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Paddling over to Ninstints
Paddling over to Ninstints

Kayakers Checklist: 100 Items To Pack

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If you’ve got a kayaking trip planned, even for a day, then you’ll appreciate this kayakers checklist – with roughly 100 items that you can’t leave home without. The biggest difference between a short trip and a long trip, from my experience, is the amount of food and water I take. On longer trips I also take more repair gear.

You need to be very organized if you’re planning a multi-day kayaking trip. Sometimes the stupidest mistakes – cue forgetting tent poles on one trip – can cause a great deal of trouble. I’m hoping the kayakers checklist solves that!

Kayaking in Haida Gwaii - include everything on the kayakers checklist
Kayaking in Haida Gwaii

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Kayakers checklist – Camp Clothing 

  • Capilene and/or fleece bottoms like this one from Patagonia (mine have lasted for 10 years)
  • Capilene underwear  
  • Several pairs of socks – quick dry and/or wool like these merino wool ones
  • 2 quick dry t-shirts – like this example
  • 1 quick dry long sleeved shirt or turtleneck like this one from Patagonia
  • Full rain gear – including a hat
  • Synthetic or down puffy jacket like my absolute go to from Patagonia with a hood
  • Small quick dry towel
  • Quick dry shorts
  • Long pants
  • Toiletries including sun screen, sun block and insect repellent
  • Wool or fleece hat
  • Warm gloves
  • Sun hat or ball cap
  • Footwear – sandals, old running shoes and/or rain boots
Our campsite on the second night out kayaking in Haida Gwaii
Our campsite on the second night out kayaking in Haida Gwaii

Clothing for kayaking 

  • Capilene underwear
  • Quick dry shorts or long pants.
  • Capilene t-shirt
  • Wind-proof fleece jacket
  • Lightweight windbreaker
  • Water sandals with a strap, boots or old runners

Kayakers Checklist – Camp gear for a kayak trip

  • Stove with enough bottles of fuel and a repair kit.
  • Multiple lighters, candle, fire starter, waterproof container. In some places you’ll be able to have a campfire.
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Pots and pans
  • Cup and a bowl or plate – collapsible if you want to save space.
  • Sharp knife
  • Small cutting board
  • Grill and an oven mitt
  • Water containers – the collapsible ones made by Ortlieb are especially good as they fold into nothing when they’re empty. Allow 3 L/pp/day.
  • Water filter, drops or purifying tablets like those made by Potable Aqua.
  • Ax or saw, sharpening file
  • Tent and poles.
  • Tarp and extra rope.
  • Sleeping bag and an insulated pad.
  • Thermarest chair for comfort in camp.
  • Emergency day trip kit including a flashlight, fire starter, matches/lighters, space blanket.

Kayaking (boat) gear

  • Paddle plus one spare
  • Spray skirt and cockpit cover (for long trips take a spare spray skirt)
  • Lifejacket with a whistle and rescue knife
  • Pump for bailing
  • Flares, waterproof strobe, Emergency locator like a SPOT
  • Tow rope
  • VHF Radio plus an extra battery
  • Weather radio
  • Chart with a waterproof chart case
  • Water bottle for kayak deck
  • Compass, GPS, tide tables
  • First aid kit
Kayaking to the Point Campground on Upper Kananaskis Lake
Kayaking to the Point Campground on Upper Kananaskis Lake

Kayak repair kit

  • Fiberglass repair kit
  • Duct tape, Aquaseal, five minute epoxy
  • Multi-tool and a multi screwdriver
  • Pliers with wire cutters
  • Rudder cable
  • Spare nuts, bolts and parts
  • Extra straps
  • Hack saw blade
  • Lighter

Bags for organization on a kayaking trip

It’s usually best to use the same colour of bag on every trip you do. Do what works best for you.

  • Black hole bag for shlepping your gear from the car to the launch site – and a million other uses
  • Breakfast bags (yellow)
  • Lunch bags (green)
  • Dinner bags (black)
  • Snack bags (orange)
  • Dessert bags (red)
  • Condiments (small black)
  • Compost – not a bad idea to first line a bag with a green garbage bag.
  • Burnables
  • Waterproof bag for your sleeping bag (or use two green garbage bags) – take your sleeping bag into the store so you know it fits
  • Waterproof bag for clothes (20L)
  • Day bag and/or a deck bag
  • Large grocery style bag for shuttling small items between the kayak and campsite
  • Small day pack
A sampling of our kayaking gear - throw rope, paddle float, spare paddle, pump
A sampling of our kayaking gear – throw rope, paddle float, spare paddle, pump

Kayakers Checklist – Optional kayaking gear

  • Paddling pants and jacket
  • Wetsuit, pogies, neoprene booties, neoprene gloves
  • Snorkeling gear
  • Fishing gear – hand line, lure, net, possible crab trap, license, fillet knife
  • Camera, binoculars, waterproof case
  • Waterproof watch
  • Alarm clock
  • Satellite phone
  • Bear spray if you plan to be in bear country
  • Kindle, books, cards, journal
  • Blow up cushion to sit on your kayak
Paddling in Indian Arm
In theory you can paddle to the far end of Indian Arm from Deep Cove – don’t forget your to check off all the items on your kayakers checklist

Further reading on kayaking or canoeing trips

Click on the photo to bookmark to your Pinterest boards.

Kayaker's checklist - 100 items to pack



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