It’s easy to get caught up in the mindset that you require all of your home’s amenities. While you might be able to get all of your favourite items in a miniature “camping size” at your favourite outdoor merchant, you won’t have a good time if you try to carry everything with you. The more items you carry, the more time you spend organising your belongings, and the less time you have to enjoy fishing and being outside. Gear mostly serves to slow you down, and less is nearly always better.
My kayak camping equipment consists of four essential items:
- a tent
- a sleeping bag
- a sleeping pad,
- a compact travel pillow
To make it easier to accommodate them inside my kayak tour, each one is kept in its own tiny drybag. I also pack a change of clothes, as well as enough water and food to last the duration of my journey. When it comes to cuisine, I like things that are simple. Cooking over an open fire is a lot of fun, but it comes with a lot of equipment and work. When I’m alone, I prefer to consume ready-to-eat foods such as granola bars and canned goods that I can open quickly.
A tent might be a welcome respite when you’ve had a long day of fishing and exploring. It provides you with a dry, bug-free environment in which to recharge your batteries. A two-person, two-door tent with twin vestibules over both doorways and a two-pole design appeals to me. The dual vestibules provide cross ventilation, which can help you stay cool on hot summer evenings if there’s a breeze. This type of tent is self-supporting, easy to set up, can withstand strong winds, and can withstand even the most torrential rainstorms. Longer tent stakes for securing my tent on the sand are the only specific items I’ve added to my kayaking camping tent equipment. In this type of terrain, most typical tent stakes are just 10 to 12 inches long and will not keep your tent down or secure your tent flap. This can be a significant issue during strong winds or rainstorms. I went to my local Home Depot and bought a few pieces of aluminium angle iron to fix the problem. I shaped them with tin snips and sanded the edges after cutting them to 18-inch lengths. If you’re camping on sand, these, in my opinion, are required.
Because of the restricted space in my kayaking, I chose a sleeping bag that packs down into the smallest possible stuff sack. The most compressible substance in this category is goose down, but it will not keep you warm if it gets wet. During the summer, I move to a compact and light “summer weight” sleeping bag. You don’t need much more than a sheet in the summer, because anything more than that will have you melting inside your tent.
A Sleeping Pad
If you don’t want to sleep on hard ground, you’ll need a sleeping pad. Air pads, self-inflating pads, and closed-cell foam sleeping pads are just a few of the options available. For nearly 30 years, I’ve relied on Thermarest’s self-inflating sleeping mats, which have proven to be quite durable and reliable. They have a foam inner core that expands when the valve is opened, making them self-inflating. They’re both cosy and long-lasting. I sleep just as well, if not better, in my own bed.