Planning For an Overnight Kayak or Canoe Trip

 

Okay, so you’ve decided to take your paddling adventures to a new level, and start taking overnight kayaking or canoe trips. First know that these can be some of the most wonderful trips you can take, with friends or family, and you’ll bring back memories that will last a lifetime.

But also know that you’d better plan ahead and bring the proper gear and supplies, or your fun adventure could turn into a nightmare very quickly.

Planning an overnight (or several night) kayak or canoe trip doesn’t have to be a grueling ordeal. All it takes is some research, thoughtful foresight, and careful packing. And always start with a complete checklist. There’s nothing worse than getting miles into your trip, only to discover that you left an important item back at the house.

Another important consideration is how much storage space you’ll have in your kayak or canoe. This isn’t like driving to a KOA campground where you can load up the car or RV with everything you’d like to bring on your trip and go. On a paddling trip, everything you bring along will have to fit into the storage compartments of your kayak, or somewhere in your canoe.

You’ll also want to bring along plenty of dry bags or ziplock bags, dry boxes, and anything else that will help keep your gear dry. Don’t just rely on the hatch covers to keep the water out – as anyone who’s been sea kayaking knows, hatch covers leak, and usually at the worst times.

Gear and Supplies For An Overnight Trip

 

We’ve compiled a list of items that are broken down into two groups – essential items, and other things that are optional (but nice to have, especially if you have the space). You can plan on bringing much of the camping gear that you’d normally bring on a camping trip – again, as long as they don’t take up too much space on your canoe or kayak.

An additional note about clothing – make sure you bring along clothing for the type of conditions you’re likely to encounter on your trip – during the day and night, and while you’re out on the water. And make sure and use those dry bags for your clothing – there’s nothing more miserable than having nothing but soggy clothes to wear.