Sea Kayak Overnight Packing List

The always up to date guide to what’s in my… kayak! Geared for a overnight kayaking trip.

Last Updated: 9/09/2015

This is a full gear list including both packed and worn items.

  • Kayak – Necky Eskia
  • Paddle – Werner Camano Paddle
  • Backup Paddle – Aquaglide Kayak Paddle
    • Backup paddles are important.  If you lose your paddle you are literally “up a creek without a paddle”.  It doesn’t need to be pricy though.  This one costs $40.
  • Paddle Float – NRS paddle float
  • Bilge Pump – Seattle Sports T-Handle Bilge Pump
    • I make sure to get one with a float since I’ve dropped a few in my day.
  • Boat Sponge – SealLine Deluxe Bailing Sponge
  • Spray Skirt – Seals Adventurer Spray Skirt – 1.7
  • Deck Compass – Seattle Sports SeaRover Deck Compass
  • Throw Line – 50 feet of yellow 1/4 inch poly line with a sponge tied to one end (the other end is tied to the front of your kayak).
    • The sponge will give the end of the line a little weight (if you dip it in the water) so you can get some distance on your throw but it won’t hurt anything it hits.
  • Deck Light – Paddlers Supply Company LED Kayak Deck Light with Suction Cup Base
  • Marine RadioMidland Nautico 3 Waterproof Marine Radio
    • Keep it tuned to the emergency channel.  If some random big ship is about to run you over they will most likely try and give you a heads up.  Also nice for monitoring the weather.
  • Drybag BackpackSea to Summit Rapid 26L DryPack 
    • I secure this bag to the deck of my kayak right in front of me.  That way I can use it to stash the things I need to get at while paddling and also quickly disconnect it and toss it on my back to go on a shore expedition.
  • Water Bladder – Any old one will do.
    • Goes inside the backpack for drinking while paddling.
  • Snack Bottle – 16 oz. Nalgene
    • Toss a bunch of trail mix in here and you can shake some into your mouth while you paddle.
  • Portage Bag – Any random gigantic duffel bag.
    • To most effectively pack a kayak you should be employing a ton of smaller dry bags.  These are a huge pain in the ass to individually haul to your campsite.  Toss them all into the duffel bag to make it an easier trip.
  • Dry Bags – SealLine Eco-See Dry Bag – 30 Liters
    • It generally takes 4-5 of these to hold all my gear.  I prefer clear dry bags so I can quickly find what I’m looking for without needing to unpack everything.
  • Lifejacket – Kokatat Bahia Tour PFD
  • Wetsuit – NRS 3.0 Farmer John Wetsuit
    • In my home waters of Puget Sound the water temperature is generally between 50 and 60 degrees which requires a 3mm wetsuit.  I prefer the “farmer john” style because I’ve found it keep chafing caused by paddling to a minimum and allows some extra heat to vent.
  • Rash Guard – O’Neill Basic Skins Long-Sleeve Crew Rashguard
    • Long sleeves keep you from getting sun burned.  If you overheat just dunk your arms in the water every now and then.
  • Water Socks – NRS Hydroskin Socks
  • SandalsTeva Barracuda Sandal
    • I prefer to wear water socks with sandals while paddling – its more comfortable and lets my feet breathe a little bit IMO.
  • Paddling Gloves – Camaro Titanium Paddling Gloves
  • Sunglasses – Smith Dolen ChromaPop Polarchromic Ignitor Sunglasses
    • Polarized is key.  Don’t bother if they aren’t polarized.  Being polarized lets you see deep into the water and cuts the glare from paddling all day long.
  • Baseball Cap – Any cheap trucker hat will do.
  • Watch – Suunto Core
    • The barometer setting will give you a nice heads up on surprise weather.
  • Tent – REI InCamp 4 with with REI Snow and Sand Anchors
    • No need to skimp on space when you are kayaking!
  • Sleeping BagSea-to-Summit Spark SPIII
  • Sleeping PadBig Agnes Q-Core SL Mummy with Big Agnes Pumphouse Pad Pump Dry Sack
    • Pumphouse Pad Pump Dry Sack holds my sleeping bag, sleeping pad and pillow.
  • HammockHummingbird Hammock
    • You can’t channel your inner Jimmy Buffet if you don’t have a hammock.
  • Camp Chair – REI Flex Lite Chair
    • Packs small enough to easily fit inside a kayak.
  • Axe – Gerber Camp Axe II
  • Stove Primus Express Lander with fuel, fuel bottle and wind screen
    • To me kayaking is best done family style.  That means making big meals that are shared by everyone.  Think bacon broccoli mac and cheese.  This means you need a liquid fuel stove that can support a big pot.
  • Cook Pot – Open Country 4 Quart Pot with Lid
    • A big pot that can boil up some spaghetti and large enough to fit a crab (PS: crabbing while on a kayak trip is awesome!).
  • Frying Pan – GSI Pinnacle 8-Inch Frypan
    • You can’t scramble eggs very well without one.
  • Cooking Utensils – Long metal tongs, rubber spatula, kitchen knife, and cutting board.
    • Dollar store versions work great.
  • Eating UtensilsMSR Folding Utensils
    • Fork and spoon.
  • Salt/Pepper ShakerMSR Alpine Salt & Pepper Shaker
    • 1/2 with salt and 1/2 with cinnamon.  I don’t normally use pepper and cinnamon makes coffee and oatmeal taste better.
  • Spice ContainerMSR Alpine Spice Shaker
    • Filled with sugar – I don’t like black coffee.
  • MugGSI Outdoors Blue Mountain Infinity Mug
    • While I really prefer to use a titanium mug over plastic this mug has a lid that easily seals.  This allows me to drink hot coffee in my sleeping bag and set the mug down in the tent while I shuffle around and not stress out about it spilling.
  • Plate – Snow Peak Titanium Plate
  • Bowl – MSR Alpine Nesting Bowl
  • Dish Washing Supplies – Small bottle of soap and a sponge.
    • Use your big 4 quart pot as your wash bucket after you are done eating.
  • Water Treatment – My personalized Sawyer Squeeze Mini setup.
  • Bic Lighter
  • HeadlampBlack Diamond Icon
    • If I’m not worrying about weight I bring this headlamp.
  • Lantern – UCO Arka LED Rechargeable Lantern
    • Lights up camp and recharges your phone.
  • Sit Pad – 1′ by 2′ piece of foam I cut from a sleeping pad
    • One of my favorite items to take with me.  Great for sitting on at lunch, around the fire, using as a small table to keep from losing small items, placed under a pack in your vestibule to keep the bottom of your pack dry, and many more uses.
  • Emergency BeaconDelorme InReach
  • GPS – Garmon 62s
  • Land Clothes – a couple t-shirts, some convertible pants, underwear, socks, gloves, a down jacket, beanie, rain shell and hiking shoes.
    • Rule #1 – don’t get your land clothes wet! Ever! No matter what!
    • Rule #2 – don’t skimp on your insulating layers.  Its colder by the water than you think, especially if there is a breeze.
  • Towel – PackTowl Personal Towel (XL)
    • Who doesn’t want to go for a swim while kayaking? If you do you will need to dry off. Also good if where you are staying has coin operated showers.  Make sure you get an XL or XXL so its actually towel sized and not a washcloth.
  • Tarp – A basic blue tarp.
    • You’ve got the room and if its dumping rain you will regret leaving this behind.
  • Food – Breakfast, lunch, dinner (I pack one extra serving of dinner just in case), paddle snacks, night time snacks, coffee, tea & sports drink powder
  • Emergency Survival GearEmergency + medical gear packing list
  • Kayak Repair Gear – Quick dry marine epoxy, roll of duct tape, and rudder wire/crimps/pliers.
    • This stuff is key.  I’ve broken my rudder and put holes in kayaks more than once.

Alternate Items

  • Dry suit – Swap this out for the wetsuit if you are paddling in some extreme conditions.
  • Crab Pot/Line/Bait – If crabbing is an option do it! A simple ring pot strapped to the back of your kayak works brilliantly.
  • Quarters – Occasionally you will see campsites with coin operated showers in areas that cater more toward the boating crowd.