How to Pack a Kayak

How to Pack a Kayak
While some boaters prefer to surf in whitewater parks and practice rodeo tricks, taking long river trips, such as boating the Colorado River for three days, is more of what kayaking originally was about. It can be a very relaxing and enjoyable vacation, and an excellent way to stay cool during the summer. When taking a multi-day trip, it is critical to pack your kayak properly, as improper packing will affect the boat's performance.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Dry bags
  • Bungee cords
Step 1
Place all items that can be damaged by water, such as sleeping bags, tents, clothes, food, and a stove and fuel, in dry bags. Try to balance the weight in the bags as evenly as possible when packing them.
Step 2
Pack food for each meal in separate dry bags, and consider color-coding the bags, so that a yellow bag has all breakfast food, a red bag has all dinner food, and a blue bag has all lunch items.
Step 3
Set aside snacks, water, and emergency gear like a first aid kit, for packing last. These items should be immediately accessible.
Step 4
Put the unpacked kayak on the beach close to the water; you don't want to load the kayak far from the put-in point.
Step 5
Load the heaviest items closer to the center of the boat near your body in a line roughly at the center of the boat from fore to aft, and distribute the weight evenly around the boat. Secure them inside the boat, using bungee cords attached to the inside of the hull.
Step 6
Pack the lunch food, snacks, and first aid kit somewhere they can be pulled out from the cockpit.
Step 7
Pack clothing and other lighter items farther toward the ends of the boat.

Article Written By Candace Horgan

Candace Horgan has worked as a freelance journalist for more than 12 years. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Denver Post" and "Mix." Horgan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and history.

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