Getting prepared for a kayak camping trip can be a little… shall we say… arduous? We prepped for weeks for our five-day, four-night adventure in the Broken Group Islands in Canada.
Because I love lists, I put together this complete list of everything we took on our kayak camping trip. Maybe it will make your own trip prep a little bit easier!
In the Broken Group Islands, there is no running water, so you need to boat in all your drinking, cooking and washing water. See our Vegan Kayaking Meal Plan for details on the food and water we brought.
Read our full guide to planning a kayaking trip to the Broken Group Islands →
Kayaking Equipment List for Your Kayak Camping Adventure
Kayak Camping Bags to Pack Your Gear
Packing for a kayaking trip can be tricky because, though a sea kayak holds quite a lot, the hatches are relatively small. Be sure to pack in small, waterproof bags that can easily squeeze inside the hatches!
This section lists the bags we used to pack all our gear for two people.
2 x 10L dry bags (clothes and personal items)
1 x 5L dry bag as deck bag
1 box heavy duty freezer bags (food)
1 x small Ortlieb front roller waterproof bike pannier (camp kitchen)
(Note: We packed in this because we had it on hand from our 2-year cycling trip. It has a 25L capacity. Substitute any waterproof bag that will hold your stove, pots, plates etc)
1 x 32 L dry bag (tent, sleeping bags, and sleep pads)
1 x foldable day pack
3 x large cloth grocery bags (for transporting food)
Since the weather can be unpredictable, especially on Vancouver Island’s West Coast, it’s hard to know exactly what to wear for kayaking. The answer is to bring lots of layers and hope it never gets cold enough that you need to wear it all at once!
This list is for one person, we each brought all of these items. That is, I brought 4 t-shirts and so did Stephen.
Light long-sleeve shirt
4 x T-shirts
2 x Shorts
2 x Socks
Long pants (water resistant)
Long pants (for camp)
3 x Underwear
2 x Sports bras
Synthetic fleece jacket
KEEN sandals or hiking/running shoes
Water shoes or flip flops
Sun hat / baseball cap
Gloves for kayaking (I used my bicycle gloves)
Kayak Camping Gear
We used the same camping gear as we took on our 2-year round the world bicycle trip. We love it and it’s still going strong through all our adventures!
Big Agnes Copper Spur Ul3 Tent w/ Ground Cloth
2 x Big Agnes sleeping bag
2 x Big Agnes sleeping pad
2 x Silk sleeping bag liner
Therm-a-rest compressible camping pillow
2 x Petzl Headlamps
For Our Kayak Camping Kitchen
Trangia stove with cooking pots (we LOVE this stove)
Lighters & matches
2 x Camping plates
2 x Bamboo cutlery sets
Salt and pepper, spices
Swiss Army knife
Scrubby, pot scraper (we used sea water and sand to scrub out pots, no dish soap)
3 x personal water bottles
2 x small tupperware containers for lunches / leftovers
Coffee stuff (beans, hand grinder, cloth filter, pour over funnel, coffee cup – yes, Stephen is a coffee nerd)
Kayak with all hatch covers, kayak life jacket, spare paddles, paddle floats etc (all provided by the kayak rental company)
Safety and Navigation
Most of these items were brought by other members of our party and shared between us
VHF marine radio
Maps, charts, guidebook excerpts
This article on Backcountry has some excellent advice and tips for packing a kayak. ♥
(We’ll get paid a little something if you use many of the links above at no extra cost to you. We would never recommend products we don’t already love, so you’re in good hands!)