for do you set up your boat?

this is only for a short jaunt…not a full day or overnight.

Just curious about set ups. I have the tempest 170 and typically I have a spare paddle set under the front bungees with the paddles facing me, on either side and closer to the cockpit are the paddle float and the bilge pump. Water bottle in the first set of bungees on the left kinda sharing space with the paddle float.

fwd hatch has a spare pfd…huge orange cg vest type. Day hatch has 50 feet of rope in plastic bag, spare paddle float, dry bag with camera, wallet, etc etc., bug spray and sunscreen and two frozen bottles of water for later. Sponge behind seat. Nothing in rear hatch…I store my pfd (knife, whistle, small compass and thermometer combo) in there during transport.

I just got one of those really ugly hats/caps with the extra material in the back to protect ears and neck.

I really want one of those under deck bags too. what do you guys think? what suggestions would you recommend to always have with you?


If all that is just for a “short jaunt”.
…what the heck do you take for a all day trip?

You forgot the kitchen sink !



Fot the ocean

– Last Updated: Aug-21-05 8:35 AM EST –

n front deck, a chart in a chart case. ON a big day a contact tow,

in the cockpit sponge and inflateable paddle float. IN a foam under-deck clip under the center of the deck, a pump

on rear deck a paddle stored so that I can take it out.
On me on on the pfd a couple of flares and a radio and a couple of cliff bars. hydration pack, tow belt with 50 feet rescue knife. in a big day maybe a baggie with my drivers license and some dollars (might need to abandon boat and get home) sometimes a princeton tec attitude flashlight. Rescue strobe has a permanent place on a pfd.

IN the day hatch. first aid kit, hot water (or tea) thermos, more flares boat repair kit. A nylon poncho sun screen.

I put my wallet keys and other land stuff n the front hatch which is typically never opened during a minor outing.

all that stuff on deck inhibits chart reading will make a lot of spray when conditions are active, increase windage, tend toward the yard sale, etc etc.

Messing about on a lake. very little; a contact tow, food sunscreen hydration pack. I use an old pfd for flat water paddling which is not set up with my strobe accessory pack etc.

What, No Tilley? :wink:

Too Much Safety?
I did a good afternoon paddle yesterday to meet some rough water paddlers out at The Race off Fishers Island, NY. The max ebb at The Race were running at 4.6 knots making some serious rips. The full day - not counting playing in the rip - was 18.1 miles. Fog came in and out with visibility less than 1/4 mile at times. What did I bring?

1 18ft - 21" wide performance touring kayak WITH rudder

1 wing paddle

1 50oz camelback bladder in forward bungees

1 liter bottle of water in forward bungees(never used it)

1 pump in cockpit

1 stinky old sponge in cockpit

1 paddle float in cockpit (never need this, but its light enough to justify having just in case)

1 PFD - I decided to wear it yesterday instead of strapping in bungees behind cockpit. Chapstick and small compass in pocket.

1 small roll of 1" wide vinyl tape

1 GPS mounted in front of cockpit

1 cell phone and car keys in dry bag in cockpit

I should have had a whistle. The rip at The Race was very loud. Add nearly 5 knots of current and reduced visibility and it would have been comforting to have a way of signalling someone if I came out of boat. Even a whistle would have had limited effectiveness.

Ironically, there was a big kayak safety meeting sponsored by a local club at the place I put in. I listened for a few minutes to all the things I am supposed to carry. I watched the guys have a great time shooting off flares. I saw paddlers with lifejackets so loaded up with stuff that they looked like they were going in to battle. The decks of many boats had so much stuff that they looked like garbage barges. Its no wonder paddlers can’t learn to do a proper forward stroke.

All this so they could bob around and practice rescues in warm protected water all afternoon. I asked if anyone wanted to paddle to The Race to play in the rip. There were no takers.

Safety is important, but common sense, good seamanship skills, and good paddling technique are the most important things to bring. I have mixed feelings about current levels of safety training and expected equipment. Can a paddler be too safe? Can paddlers be bringing too much equipment? Can the “experts” be putting too much fear into new paddlers that they will never push themselves to greater things? Wouldn’t teaching people a proper forward stroke be one of the most important safety lessons? To all these questions I say yes.

On my deck…
…for a day paddle or less…

Bilge and float are under the deck for this day paddle. In the underdeck bag is a liter of water and some food. PFD has a headlamp, a whistle and my keys.

It Depends on Where and How Long
If I am going for a few hours and not going in the ocean I normally dont bring as much stuff as you do. I have a small dry bag for car keys and stuff that goes in front of the coaming. I have one water bottle in the mesh pocket which is part of the dry bag. I keep a sponge and bailer wedged into the crevice between the seat and the hull on one side and a paddle float on the other. I either use my skirt or it stores in a mesh bag behind the seat. I keep a cheap two piece paddle secured inside the rear hatch area. Two or three extra bottles of water are behind the seat. The PFD has a whistle and knife in the zip pocket and I am ready to go.

happy paddling,


I’ve read a lot of the kayaking “safety” threads since getting into the sport a little over a year ago. I have one recommendation that is almost never mentioned these threads.

You should always tell someone your “float plan” and the latest that you expect to be back to your base (be it your home, a camp, etc.). If you have some kind of emergency, at least you know that after awhile someone will come looking for you and will have some idea of where to start looking.

didn’t really think I was bringing that much. It all fits in the day hatch with lots of room to spare. the life vest in the front hatch is just there because I don’t know where to put it in the garage,(it came free with the OT Rush rec boat … figured wouldn’t hurt ot take it along until I plan to camp and then it goes)

I have changed the positioning of the bilge pump and paddle float…now they go behind the seat so all I see now is the water bottle. Probably should get a hydration kit for my back…I drink a lot of water! Paddles in the back.

One thing I forgot was the first aid kit…that has been remedied.


Hydration Pack
I’ve heard where some paddlers remove the plastic hydration bag from the pack and put it begind the seat, attaching the drink tube to the cowling w/velcro.

Amen Bro !!!
Someone finally said it like it should be said.

I have stopped mentioning that I don’t always wear a PFD, since every time I do the “politically correct paddlers” will jump all over me.

I am glad that there are a few of what I consider normal paddlers out there.



water bottle
I saw that today. I dunno…seems like a lot of work…might just be better to keep the water bottle or two.

Can’t drink…
… upside down mid-roll with a water bottle! Not that anyone would - but you could.

Once you go to hydration pack - bottle will be back up if you use them at all. I find it a lot simpler.

I’m a member of the clean deck club.
I carry a storm paddle (I paddle Greenland Style) on my front deck as a back-up.

IN my day hatch is a dry bag that is my emergency kit - flares, duct tape, quick set epoxy, leatherman tool, garbage bag, signal mirror,etc). There is also a first aid kit in there as well as my water bottles, snacks, etc.

There is nothing on the back deck. When a chart is needed, it is carried under the bungies on the front deck.

Sponge is jammed under my seat, pump and inflatable paddle float are between the seat and hull.

For on the ocean
It really depends where, even on a half-day paddle. I only bring a few basic items for going out on a local pond or river, but there are a couple of things unmentioned that I wouldn’t be without even on a short paddle.

For all environments: An over-sized water-proof hooded jacket that I can pull on over my PFD, in the boat. It’s a Kokatat Tropos top (XL), but there are a bunch of similar.

For ocean or other big water with a changeable mind add: VHF w/weather alert, chart, GPS, spare batteries, fog horn, suctions-to-deck white light, spare strap-on compass (one already on the boat). Fruit. Long-fingered gloves in case things change. Above in the day hatch.

A small dry bag with spare clothes for paddling in a bulkhead.

On deck, I am quite fond of my Backup Roll-Aid device for big water. Luckily haven’t yet needed to deploy it for the real thing. Emergency matches/flint if I am thinking well.

But we paddle in Maine… some weeks you just can’t get thru a couple of hours without a fog bank rolling in.

As to water - I have gotten that off the front deck for all the reasons mentioned above. I wedge a Platypus bag behind my back-band (under the bungies holding it in place) and coil the tube by my hip. If I think I’ll be good and thirsty I leave a length running over the coaming, under the skirt and sitting in my lap. I find that, in that position, it doesn’t move around when I do not-upright manuvers.

I always carry:
dry bag with change of clothes in rear hatch

small boat repair kit and small first aid kit in front hatch

pfd (which I always wear) with kinfe, pencil flares, small compass with mirror, protein bar, chapstick, smart wool glove liners, whistle and fingerless gloves

spray skirt with pocket containing fire starter and windproof lighter

spare paddles on back deck

pump and float permanently mouted under deck, headlamp, sponge, tow rope behind back band

water bottle under front bungies

I live where conditions can change in minutes. Since I leave most of this stuff in my boat at all times, it costs nothing to carry it and could save my life.

If I’m going for a full day, or going in the ocean, I add vhf radio, additional water, additional protein bars, sunscreen and depending on where I’m going, a gps.

I can’t remember
who said it but I recall a comment made on this forum a while back that I have never forgotten…“You do everything you can to minimize the risk, then you make your pact with the devil and launch the kayak” or something like that.

Anyway, your own skill set will get you through rough conditions much better than equipment if properly trained. some stuff is just good to have with you and I was trying to see if I was missing anything essential.


What Is
a back up roll aid device?

happy paddling,


BackUp RollAid
It’s one of those really cool specialty kayaking items made by a small company, out of Canada. So small that when the guy goes on vacation and forgets to put that info in his answering machine message you can spend a couple of weeks with no idea of what happened. But he’ll get back and fill the orders quickly - very important to know since they use uniquely sized CO2 cannisters.

The device is intended to instantly put a whole lot of flotation in your hand in the case that you can basically execute a roll, but are having trouble doing one due to conditions, tiredness etc. It’s a square coated nylon float bag, stuffed into a plastic tube which mounts on the deck of your kayak, which is deployed by pulling on the good-sized easy to find handle at one end of the tube. Once armed, pulling on the handle automatically deploys a CO2 cartridge that inflates the bag (very quickly) to I think up to 60 pounds of pressure. I tried it once with the cartridge armed - it’s plenty of support. It inflates most aggressively when deployed under water. It is a bit of a thing to handle once inflated, but when inflated with the CO2 cartridge it will start deflating fairly quickly. So in a real emergency you’d need to tie it off quick to your deck right after, probably behind you, while you got on with business.

The plastic tube is approximately 7-8" long and 3-4" in diameter (it’s in the basement in my stuff) and can be rigged onto deck fittings as desired - right, left, back or front. I’ve rolled etc with it on the deck, can’t say that it has ever gotten in the way. It won’t get you up if you don’t have at least the start of a roll, but it’ll do a heck of a job if you do.

Duct tape
Good point above - I forgot about the repair aspect because the roll of duct tape never comes out of my day hatch unless I am airing it out completely.