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A couple of friends on a Kayak camping trip.
Outdoor Getaways

How to Plan for a Kayak Camping Trip

Planning your first kayak camping trip? We have everything you need to make it a success. Learn how to plan for the best kayak camping trip.

Planning your first ever kayak camping trip? This article breaks down everything you need to know to prepare yourself for a kayak camping trip. Here you’ll learn how to plan for your trip and what to pack to go kayak camping like an expert.
Friends kayaking.

Why Should You Go On A Kayak Camping Trip

Kayak camping is a one-of-a-kind experience. It combines the greatest aspects of camping and kayaking, allowing you to spend some relaxing days on the water without being interrupted by the demands of everyday life. You can catch your dinner on the lake, or pack some easy vegan meals, then park and enjoy it at your campground before spending the night under the stars.

Kayak camping can be a demanding and invigorating physical challenge. It shows you everything that nature has to offer on both land and water, while also allowing you to show what you’re made of. It offers you backpacking mobility without the hassle of lugging everything around with you. Like automobile camping, your kayak provides an extra storage room, but you get to be close to nature as you travel.

If you want to go kayak camping, you’ll need to plan a little before you go.
A person kayaking from above.

What To Expect On A Kayak Camping Trip

There are a few differences between kayak camping and backpacking. A kayak’s hatches, for example, have an unusual design and some restrictions on what and how much can be put in them. It is recommended that you try to load your boat before leaving on your vacation to ensure that you can accommodate everything you intend to bring. Aside from that, here are some specific things to think about.

More often than not, water will find a way to sneak into your boat’s hatches when you least expect it. Even in the driest of boats, there are some objects you’ll want to keep dry no matter what, and extra protection should be employed for these items. Clothing, sleeping bags, fire-starting equipment, a first-aid kit, and other items are among the things you’ll want to keep dry.

While you want to remain dry, you’ll also need a lot of water. Remember, staying hydrated is one of the most important things to keep in mind while camping. Even though you’ll spend a lot of time on the lake, a gallon of water per person per day is still the ideal amount to bring as you’ll spend a lot of your time on physical activity. A water filter is an easy way to avoid having to carry all of your water with you. If you’re paddling on freshwater or saltwater with access to freshwater streams a filter can be an excellent way to cut down on the weight.

On the water, it’s easy to become lost. In a kayak, you’re always approximately 3 feet off the water, unlike hiking, where your viewpoint varies as you ascend ridges. Islands can resemble peninsulas, and bays can vanish into enormous stretches of coastline. For this reason, it’s a good idea to bring a water chart and learn to read it – which is not the same as reading a topographical map. Luckily there are online guides that can help you. If you want to learn all there is to know about kayaking before you go, there are also clubs and communities you can join that will gladly share their experiences and expertise.
A couple kayaking.

How to plan for a Kayak Camping trip

If you’re wondering how to plan for a kayak camping trip, you simply can’t ignore the essentials you need to take with you for the trip. Below, we’re going to be breaking down a list of necessities you must not ignore when heading out for your trip.

What To Pack For A Kayak Camping Trip

Keep it light. Limit the amount of gear you bring. Lightweight backpacking gear is best. Pack heavier gear at the bottom and lighter gear on top. You also want to keep your valuables close. We recommend using dry bags for additional protection from water damage. Furthermore, here are a few essentials that you must take with you.

  • Waterproof dry bag
  • Sleeping bag
  • Water filter
  • Food and cookware
  • Footwear (Kayak shoes)
  • Appropriate clothing (Kayak gloves, rain gear, warm layers, sun protection clothing, camping towel)
  • Fishing Gear (Fish depth finder, fish hooks, fish bait)
  • Kayak anchor kit
  • Emergency gear kit

Different kinds of Kayaks on the river from above.

Best Kayak For Camping

You want a camping kayak that is durable, comfortable and has a lot to offer. Touring kayaks like the Looksha, Loon, and Castine models let you be on the water for longer periods while remaining comfortable, and they’re built to last. The hatches on the Looksha 17 are the largest of any Old Town kayak. Long travels don’t have to be difficult because of their stability, glide, and acceleration. The Looksha T is a tandem option that has enough accommodation and comfort for two people.

The Loon 126 is ideal for lengthy journeys. The new hull shape achieves the ideal balance of glide and tracking. The ACS2 seat incorporates the most comfortable seat available into the best-fitting cockpit possible, and matching thigh pads give under-leg support that can make a significant difference. A USB connector is included in the dry storage to keep your phone charged while traveling long distances. The Loon’s overall comfort and performance make it ideal for extended journeys.

The Castine is a three-size touring kayak designed for day trips. The 135, 140, and 145 have a length of 13.5 to 14.5 feet. You can stow a lot of goods thanks to two hatches and retractable slide-track day storage. You’ll believe you’re dreaming if you sit in the ACS2 seat.