Overnight Packing in Kayak - Mountain Buzz

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Old 03-30-2009   #1
stubby's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 432
Overnight Packing in Kayak

Just wondering what everyone's set up is. I'm starting to do some long solo flatwater stuff in Utah as well as wanting to do some whitewater overnighters around the west and was hoping for reccomendations on how you guys pack.

I boat in an old CFS (I know I need an upgrade) and just picked up some Wildwasser stow floats, but what else do you guys use. I've heard just a bunch of small dry bags, do you pack anything in your bows? What's a typical list for a 3-4 day trip-I assume just similar to backpacking, but any specific kayaking stuff.

Lastly, anyone have a breakdown they want to part with?

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Old 03-30-2009   #2
kayakfreakus's Avatar
Steamboat, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,026
I found a lot of useful information in this thread:


The limited experience I have had definitely backs up most of these suggestions especially keeping the heavy stuff close. Have not cut our my pillar's (yet), it scares me, but with the way I pack I am sure I will have no choice soon....
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Old 03-30-2009   #3
Colorado Springs Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 254

Here's another good site.

Earthen Exposure: kayaks
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Old 03-30-2009   #4
stubby's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 432
Thanks for the links guys. Nice to see that the Earthen exposure guy has the CFS listed as a boat not conducive to packing in...ah well, just jam it in there.
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Old 03-31-2009   #5
bobbuilds's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2007
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use handpaddles instead of a break down for 2 reasons.

1. it is smaller and you will have more room

2. you will learn to hold onto your paddle for next time, and or not chock it in a rock.

I like to put the bulky stuff up front. sleeping bag, tarp, clothes. you can stuff em all in garbage bags and then in a dry bag. use it to put your feet on. I would recomend only the stuff you are going to use regularly. if you deplete your bag over days you will have nothing left to push on as days go by.

I would have a water filter, small stove, a lashing pot and pan, unpin kit, throw bag and food(dry for long days) or pre-cook for the short ones. Dont try to prepair a meal on the river, you will need to do too much. dont forget first aid and matches!

Try to separate as much as possible and fasten everything down individualy, you dont want to loose it all in one bag. keep like stuff together, and heavy stuff by your seat back.

one idea I had was 6mm rope loops atached to the seat to fasten to. I will dig out my shit and take pictures.


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Old 03-31-2009   #6
Mr Beaver's Avatar
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 188
Remember to balance everything out each day as you repack.

An unbalanced boat is super difficult to paddle.

Don't take anything you really don't need, most people bring too much, there are good books on Lightweight Backpacking that can help you out in this area.
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Old 03-31-2009   #7
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Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,602
Watch out for regulations. Some rivers require firepan, food strainter, shovel, and toilets even if your not going use them. With that said, I make sure that the clothes I kayak in are my only clothes and have dual purpose + some good hiking shoes. Bacardi 151 and Crystial light go along way. I sleep in a light bivy and my polypro with a small tarp. Don't forget ducktape, McDonnald's catsup packs, and hotdogs. Ho, and find a friend with a gear raft. ha ha :]
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