I have always used a canoe for my paddling/camping/fishing adventures, but have always gone with two people. I would like to do more solo paddling/camping/fishing and have considered a kayak, I guess because I think they would be easier to paddle solo and offer better control. However I know very little about them other than what I have read here and there. I usually do 1 nighters and carry lightweight gear, i.e. tent, food,sleeping bag, etc. I only paddle small creeks and rivers with no really rough water, however waterway debris is frequent. Can you offer any advise on selecting the right kayak, sit-on or in? and other considerations.
I do a lot of day trips and overnight camping mainly while fishing and I use a perception sundance 12 footer or my OT loon 12 footer. The sundance has a watertight hatch which is nice but the loon actually has more storage room but I use waterproof bags in the loon. I use them on small Ozark rivers with lots of bends and obstacles. A friend of mine sometimes uses a WS ride sit on top which is 13.5 ft and has a little more trouble negotiating tight turns. I prefer the sit-ins though the sundance has such a large cockpit its about as easy to get out and in as a SOT. I think any rec kayak in the 12 ft range would meet your needs.
have you considered a solo canoe? seems it might be a good fit for you.
If I were you I would want front and rear dry hatches to camp from a kayak… something like a Perception carolina/catalina. I have both a catalina and a OT loon 120, and i’d rather camp from the catalina anyday, its twice as fast too.
I vote for a good Kayak.
I think you will love a kayak. Just get a good one. There are a lot of cheap stuff with tracking problems. Find a demo or borrow one. I got stuck with an Ocean Kayak I don’t like because they have no reurn policy.