Multiday Trips - Kayak
With proper planning and packing, multiday trips in kayaks are very doable. Boaters are using a wide variety of whitewater kayaks and touring/rec boats to explore inland and offshore waters.
Today’s whitewater playboats are too low-volume to carry extra gear but many creek boats can accommodate overnight gear. Touring/rec boats are much higher volume craft and often have watertight compartments.
This type of multiday boating requires you to think more like a backpacker, choosing gear that’s compact and light in weight. In this piece we’ll discuss some of the things you need to consider when preparing for that overnight trip. Please refer to the NRS Gear Checklists for specific recommendations on individual items to bring. If traveling on water that is permitted or regulated by a government agency, check ahead to see what items they require.
The key to a successful multi-day trip is good prior planning. If you’re going to be exploring a new stretch of water, talk to others who’ve boated it, and shop for up-to-date guidebooks and maps. Break the trip into distances that can easily be achieved in a normal day’s paddle, and allow for unexpected weather.
Packing out solid human waste is a challenge for kayakers. The Cleanwaste Portable Toilet System Wag Bags are ideal for your use. The Wag Bags can be adapted to a compact container or just placed in a depression in the ground. The patented gelling system solidifies the waste. Place the bag containing the waste in the supplied storage bag, which can then be legally placed in any household garbage can after your trip.
Food for the Trip
Packing Your Gear
You’ll want suitable dry bags for storing and protecting your food and gear (keep in mind that the hatch of your kayak may not keep water out completely). Dry bags come in a range of sizes and types, depending on your selection of gear. It’s best to pack things in a number of smaller bags, making fitting things in the confined space easier. Aquapac makes a complete line of bags for protecting your camera, GPS, radio, etc. It’s a good idea to bring a lightweight duffel bag for packing items up to the campsite.
Your boat packed for overnight trips will handle very differently from when it’s not so heavily loaded. If possible, load the boat and take a preliminary short spin to work out the best balance for your load.
Keeping both air and water temperatures in mind, consider including some combination of the following: a drysuit, drytop, drypant, wetsuit, splash jacket, splash pant, neoprene gloves and suitable footwear. As with most outdoor sports, layering is the name of the game for kayaking. This gear can do double duty for protection in camp and on side hikes.
Multiday trips, especially those in remote areas, offer unique challenges and rewards. Do your homework, prepare for emergencies and don’t tackle water beyond your experience level.
Boat Safe, have fun – see you on the water!