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Kayak Camping List:

Essential Kayak Camping Checklist

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Published June 14, 2022

Kayak camping can be a fantastic way to spend your time outdoors. Kayak camping is an activity that involves physical exertion, so it’s important to be prepared for the journey before you get started. One of the most important aspects of kayak camping is packing or having a complete kayak camping list. You need to ensure that you have everything you need for a safe trip before getting in the water.

So, here is a complete kayak camping list that can help you bring everything that you gonna need.

Kayak Camping List: Summary

Essential Kayak Camping List

Here is the complete kayak camping list that can help you pack every important item that will help you while you are on the adventure.

**Make sure to bookmark this page and double check just before your kayak camping trip so that you are well prepared, it’s better to be overprepared than not to be and risk your life on these kind of trips, so do yourself a favor and save this page for reference!**

Kayaking Gear

First of all, pack all the Kayaking Gear. You can’t go kayaking unless you have a kayak, and you can’t do any paddling without it.

An ideal kayaking gear includes:

  • Kayak
  • Paddles + A Spare Paddle for Emergency Situations
  • PFD (Personal Flotation Device)
  • Bilge Pump
  • Waterproof/Dry Bags
  • Flashlight
  • Battery
  • Whistle
  • Signal Gun
  • First Aid Kit

Fishing Gear

Fishing gear is a must-have for kayak camping. You can’t just set up your tent and call it a day; you have to go fishing. For this, you will have to pack the fishing gear.

Ideal fishing gear includes:

  • Fishing line
  • Hooks
  • Swivels
  • Sinkers (weight)
  • Bobbers (floatation)

Tent, Tarp, and Stakes

You will need a tent, tarp, and stakes to get your kayak camping trip off the ground. Make sure you buy a waterproof tent (with a rainfly) with at least one door that can be closed from inside to outside.

You can use a regular tent or an inflatable one. The latter is lighter to carry and easy to set up. But it should be waterproof and windproof.

Besides, you might also want to consider buying some rope or bungee cords so you can secure the tarp over the tent if it’s windy or rainy outside.

When it comes time to set up camp, make sure you have plenty of tent stakes.

Sleeping Bag and Camping Pillow

You will have to pack a sleeping bag rated for the coldest temperatures you are likely to encounter on your trip. If you plan camping during the spring or fall, you can get away with a lighter-weight bag.

However, if you are planning on camping in the winter months, you may want to consider getting a warmer sleeping bag made with synthetic insulation instead of down. Down sleeping bags are more expensive than synthetic ones and tend to be heavier.

Besides that, a good camping pillow will help keep your head elevated while you sleep so that it doesn’t sink into the ground, where it can become damp and uncomfortable. Make sure that your pillow is easy to inflate and deflate so that it isn’t too bulky when packing up your gear at the end of each day.

Water Bottles and Filters

If you want to make sure you have plenty of water on your kayaking adventure, you must bring along a few different types of water bottles. You will want to have at least one bottle that can be easily filled up with fresh spring water and a couple of plastic bottles that you can use to store water.

The biggest benefit of plastic bottles is they are lightweight, which makes them easier to carry around when you are on the go.

You should also invest in some reusable filters so that you can filter out any debris from the water before using it in your cooking. These filters are great for hiking as well as kayaking because they are so easy to use.

Toilet Paper and Wipes

Toilet paper and wipes are a must for kayaking. You will need to be able to stay clean and dry, and the easiest way to do that is to make sure you have plenty of TP with you.

These are an absolute necessity for any camping trip, but especially for a kayak camping trip. You’ll be glad you brought them.

Food and Cookware

Food is a basic necessity, and you will have to pack your own food that you can eat while you are kayak camping. So, pack food that won’t spoil in high temperatures, such as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, trail mix, granola bars, and anything else you enjoy eating while camping.

Besides food, you will also have to pack cooking gear like:

  • A camp stove and fuel
  • Set of pots and pans
  • A cutting board and knives
  • Platters, bowls, cups, and plates (plastic or paper)
  • Paper towels and napkins
  • Ziploc bags in various sizes (quart-size is good for storing leftovers)

Health & Safety

When going on a kayaking trip, you need to pack some essential items in your bag to ensure safety and comfort. Here is a list of things that you should include when packing for kayak camping:

  • Bug Spray
  • Mosquito Lotion
  • Anti Allergic Lotion
  • Some Anti-Biotics
  • Duck Tape

Navigation Gear

The most important thing to remember when you are camping is that you need to be able to get back home. This means having a way to navigate through the wilderness and find your way back to civilization, no matter how far away from it you get.

So, you will have to bring good navigation gear that can help you safely get back home. Navigation gear comes in many different forms, but we will be focusing on what’s most important for kayak camping: a map, compass, and GPS device.

GPS devices are great because they use satellites orbiting around the earth to determine exactly where your location is at any given time. And they store this information so that if something happens like an earthquake or other natural disaster that destroys buildings, they will still work to help you know where you are.

Rain Gear

You don’t want to be cold, wet, and miserable on your camping trip. That’s why it’s important to pack rain gear in your kayak camping checklist!

You will need plenty of layers to keep you warm and dry, so make sure you bring a rain jacket and pants. If it starts raining unexpectedly, you will also want to have an extra set of dry clothes with you.

Rain gear is an important part of your kayak camping trip, as it can make all the difference in whether you enjoy your trip or not. Rain gear is also an essential part of any kayaking experience, as it helps protect from the elements, especially on a long-term trip.

Waterproof Bags

Waterproof bags are a must-have for kayaking or camping adventures because they keep your gear dry even when you are out in the open water. You want to be able to store items like your phone, wallet, and other valuables in them without worrying about them getting wet or damaged by the elements.

You can find waterproof bags of all shapes and sizes at any sporting goods store or online retailer. Waterproof bags are specifically designed for kayaking; they generally have special flotation devices built into them that keep them from sinking if you capsize.

Personal Items

Besides all the things mentioned above, the most important things are your personal items such as:


Clothes are the most important part of any camping trip, and they are even more important when you are packing for a kayak camping trip. There are some items that are absolutely essential, while others can be left behind if necessary.

  • Full Sleeve Shirts
  • T-Shirts
  • Cotton made tops
  • Shorts
  • Long Boots
  • Waterproof Boots
  • Comfortable Pants or Trousers

A Mini Wash Station

If you are like most people, you probably don’t think of your toiletries as “essentials.” And maybe they’re not, but if you find yourself in an emergency situation, it can be vital to have them on hand.

For this, you will have to bring:

  • Face Wash
  • Hand Wash Soap
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste
  • Towels
  • Bug Spray
  • Face Wipes

So, it’s important to bring toiletries on your kayak camping trip because you never know if you will find them or not there. Besides that, there are many other reasons you will need toiletries on your kayak camping trip.

First, you will need a way to wash off all of the grime and sweat that will build up when you are out on the water.

Second, if you are planning on cooking over an open fire, it’s important to bring some essential oils and bug repellent so that you don’t burn down your campsite or get eaten alive by mosquitos.

Finally, having toiletries handy allows you to freshen up before hitting the sack at night; that’s something we can all appreciate after a long day outdoors.

Sunblock for Blocking Harmful UV Rays

The sun is your friend when you are on land, but not when you are on the water. You should always wear sunscreen while kayaking. This will not only protect your skin from sunburn, but it will also help prevent you from getting heatstroke.

Sunscreen is also an important part of your kayak camping list in case of a burn or other injury. So, always bring good sunscreen with you while going on a kayak camping trip.

Extra Clothes

Pack some extra pairs of clothes in case of emergency. Even though you have packed everything you need for your camping trip, there’s always room for something extra, especially when it comes to clothing.

If you are going on a long kayaking trip or hiking through rough terrain, make sure that you have another set of clothes in case anything happens to your existing clothes.

You never know how long or far away from civilization you will end up being stranded. So be prepared by bringing extra clothing along with you at all times during your trip.

Some Helpful Kayak Camping Tips

Now you have a complete kayak camping list that can help you bring everything you need on the trip. So, here are some tips that can also be beneficial for you to make your trip memorable.

Plan for Everything:

When you are planning a kayaking trip, it’s important to be prepared for anything. You never know what kind of weather conditions you might run into or how long your trip will last.

This is especially true when camping since you often have to plan for much more than just a meal: you will want to make sure you have enough food, water, and other supplies that could come in handy during an emergency.

It’s also important to plan everything before because there won’t be anyone around to help you if something goes wrong while camping. If you get lost or injured on your trip, it will be up to you and your group members to figure out how best to handle the situation.

Pack Light, but Don't Forget Important Items:

Packing light is the name of the game when it comes to kayak camping, but don’t forget anything important.

Make sure that everything you bring is absolutely necessary. You will be less likely to over-pack if you think about what you really need before you start packing up your kayak. If it’s not something that’s going to help make your trip more enjoyable, then leave it at home.

Be Prepared for Bad Weather:

When you are kayak camping, bad weather can be a real downer. You have got your tent set up, and you are ready to enjoy the night, but then it starts raining. Or maybe you are out in nature, and there’s a storm raging, and you are not sure where to go.

That is why it is better to be prepared for everything and plan your kayak camping accordingly.

Avoid Buoyancy Issues:

It’s also important to avoid buoyancy issues. The most obvious way to do this is by wearing a lifejacket at all times, but there are also other things that can help you avoid floating away in your boat on the lake.

For example, make sure that your sleeping bag isn’t too big for the boat. A large sleeping bag will cause more drag in the water and keep you from moving as fast as possible.

If you are using a tent, make sure it’s lightweight and easy to set up so that it doesn’t take up too much space in your kayak or weigh you down when you are trying to paddle through rough waters or windy weather conditions.

Know Your Limits:

You have got to know your limits when it comes to camping. If you are going on a kayak camping trip, you are probably used to being in the wilderness. But that doesn’t mean you should push yourself out of your comfort zone. If you’re kayaking very hard and are getting very tired, don’t push yourself, take breaks and remember to drink plenty of water during kayaking camping trips.

If you know that you are not an expert at kayaking, or if there are other factors that make it unsafe for you to go off into the water on your own, don’t do it.

You’ll only end up getting hurt or lost.

Make Sure you have a Reliable and Dry Place to Store your Phone and Wallet:

Make Sure you have a Reliable and Dry Place to Store your Phone and Wallet. You will have to make sure that you have a place on your kayak where you can safely store your phone and wallet.

This is important because if they get wet, they could short out, making them useless. You should also make sure that both items are in water-resistant bags so that they will last longer, even if they do get wet.

Keep Extra Dry Bags:

Another most important thing you can do before heading out on your kayaking adventure is to bring along plenty of extra dry bags. These are important because they keep your belongings safe from water damage.

This is especially important if you are planning on camping out in your kayak overnight, as there’s a good chance that it may rain at some point during the night.

You can keep your food and other items dry when you are out on the water. If you end up capsizing or having your boat sink, it’s a good idea to have a few extra bags with you so that you can keep everything safe until help arrives.

Be Flexible and have Fun:

No matter how much you plan, there are going to be surprises. Weather, other campers, and wildlife can all play a role in your trip. So be ready for anything and have fun.


So, this is my list of kayak camping list. I hope that these will help make your trip more enjoyable and memorable. If you want to enjoy all the stuff, then you should try kayak camping on lakes and rivers where you can see the clear sky at night.

If you have any questions about kayak camping, you can ask me in the comment section below. I hope you will have some helpful information regarding the kayak camping list and must take things with you.

Jay Schwartz author of Kayak Guidance

About the Author - Jay Schwartz:

Hey there kayak lovers! I’m Jay Schwartz, the author here at Kayak Guidance! You know water sports – you know me! My life is all about it. Kayaking, Paddleboarding, Fishing, Snorkeling and so much more. I love to share my passion and knowledge with all of you. 

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