Camping from a Kayak

I am fairly new to the kayaking world and I want to start doing overnighters and eventualy some extended tripping. The rest of my family has never been real keen on camping :frowning: and so I don’t have very much gear. I am working on a limited budget ($150-$200) but I need some fairly nice gear(tent, campstove, drybags, etc.) to start my collection. the two most pressing items right now being a tent and campstove (you can improvise drybags) :). If anyone has any suggestions as far as what equipment to get and where to get it I would be very greatfull for the info.

check or sportsmans guide for cheap , affordable tents. Mil. surplus is always low cost. As for stoves some surplus are ok or ya can buy a decent 1 for about $50-60 thru a camp store.

Starter Kit
I have bought many thousands of dollars of camping gear over the years, but I found less is better and it does not need to be expensive…

A 7’X 7’Coleman tent on sale at Big Five for about $60-70

I did spend the bucks for a nice Thermarest mattress at about $80, but you can get one about as good at Walmart for about $30. Kelty is a good one.

A 4# Walmart sleeping bag is good enough for your region most of the year, if not, throw in an old Army blanket, or better yet a pauncho liner.

For one person, a single burner coleman propane stove for about $20 at Walmart (I just make coffee in the morning and soup at night)

I use a small single mantle Coleman or Primus propane latern I bought for about $30

Also a nice Coleman camp chair for about $30

A coffepot, and a soup pot, and you are in business.

I once spent two months in the Sierras with just the gear listed and a couple pairs of BDUs

Here is afew items in your budget…

– Last Updated: Jun-03-04 7:14 PM EST –

Here is a list that will have your budget in about $220. Check out & ..... click on free catalog & you will get new ones every month or so!!

1) Candle lantern + 3 eight hour dripless candles= $12

2) Poncho (mil surplus has grommets) (can be used as a shelter also.... e-mail me & I can send you a picture of easy shelter configurations)= $20

3) Poncho liner (can be used as blanket)= $25 **AND/OR** "snug-pak sleeping bag" (rolls up to the size of a football= $30

4) SVEA Trianga alcohol stove w/ mess kit (have been using mine for about 4 years now)= $5

5) K-Bar knife (can be used for anything!)= $40

6) Machette (good mil issue ones are stronger)= $30

7) 100ft of "para-cord"= $5

8) Aluminum tent pegs= $3

9) 2liter Hydration-pak= $30

10) Campers combination knife & mess utensils= $5

11) Gerber multi-tool= $30

12) Dry-bag= $15

There you go... Now you have the "campers dozen". This should get you on a GREAT start to your future of spending/trying camping equipment.

Paddle easy,


P.S. I would also consider acouple canteens also or another hydration-pak. The canteens come with "canteen cups" too.....

Hennessey Hammock!
Compact, and doesn’t need a flat site. Allows you to leave your sleeping pad at home too.


(this should elicit some interesting responses!)

LOL!! Ok, ok… Here goes…
Jim, not to put down a Hennesy… But they did say they needed “equipment” (more than one item) in a budget of $150-$200, not “A PIECE OF EQUIPMENT” in a budget of $150-200…

Paddle easy,


would recommend
against the improvised dry bag idea. The bags are not really that expensive and work exceptionally well. Having dry gear is very imortant. ( get a Tilley hat too)It will drive Coffee crazy if ya do.

Hennessey hammock?

I am sorry to reveal my ignorance so early in my carrear on this message board :slight_smile: but what is a Hennessey hammock? is it any differrent than a regular hammock?

Thanks for all the info everybody! :slight_smile:


try to get

– Last Updated: Jun-03-04 11:32 PM EST –

the best gear you can afford. If you can add another $100 to the figure it will get you better quality gear that will last longer and be cheaper in the long run. Look at Campmor and Sierra Trading Post for deals on tents. Dry bags are going cheap at sierra trading post as of latest catalog.

Kelty and Eureka make reasonably priced tents for 100 - 150. I own a Kelty Vortex2 have had it for over 6 years and do ALOT of kayak camping but they make less expensive models as well. I also have a Hennessy Hammock for backpacking I like this item ALOT.

For a stove I use a simple Trangia alcohol stove or you can make your own alcohol stove if so inclined by visiting some backpacking sites for info. Or use the ever bulky but reliable cheap single propane burner from Walmart. Requires propane canisters (cannot recycle these).

Sleeping bag: I use a comfy down bag have had it for 10 years so well worth the 150 investment but you need a good drybag for this item. Fleece bags are great for summer kayak trips and cheap. Just bring some extra long underwear in case it gets cold.

Thermarest deals on seconds at campmor. Walmart imitations are bulky and not worth the money in my opinion. Have had my thermarest for 10 years as well.

Dry Bags: Of utmost importance in kayak camping you cannot improvise on this. Trust me.....

cheap tarp
Just this past weekend I realized the value of a tarp. Just a cheap 4 buck one from the hardware store. 6x8 or 8x10 light duty. Packs small, and gives you and the family somewhere else to go besides inside the tent in a rain storm. From now on it will be the first thing out of the hatch and set up.

Another option is to shop store brands at a reputable national dealer.

Generally I like to shop my small, independent camp-store, but when I first started out I went to EMS, bought an EMS-brand tent, 20 degree sleeping bag, ridge-rest pad and a Camping Gaz stove for about $150 total.

Dry Bags are more important than you think, but if you can get your stuff bought for $175, spend the last $25 on a couple dry bags to store clothes and your sleeping bag. Everything else (basically) can get wet.

Equipment source
Just logged on to mention Campmor as a good source for reasonably priced equipment. They have a website, and I’ve never encountered any difficulties in ordering or receiving gear from them. They also have super clearance and web-only deals.

I’ve got a Primus stove (multi-fuel) which is EXTREMELY light and easy to use (stability, matchless auto-ignite)

Don’t forget about a water filtration system (hand pump) and platypus bags, folding shovel, and bug juice

Most importantly, Leave No Trace

homemade alcohol stoves
I’ve used one of these homemade alcohol burning stoves a few times now this year, and they work great! There’s instructions for making several kinds over @

If you can do this to get started, you can save some bucks, but test any stove before you rely on it, homemade or store bought.

one word
EBAY!!! Also alcohol stoves are easy to make how ever they take forever to cook!! I like my APEX II runs on different fuels and simmers real nice. And boils water real fast too!

Some outdoor suppliers(REI stores for one)will rent basic camping gear. Some college outing clubs will also rent gear to the public.

I’ve found some great deals on lightly used stuff in the REI stores that carry customer returns.

The Cat stove (alcohol) is

– Last Updated: Jun-04-04 11:58 AM EST –

great for boiling water..takes alittle practice to cook on, very cheap and pacs very small..water bladders (Platapus) are cheap, hydrations systems are for yuppies...IMHO the best tent/deal on the market is the REI 2 person Half Dome (150 bucks)wuz on sale for 110 bucks...I use a lemonaid plastic jar as a cup...forget a plate..When I go- lite I use a bievy sac and a tarp...a machette replaces a saw and ax and has more uses.. go to this site as suggested for info and cheap hiking gear tips I suggest you get one large dry bag...P. S. I recommend a good $100. fur felt cowboy hat, yer best piece of equipment...

The hat statement…
should make some p-netters smile, Northman and Dryriverbed to name a couple. For Texas and starting out, I’d second the 8X10 tarp, paracord, wool blanket, Trianga, machete, and plattypus. I’d also add some 6-8" concrete nails as they’re cheap, pleantiful, and just darn handy. Keep spare water in 2 litre bottles; they’re tough as heck and more or less free. Peanut butter containers make good dry storage too. Don’t forget your spare ziplok baggies and the indispensible duct tape. I think I’m up to about $50-$60. Spend more on your clothes and get packable, quick drying materials. Also, don’t skimp on your pocket knife. Find some good machine steel and stay away from the stainless. I think starting out the way you’re suggesting, you’ll be happier with the accomplishments and the memories you’ll get from “roughin’ it”. For more no-nonsense info and cheap supply ideas, check out this: Enjoy.


Red Ledge makes great

– Last Updated: Jun-04-04 3:19 PM EST –

rain coats and pants that are packable, ultralight and not to expensive...the cheapest way to go is buy good equipment in the first place...

camping gear
A few tips on camping gear:

Spend a couple extra $$ on a decent tent. A lot of cheap tents use really cheap mesh that looks like deer flies could even get through. Make sure your tent has no-see-um mesh or you’ll be itching pretty badly. Also…full-coverage fly with vestibule will keep you and your gear dry if it rains. You can nab tents with those features for ~$100-$150 retail from Eureka (or less if you find older models). Also, if your tent does not have factory seam taping, seam seal, seam seal, seam seal (especially in the corners).

A good sleeping bag is also a good thing to have. I prefer down over synthetic any day. Yeah, it takes longer to dry if it gets wet, but it should NEVER GET WET (good dry bags are important here). But, you can get a Slumberjack or Lafuma spring/summer/fall synthetic bag that packs pretty small for $60-$80.

For a stove, I like the stoves that burn isopro (MSR brand…Primus makes some, too that’s cheaper…basically a propane/butane mix fuel that uses thin-walled canisters that are lightweight). You can get some stoves that run 8,000 or more btu’s and weigh less than a pound for $30-some bucks. Primus makes one with a peizo-electric ignition (technotrail).

Like someone else mentioned, deals can be had on last year’s thermarest pads, too. This year’s models are cheaper, though, so the prices may balance out depending on the model you get. But you can get the Trail R pad (this year’s model) for $40 (1.5 inch thick backpacking pad).

Tarps are way important regardless of what you do. I like the Equinox ultralite ones made from sil-nylon that pack to the size of an orange. They’re a little pricey, though…probably a good upgrade for later.

If you get a nice backpacking stove, stay away from the super-cheap aluminum cooksets. The stove will melt them. If you must go cheap, get a cheap stainless set.

Also, carry a tube of McNett SeamGrip with you. If you need to seal something (tent, dry bag, thermarest pad, etc), it’s invaluable.

As for hydration systems, stay away from the Platy models. They’re not as durable as some others. I’ve tried a few different brands, and I love my Camelbak (I have 2 Camelbak bladders now). If you get the unbottle (bladder with insulating sleeve), you can just lash it onto your deck rigging. I also prefer getting the largest bladder you can get. You never know when you’ll need some extra water. And if you go for a shorter trip, just don’t fill it all the way.

A filter/purifier is also a must if you’re going out for more than a day or two. The sweetwater unit is a pretty affordable one that you can get in a purifier setup (post-pumping chemical treatment), and so is the Katadyn Hiker (formerly Pur). I recently got a MSR Miox purifier, and I absolutely love it. It’s pricey ($130), but it’s TINY and works really well on larger volumes of water. It works well with my style of backcountry travel (carry 1-1.5 gallons of water for the day, filter at night before bed). Since the Miox requires the water to sit for up to 4 hours before everything in it is dead (Crypto has a beefy protective coating on it), letting the water sit overnight is ideal.

I wonder if I might have some sort of problem. I mountain bike, camp, backpack, and I’m getting into kayaking. I live in a tiny apartment and in order to store my gear, I have to build storage racks. My apt. looks like your typical big box outdoor retailer (REI, EMS, Galyans, etc). It doesn’t help that my girlfriend is into the same stuff, so multiply everything by 2.

iso pro problem
"For a stove, I like the stoves that burn isopro (MSR brand…Primus makes some, too that’s cheaper…basically a propane/butane mix fuel that uses thin-walled canisters that are lightweight). You can get some stoves that run 8,000 or more btu’s and weigh less than a pound for $30-some bucks. Primus makes one with a peizo-electric ignition (technotrail)."

It totally depends where you’re camping, and this is a very brand-specific review, but I suspect it affects others as well.

I camp up north in Michigan. In the early spring and late fall when the low temps are in the 20s (so breakfast coffee time, and after-dinner hot chocolate or mulled wine time) those IsoPro canisters give me fits. I’ve got a Camping Gaz stove (if that matters) that runs on their Propane/Butane canisters. When the canisters are still more than half full, they slowly die in cold weather.

I’m not physicist, but I’m assuming that the cold air kills the gasseous pressure inside the canister. Because they’re not adjustable like, say, those White Gas canisters you’d use with an MSR Dragonfly, the flame goes out unless I warm the canister somehow. I’m sure you can guess that warming my stove canister is tough since the stove was meant to be my heat source in the first place.

Anyway, I have no brand loyalty, but I’m switching to a white gas stove for the reason outlined above. If you’re going to be camping in the cold spring/fall of the northwoods, I’d suggest you consider the same.