortable by adding paddle grips.
3. Narrow down to essential kayak camping gear

There aren’t that many significant differences between backpacking and kayak camping when it comes to packing. You won’t need the hiking boots as much as the other backpacking gear, but you will use most of them. Because you won’t be carrying any of your belongings on your back while kayak camping, you will be able to bring a greater quantity of gear with you. On the other hand, you should prioritize purchasing lightweight gear in order to minimize the amount of space it consumes.

The following items should be included in your carry-on:

Accessories for camping in a kayak, include waterproof storage bags, a personal flotation device (PFD), rope, a kayak repair kit, a towel, and binoculars.
Camping equipment for a kayak includes a paddle, a paddle leash, a bungee cord, a hammock or tent, a sleeping bag, a sleeping pad and pillow, a headlamp, and a small daypack.
Camping attire for your kayak, including swimwear, sandals or water shoes, and any other clothing that may be necessary depending on where you plan to go.
A stove and fuel, a bowl and utensils, a food storage bag, food, a water bottle, a water filtration system, and a garbage bag are essential items for a kitchen.
Personal items and safety equipment such as maps, a compass or GPS device, a hygiene kit, bug spray, bear spray (if going into the bear country), a first aid kit, a pocket knife, an extra paddle in case of an emergency, and an emergency communication device are all essential.
You will need fishing gear if you plan on going fishing.
4. Maintain body and navigational control.

Physical fitness is essential for a productive kayak camping trip. Prepare your body by kayaking as much as possible in the days preceding your trip. Paddling beforehand helps to exercise and prepare the muscles required for escape.

You must also hone your navigational skills, as getting lost can ruin your trip and endanger your life. Acquaint yourself with your desired location and be able to read a map and navigate various routes. Thus, you will discover breathtaking off-route landscapes and hidden caves and return to the shoreline.

5. Pack your kayak properly

If you can’t get to the gear when you need it, a kayak camping trip that started out pretty well could quickly go south. Following the Accessibility, Balance, and Compression principles when loading your kayak. Additionally, practice loading it before you leave for your destination because you cannot pack at home.

Here are some helpful hints to assist you:

To keep the majority of your belongings dry and to facilitate loading, place them in small dry bags. To make it simpler to find your gear, use see-through dry bags or color-code them.
When packing, distribute the weight evenly to ensure that your kayak keeps its balance while floating through the water. Put the bulkier items in the middle of the boat and the lighter ones at the ends. To maintain the stability of the kayak, keep the weight evenly distributed on the sides.
Secure any camping gear that you won’t be using while out on the water. This guarantees that even if your kayak flips, you won’t lose them. Keep necessities close by, including water, snacks, GPSs, and a change of clothes.


6. Stay hydrated and eat healthily

The success of your trip will depend on how well you take care of your body. To stay energized and hydrated, consume a healthy diet and plenty of water. Proteins and wholesome fats are advised. For a successful adventure, a healthy diet helps you maintain your energy levels, minimize muscle soreness, and guarantee muscle regeneration.

7. Be sure to secure your kayak

It’s simple to make your trip into a nightmare if you wake up to find that your kayak and paddle have drifted far from the shore. Take your boat far from the shore to secure it. The kayak should be turned over next to your tent to drain any water and make sure it won’t collect any if it rains.

8. Keep yourself safe

Starting with your location, safety should be a top priority when kayak camping. Choose a location based on your skill level and ability to navigate. Following your selection of a suitable location, follow the safety tips listed below:

Make a plan and share it with someone
Before your trip, make physical preparations
Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly
Keep a first-aid kit on hand
When out on the water, always wear a well-fitting life jacket
Have a way to contact someone in case of an emergency
Bring a friend
Before going on the excursion, practice self-rescue, and other safety skills
If you’re new to kayak camping, set up your tent in well-known locations
Follow the leave-no-trace principle



You’ll need the aforementioned advice to have a successful kayak camping trip. You will learn what equipment is important to you and what suits you the best as you organize more excursions, though. Overall, stay safe and enjoy yourself to the fullest!

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