Learn To Pack A Kayak For Overnight Trips

  • Post category:How To

Kayaking is a great way to explore new areas, but it can be a bit of a hassle to pack all your gear when you’re traveling. This guide will show you how to pack an overnight kayak so that you can have a smooth trip.

There are a few things you need to consider before packing your overnight kayak. First, you need to consider what you will need to access during the day. Pack the most important items near the top of the boat while packing the less important ones at the bottom.

Remember to bring a first-aid kit, which should be kept close to your seat or thwart pack. You may also want to consider purchasing a dry bag to store your gear.

Read on to get the most out of overnight kayaking trips.

Planning For An Overnight Kayaking Trip

When planning to pack your kayak for an overnight trip, consider the volume available for storage. Ideally, light items should be placed on the ends of your kayak, while heavier items should be placed in the middle. It is also important to balance the weight of your gear front-to-back and side-to-side.

Finally, store your heaviest items in the center of the kayak. Don’t forget to keep your kayak’s contents dry! Store them in a sealed compartment and keep them safe in case it flips over.

The Storage Volume Of An Overnight Kayak

The storage volume of an overnight kayak can vary widely, and there are different types of kayaks. It is difficult to judge by looking at it, but most manufacturers will state the volume of their kayaks in the catalog. Depending on your weight and height, you may need to add or subtract the volume of your kayak to get the desired level of space.

Generally, a kayak with more than five liters of storage will support as much weight as you can carry in it.

Alternatively, you can opt for a sea kayak with a long keel line and medium storage volume. Depending on your personal needs, you can choose between a long kayak or a narrow one. A kayak with a high storage volume is better suited to carry heavy loads.

However, it will increase its weight and drag and may not be the best option if you’re able to carry the full amount of gear.

Include Destination & Details In Your Plan

The next step in packing your overnight kayak is to consider your destination. While many manufacturers list the capacity of the storage compartment in their kayaks, you may find that the storage volume fluctuates throughout the trip.

So, while you may have neatly folded clothes on day one, they may no longer compress to their original volume by the end of day five. Additionally, consider how much water and food you will need along the way. A few days into the trip, your food and water may be drier and more expansive than before.

Check These Conditions Before You Pack An Overnight Kayak

Checking the condition of your overnight kayak is an important part of preparing for a trip. It can help prevent accidents on the water by inspecting the kayak for damage. If the kayak has a crack or is otherwise damaged, you should make repairs before heading out.

In case the kayak is leaking water, you can always place a bottle of water inside it. If the water bottle floats, it means that the kayak is buoyant.

Comfort Level Defines The Packing

Next, you must consider your comfort level. The comfort level should be cozy for you, and the kayak must fit you snugly. You want to have enough room to move around, but not so much that you can’t control the vessel. The ideal length for a kayak is somewhere in between.

Remember that each kayak is different, and they are designed to serve a different purpose. So it’s important to know what your body size is before purchasing one.

Packing Checklist For Overnight Kayaking Trips

Adding safety gear to an overnight kayak is vital. The following are some of the essentials to include. First aid kits are essential, but you should also pack extras like an emergency whistle horn. A first aid kit is also important for emergencies, and it should be watertight and light.

Waterproof Camera

Purchasing a waterproof camera is another essential accessory. It is a great way to document your trip and capture unforgettable memories. Besides the camera, you should also bring binoculars to identify distant objects and light fires.

Binoculars are also useful for finding a bear’s nest or spotting a dead frog. A camera that is water-resistant can prevent damage to your kayak.

GPS Tracker

To pack an overnight kayak, don’t forget to include a tracking device. GPS units also come in handy on multi-day trips. A GPS device like the Garmin inReach Explorer+ or a 2-way satellite communicator can share your location and allow you to call for assistance.

Many GPS comes with mounting gear, so it’s easy to install them anywhere. Getting a kayak GPS will be an excellent investment. If you’re planning to go on longer trips, consider purchasing a GPS system, a radio, or a kayak-to-boat shuttle.

Adding tracking devices like GPS will ensure your safety and enjoyment while still leaving you free to enjoy your kayaking adventure!

Reusable Toiletry Kit

If you’re planning to paddle for several days or spend the night in your kayak, consider buying a reusable toiletry kit from a kayaking retailer. It’s a good idea to have a few toiletries on board because they will help you stay healthy.

In addition, a few extras can go a long way. A small, lightweight paddle or a paddle float is an essential kayaking tool. A bilge pump and paddle float are helpful when you capsize and need to bail water.

Don’t Forget Water When You Pack A Kayak For Overnight Trips

Water is an important component of the tent. While kayaking, you’ll need two days’ worth of water. For multi-day trips, you can fill up at streams. Make sure you have plenty of water on board, as paddling can be thirsty work, and a gallon of water weighs 8.34 pounds!

Also, consider the volume of food and water you’ll need to consume throughout your journey.


A groundsheet is essential for sleeping under a tarp, as it protects the tent floor and the sleeping pad. While these items are available separately, they can be expensive if you want to bring along a groundsheet.

A great alternative groundsheet is made of Tyvek or polychrome, both of which can be found at a local kayaking store or online. If you’re on a budget, you can also choose one of the two kayaks for your trip.

Include Tyvek When You Pack For An Overnight Kayak

While most people know Tyvek as the weatherproof material used to wrap packages, it also has many other uses. From hazmat-like garments to USPS priority mail envelopes to kite-making and race bibs, the white, papery stuff is a versatile material that’s inexpensive, lightweight, and water-resistant.

It’s a great choice for a ground cloth or sleeping pad, especially, when you pack a kayak for overnight trips.

Using A Dry Bag To Store Gear

Using a dry bag to store your kayaking gear is a great way to avoid water damage. There are several types of dry bags available, and the choice depends on what type of kayaking gear you’re planning to carry.

Nylon dry bags are lightweight and easily packable, making them ideal for short day trips. Nylon bags are less resistant to punctures and aren’t as durable as other materials.

Choose a bag with a high-vis color to keep you visible. Some dry bags even float, so you won’t have to worry about getting soaked.

Using a dry bag to store your kayaking gear is a great way to protect delicate items like electronics and camera lenses from water damage. Many dry bags have a plastic ring on the top to attach a carabiner or snap hook. Some bags even feature a valve to compress the air inside.

Most dry bags do not have a compression strap, but some have clear windows to let you see what’s inside. Some bags have padded dividers for electronics, and you can even cut a sleeping pad into the dry bag to protect it from moisture.

If you’re planning on using a dry bag to store your kayaking gear, it’s best to choose one that comes in different colors. Different colors mean different things and using a bag that’s the same color as your kayak can make it easier to find them in case you need them.

If you’re planning to use the dry bag for overnight trips, it’s a good idea to purchase a few different dry bags and use them for specific gear.

Suppose you plan to use a dry bag while kayaking; consider buying one that features a roll-down top and a zipper closure. It doubles as flotation and is ideal for storing wet and dry clothing. While the bag itself may be lightweight, it’s not flexible enough to be used for a laptop or iPad.

A waterproof bag is the ideal solution for overnight kayaking and will prevent your gear from becoming wet or damaged during the trip.

Base Layer And Clothing

Your base layer is the first layer of clothing you’ll wear. This layer is very comfortable and should fit properly. It should also provide some insulation. You can choose from a variety of options, including short and long-sleeved tees, thermal clothing, and a sleep balaclava.

Your base layer can be made of any fabric you prefer and can be stuffed into a sleeping bag as your ‘PJs’ on cold nights.

Regardless of the weather, you should pack appropriate clothing for the conditions you’ll be paddling. In warm weather, many people choose swimsuits. For this type of adventure, noncotton underwear and sports bras work well as the first layer.

For colder weather kayaking, you’ll want to bring a wetsuit. The drysuit is made of waterproof material and will help keep you dry in cold water. If you plan to wear a wetsuit, be sure to pack a layer of clothing in between for overnight kayak trips.

Another choice for the base layer is a kayaking-specific jacket. Paddling jackets often feature gaskets at the neck and wrist to keep out water and keep you comfortable. Waterproof jackets can also be useful for short outings. And you can always choose a pair of water-resistant shoes once you exit the water.

You can also wear sandals while kayaking. Remember that a separate pair of shoes will be needed for dry land.

Choosing the right clothes is crucial on a kayak trip. You should bring two synthetic base layers, a lightweight jacket, and board shorts. You’ll also need a dry top or bottom. When you are planning an overnight kayaking trip, be sure to pack some socks. And don’t forget your sunscreen!

You never know when you might capsize, so it’s best to be prepared. This way, you won’t get cold while kayaking.

Bilge Pump

If you plan on spending a long weekend in an overnight kayak, a bilge pump is a necessity. However, you also need a backup power source. You should invest in a high-capacity SLA battery for your kayak. A good pump can leave as much as 2.5 quarts of water behind. If you’re planning on paddling for many days, consider purchasing a high-volume bilge pump.

A high-quality bilge pump can be a life saver. To pack a kayak for overnight trips, you should invest in a bilge pump with built-in sensors. It can automatically pump out water from the boat when it detects water. You don’t need a hose to use it because it sprays water out over the side.

The pump is lightweight and easy to use. It pumps eight gallons per minute. Its bright color makes it easy to find in low-light conditions. Stainless steel screws help prevent corrosion.

There are two types of bilge pumps. Manual and automatic. Manual bilge pumps require the user to stop paddling to operate the pump.

Automatic Bilge Pump

Automatic bilge pumps can pump out water while paddling without stopping. They’re safer to use than manual pumps because you don’t have to stop paddling!

Manual bilge pumps can also cause your kayak to capsize. However, manual bilge pumps should only be used when the kayak is in a safe place.

Manual Bilge Pump

A manual bilge pump is usually made of ABS plastic. These pumps can be sturdy and durable, but you’ll have to keep them close to your kayak for safety purposes. They should also be designed to float on water, which is a problem with hand pumps.

Ensure that you attach your kayak pump to a bungee. You can use the batteries for other devices in your kayak if you’re not careful.

Pack Life Jacket For Overnight Kayak Trips

While there are many different types of kayak life jackets, one of the most important tools you can carry with you is a good life jacket. It will be crucial to get a life jacket that fits properly and provides enough protection.

Read on for some tips on choosing the right life jacket in order to pack perfectly your overnight kayak for a longer camping trip. Here are some of the most important features of a life jacket. We also have a look at the various options available.

An Adult Classic life jacket is a good choice if you’re planning to use a kayak in flat waters. With 15.5 pounds of flotation, this life jacket will keep your head above water even when you’re unable to swim.

This life jacket features a front buckle system for easy use and adjustable side straps for a better fit. While it is not designed for active activities, it is a good choice for a backup PFD.

When selecting a life jacket for your overnight kayak trip, it’s important to keep in mind what the intended use of the life jacket will be. Whether you’re paddling inland water or kayaking in the ocean, you’ll need a PFD.

The latter, known as a throwable PFD, can be thrown at someone else in case of an emergency. However, a throwable life jacket is not a good choice for people who are not proficient swimmers, non-swimmers, children, and those who expect long hours of rough water.

Learn To Pack A Touring Kayak For Overnight Camping

Touring kayaks are often chosen for camping because they are stable and can be transported easily. However, packing a touring kayak can be challenging. Here are five tips for packing a touring kayak for camping:

  • Make sure the kayak is well-packed before transporting it. This will minimize the chance of damage in transit.
  • Use bungee cords to secure items such as your fishing rods and paddles.
  • Make sure you have enough packing space in your kayak. This will allow you to pack all of your supplies without having to worry about them taking up too much space.

Organizing An Overnight Kayaking Trips

Organizing an overnight kayak trip is a great way to explore the outdoors with a group of people you love. Kayaking can be a great way to bond and share experiences, so make sure you choose the right location for your kayak trip.

If you want to try paddling alone, you can choose a quiet river or lake to practice on. Once you’ve gained experience, you can plan a longer expedition if you’re interested.

Keeping Everyone Together

When it comes to group safety, a rear kayaker is vital for keeping everyone together. If something goes wrong, he or she must stop the group to prevent any further incidents. A plastic whistle is handy for this purpose.

New members should be greeted with a friendly welcome from the more experienced kayakers. A practice group towing exercise is a great ice-breaker, and a deep-water rescue drill is reassuring.

Be Patient And Plan Ahead

Remember to take a couple of hours to plan your trip before you head out, and make sure to bring the right supplies. Organizing an overnight kayak trip will be a fun experience that you and your family and friends will cherish for a lifetime.

Organizing an overnight kayak trip is like putting a puzzle together. You need to be patient and plan ahead to save yourself the frustration and stress that comes with last-minute mistakes!

If You’re Bringing Children Pack These To Your Overnight Kayak

If you’re bringing children, be sure to buy a kayak with sufficient flotation for them, and make sure they wear a sprayskirt. And if you’re kayaking with a group, enlist a babysitter who can assist with moving the kayaks around depending on the tide cycle.

You may also want to make adjustments to your packing list depending on the wildlife you encounter on your trip. One of the biggest storage hatches on a kayak is the cockpit. You can also place dry bags behind the seat.

In conclusion, remember to pack the essentials for an overnight kayak trip- plenty of water, food, a first-aid kit, and camping or fishing gear. And don’t forget your sunglasses, sunscreen, hat, and insect repellent! As long as you’re prepared with the right gear and knowledge, packing your own kayak is a great way to explore new waterways without having to worry about transportation or lodging arrangements.