How to pack for a sea kayaking trip

How to pack for a sea kayaking trip


Beginner Kayaking

In deciding how to pack for a sea kayaking trip you will need to inventory all of your safety equipment and make sure that everything is in good working order. If any of your safety gear is not working properly or shows signs of wear, you should replace it.

Having the safety equipment to help you through any unforeseen problems should be your first priority. Sea kayaking tours can be just as dangerous as whitewater kayaking so you will need to be prepared. Before going into how to pack for a sea kayaking trip we will first review some of the safety equipment that you should pack for your paddling adventure.

Overview of Safety Equipment

  • Make sure that you have some paddle parks firmly mounted on your kayak, These consist of several small clips or lines that will hold your extra paddle firmly to your kayak, Make sure that they are mounted in a location that you can easily reach while sitting in your cockpit.
  • A good quality floating bilge pump. If water gets into your kayak you could be in a very serious situation. Make sure your bilge pump is sturdily made and will pump at a reasonably high volume per minute. If you can not find a bilge pump that floats either brace it to your kayak or attach flotation securely to it so that it can not be lost.
  • Kayak compasses are a necessity for sea kayaking tours. Personal compasses are not suitable for the constant motion of sea kayaking and may not be waterproof. Mount a good kayak compass for easy directional viewing. Some people are mounting waterproof portable GPS units onto they kayaks. For those that like hi-tech this may be the way to go. You will also need charts or suitable maps of the area to use with this equipment.
  • Paddle floats are a necessity because they can save your life. If you fall out of your kayak in deep water, paddle floats will help you to get back into your boat. Make sure that you learn how to use your paddle floats by practicing in calm water.
  • When learning how to pack for a sea kayaking trip you will discover that an assortment of good quality dry bags are essential. You will also need a waterproof cell phone carrier, camera carrier, and waterproof carriers for other electronic equipment for kayaking. If you have been out in the open water you know that water gets into everything unless you protect it.
  • Safety equipment to pack in your PFD pockets include battery-powered waterproof strobe lights, waterproof portable radio, cell phone in waterproof carrier, emergency flares, and a pocket knife. You should also wear a good tow belt rated for long range touring and a kayak whistle.
  • You will also need a well stocked first aid kit, an emergency blanket, and extra non-cotton, water-temperature appropriate, clothing to pack with your other bulkhead-stored supplies. A good pair of waterproof closed-toe shoes, suitable for paddling, in also highly recommended.


How to Pack for a Sea Kayaking Trip Overview

To learn how to pack your kayak for a sea kayaking trip there are few important tips to remember. Always pack some extra food and water in case you are out longer than originally planned. You can pack lightweight items into your kayak while on the beach and then load the heavier items just before you get in the cockpit. To keep the kayak stable you should always pack the heaviest items in the center of the bulkhead and closest to where you are sitting.

Make sure that you pack into dry bags all supplies that you want kept dry and then load them into the bulkheads. Your first aid kit should always be packed on top for ease of use. The more experienced that you become in packing your kayak, the easier it will become. Stay safe and have a great adventure.


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