12 Essential Kayak Camping Tips For First Timers [#7 Is Our Favourite]

Kayak camping tips

Do you want to try kayak camping? Well. Go ahead! Get out on the water, exercise your muscles, breathe some fresh air, and promote your well-being.

Although kayaking is fun and all, it might be a bit overwhelming for beginners and newbies. Practicing strokes and maintaining the right balance between paddle and boat could prove to be difficult.

Not anymore. In this article, we will take a look at 12 easy-to-follow kayak camping tips to ensure that you have a great experience. Let’s get started.

1. Start by packing everything in waterproof bags

You are going to play with the water. No matter how hard you try, and how dry your hatch is, it will definitely become wet at one point in time.

What’s more, you won’t like to take the risk. Ending up with wet belongings is the least that you will ever expect. Thus, make sure that you pack everything in a waterproof bag, absolutely everything.

2. always pack in small bags

While packing in big bags is convenient, and easy, you should always pack your stuff in small bags when going on kayaking.

The idea is simple. Although your boat will have various hatches, they are only capable of storing smaller bags.

Thus, you have to be smart and tricky while packing. A 50-60 liter dry bag is of no significance. Though the kayak hatches can fit in a lot of things, they need to be small in size. Any big bag won't just fit in.

3. always carry a tote bag with you

Tote bags are not only stylish, but they are highly useful too. When you finally arrive at the boat launch point, you are required to bring all the little dry bags. These dry bags carry all the necessary stuff you need during camping.

To accommodate all this stuff, a bigger tote bag is what you need. Simply stuff all your small bags in a tote bag and move easily from point A to B. For example, from your car to the boat, from site to shore, on portage and then back to your own.

4. Do remember to keep garbage bags as well

When you are out on the water, you are bound to get wet! Water can peep inside your boat and can make your seat wet.  

So, in order to keep your back dry, it is necessary to keep something waterproof like a plastic bag. If your back is exposed to water for a longer period of time, you might get unnecessary infections.

You can use a plastic waterproof bag to cover the seat. This will make it extremely comfortable for you while paddling.

5. Always try to keep the Kayak secure at night

While you take a halt at night and camp somewhere nearby, always keep in mind to secure your your kayak. You would definitely not want to wake up in the morning and find that your boat is missing.

You can do this by pulling the boat way up to the shore and tying it with a heavy stone or tree. Don't leave the paddles behind. Bring and secure them as well.

While you are doing it, you can flip the boat as well. This will help both the boat and hatch to dry up fast. If you plan to go kayaking at night, make sure you are well aware of the challenges to expect.

6. Take a training class

It is always advised to get a Sea Kayaking Certification. It not only helps you learn the basics of camping but also prepares you for the best and worst situation.

You will get to learn all the important skills required during the kayak camping. Above all, you will learn to be patient in every situation and think calmly.

7. make good use of carabiners and clips

Carabiners and clips come in handy when you keep things like a water bottle in your boat. It is recommended to tie or clip these things to the boat.

This way your bottle or other stuff won't fall into the water. So, make sure everything is well attached and secured to the boat.

8. don't take the weather for granted

Weather could be shiny and pleasant at one moment, and it could be completely cloud in another.

You never know! Thus, it is highly recommended to be prepared for any such sudden weather changes.

Apart from weather, you should also be aware of other common kayak dangers that may bring a negative kayaking experience.

9. wearing a life jacket or pFD is of utmost importance

Often people don't like to carry a life jacket, thinking it would take extra space. This is where they go wrong. A life jacket is important. It can save your life and might even help you in saving the lives of others as well.

10. Start with small trips

You must first cover smaller distances, especially when you are a beginner. Making small trips will give you confidence and brush up your skills as well.

Making a large distance trip has its own risks associated with it. Thus, avoid going overboard on your first kayak camping trip.

11. Plan your route and carry a map

As a beginner, avoid taking any chances. Be aware of the route that you are going to follow.

To begin with, you might like to explore the bays and other sheltered places where the water is calm.

Also, avoid kayaking if the weather is foggy as this will interfere with your visibility. Do not forget to bring a map with you to avoid getting lost.

12. get a good paddle

Last but not least, it is essential to buy a good paddle, ideally a lightweight one. Needless to say, you will be lifting your paddle too many times, and this can make you tired.

If you are a beginner, choose to go for smaller paddle blades as they are less tiring. Further, it is highly recommended to avoid using plastic and aluminum paddles.

The Wrap Up

First time kayak camping experience is special. Ensure that you make the most out of it with the help of the tips we mentioned above. Feel confident, and practice wholeheartedly.

So, are you ready to take the plunge? How does it feel? Let us know in the comments below.

Adam Parsons

Hi! I'm Adam Parsons - a fishing enthusiast. I have been fishing for more than 15 years now and I still strongly remember that the toughest part for me was during the learning process. Most guides I read during that time was too technical to understand. Therefore, I make sure that everything I post on dream-guides regarding fishing is written well and easy to understand even if you are a newbie.

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