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!
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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
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
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
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.
- 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
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
Further reading on kayaking or canoeing trips
- 1000 Islands Kayaking: What a 3 Day Trip Looks Like
- A Sea Kayaking Trip in the Broken Group of Islands
- 9 of the Best Places to Paddle in Alberta