Gear help

i was wondering if people had some ideas for your overnight/camping gear in smaller kayaks. Some gear I realize can fit in hull (very little). Was wondering if they made thin, long dry bags that slid into the narrow space. Just curious what some of you had to say. I know it’s much but I was wondering about little gear tows that you could pull behind.

this one is long

I wouldn’t try to pull any gear in the water. Definitely not a dry bag as dry bags aren’t really fully water proof. The roll tops will leak after a while. Put your gear inside or on top if you have too. Best to keep anything that would be ruined if it got wet inside like food, sleeping bag. Pack as light as possible if space is a problem. If camping with others share stuff like a stove or water filter.

try this

google “Tapered dry bags”

Watershed Drybags
Once sealed, these are dry

Tow behinds? Gear triage before you add a caboose to your kayak.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

Also lots of 5 liter bags
I like the tapered bags for the skinny end of a kayak, but in one of my boats also get a lot of mileage out of 5 liter dry bags because I am messing with small hatches.

Just throw in a big canvas bag on top to use to carry the little bags between the boat and the camp site.

Tapered air/gear bags
we’re being sold by NRS some time ago. Perhaps they still do.

Neat design, the bag can be blown up to fill the space you don’t use, or use as an airbag for buoyancy if you are not packing gear.

bags come in all shape and sizes
I have one tapered for the stern and one skinny long one for the bow. I hate having to cram stuff thru the hatch so I use skinny bags, don’t drybag what I don’t need to (tent poles and other gear).

Like everyone else I’d strongly recommend against towing anything. Too many reasons to pick just one. Personally I don’t even like having anything on deck.

If you talk to a backpacker you’ll get some clues on gear. Most backpackers do well choosing gear for size, weight and necessity.

No way you should need to tow anything for overnight. A week can fit into a moderately sized touring kayak with two sealed bulkheads, let along an overnight. You might need to think about different camping gear than you have right now if you have been camping out of a car or something.

backpacking gear
There is generally as much or more room in the average touring kayak bulkhead compartments as in a standard internal frame backpack. My 3 season down mummy sleeping bag squishes down to the size of a large loaf of bread and my Marmot 2-person mesh wall tent packs down into a short compact bag, I have never had trouble packing everything I need for overnight kayak camping into my drybags, which are mostly long and semi-tapered.

If you have not yet got a tent, it’s useful to look at the Campmor catalog to compare them (the printed one is more useful than their on line one) because they always have the packed size listed. I like Marmot because their poles fold down very short, making them easy to stash.

Get a box of the plastic bags for electric trash compactors (you will probably have to go to a large supermarket or hardware store to get them) – they are much heavier weight than standard trash bags but fairly small size (about the size of an office trash can). I put my gear that needs to stay dry in that first, fold and roll the top and then slip it into the dry bag, The bags prove useful on the trip usually as well, for packing out trash. Things like the tent poles and fly don’t need to stay dry (unless you are paddling salt water.) and can just be slid into the hatch in their own stuffsacks without drybags.

what kayak?
What kayak are you using?

People do multi-night trips out of small white water kayaks, so pretty much any kayak can be used. As said in posts above, look at many smaller dry bags over fewer larger dry bags. Most of mine are 5 and 10 liter in size.

Sleeping bag, pad, and tent should e your largest items, and can be worth getting new smaller ones just for kayak camping.

Watershed makes sweet bags…
Pricey but nice, last forever.

The trash compactor bag trick works great as well, just line the original nylon stuff sack with the compactor bag roll the extra material and good to go.

Hatch volume
A backpack for 3 days of camping could hold about 50 to 75 liters. Most kayaks with two hatches have that much space. Many have three times that space.

That means you should aim to acquire backpacking gear. A good place to start is the Alps Mountaineering Zephyr 2 tent: cheap, comfortable, durable, small, light. It can often be found for $100.

kayak camping
Go light. Avoid lashing equipment on the deck because it will make the boat top heavy and not seaworthy. Towing anything is awkward at best.