Kayak camping gear

Here’s another video we thought you may enjoy;


This is sound advice on how to pack four days worth of camping gear and food into a sea kayak. Our friend Mike McDonald is an American Canoe Association certified Level 5 Advanced Open Water Instructor and Guide as well as being certified as a medical Wilderness First Responder. Mike makes stuffing 75# of gear into a sleek, narrow sea kayak look simple. If you would like to see more “in depth” videos on this subject please let us know, any and all suggestions or ideas are gladly welcomed!

Ultralight backpacker?
Whew. An ultralight backpacker would have about a quarter of that stuff. Medium weight for a backpacker for 4 days would be 35 lbs. Ultralight well under 30 lbs.

I pack about half of what you have in the video for 4 days of kayaking.

Random comments, not intended as criticism, just observations:

Bear spray in the day hatch, eh? Never thought of that, but there was that one time when I approached my designated site by water up in Quebec and it was already occupied by a bear. Too bad I didn’t have any bear spray in my day hatch. I would have lept out and given that fellow a good taste of hot chilli peppers.

My God, that day hatch is cavernous. It swallowed up half of your gear.

Two stoves, a first-aid kit the size of a tent, a tent and another two-main shelter? Wow. Fun.

It would be interesting to see a video about specific kayak camping gear, specifically tent, sleeping bag, mattress, stove, etc. For example, appropriate size, weight, features, and brands of those items. Or a focus on moderately heavy, moderately expensive gear for average people. To give people a sense that kayak camping is similar to backpacking, but more luxurious.

Nice video, thanks.

agree, a bit (a lot) excessive
I would pack half of his stuff for 4 days. My concerns tho is fresh water since there is usually none on route on my ocean shores (tropical Australian East coast).

Yes a bit excessive
I don’t see the four gallons of fresh water anywhere.

Out on the Maine Islands you need to pack for that need. Nor do I see the wag bag. Toilets here not supplied.

I see alot more fresh food than I would pack. Granted fresh food does supply water.

I do appreciate the system of packing and the goal of keeping the deck clean.

Putting what to take aside…
I find a useful aid to packing is to have a separate transportation bag for each hatch. That means I can organize everything by hatch before I leave home and don’t need to think much when it comes to packing at the launch site.

I personally use 2 bags for the front hatch and 1 each for the day and back. I take the day and 1st front hatch bags for day trips and add on the 2nd front and rear hatch bags for camping trips. I always use the same gear so the only real variable is food and water. My bags get packed as soon as everything has been cleaned and dried after a trip so I’m ready to go at short notice. I also never have any trouble finding things because they’re always in the same place.

a lot of these videos are … strange
One YouTube video has a guy hauling a full-sized axe!

Another claims to be ultralight but packed 2 hammocks plus his tent.

Also I find that the WAY he packs does not work for me as when I am out with Shea and Harry, they pack like the videos, we reach the campsite and they socialize for a couple hours, then they have to totally unload their boats to get their tents which they often set up in the dark or rain.

I have my tent and bag closer to the hatch or between my feet so the first thing i do is set my tent up so if it gets dark or rain, i have an escape.

I wouldn’t carry half the junk he packed, BUT I’ll happily carry my own junk that he’d probably laugh at.

Everyone hasd their own way and experts tend to have the top-of-the-line gear is size/weight while I have to make do with swap-meet cast-offs.

Everyone seems to take a 16’ boat with them.

There are a lot of places I paddle whate shorter is better. Shorter turns easier and can get into streams easier so I paddle a 12’ Dirago as a compromise. Maria the Mermaid goes kayak campign in a 9 1/2’ Swofty???

So, lacking that extra 4’ I must take smaller and less gear, a fact I learned on a trip with me in my 12’, Harry in his 14’ and Brian in his 16’ boat.

I have a very low tolerance
for these kinds of videos anymore. The guru, the NDK, the “clear deck”, “nothing impeding my feet”, microfiber pillow, and titanium pots and pans. Of course he’s going to have a GP. Was there ever a moment’s doubt?