Load/Roll Sea Kayak

I have a question that now is the time to ask. When packing a sea kayak for camping, how do you guys keep everthing tight for rolling? Like, if the boat is not fully loaded, wont’ the gear try to knock the hatches loose, especially in surf? I just got my new Capella Fiberglass 173 and have often wondered. I am getting into the camping phase of kayaking.


Float bags on top of the load
is probably the standard.

Float bags
Get your gear in where you want it, spread deflated float bags over the top, and inflate. As far as the hatches being knocked off from the inside, I wouldn’t worry too much. I filled my compartments about two-thirds with water to check for leaks and rolled the kayak on its sides to check all the way around. They bulged, but never came off.


what they said,
but you can also get creative by putting interior tie down points. Different ways of doing it,if deck hardware has a screw going through the deck with locknut underneath you can put a folded over piece of webbing to make a loop and tie down point under the deck,connect a hooked bungie between the tiedowns then ‘hang’ the drybags like a clothesline close to the bulkheads.

If you’re brave you can epoxy in folded over 1" loops of webbing.,if you’re not so brave there’s those huge vynylbonded ss. d-rings,maybe someone makes smaller ones. With various underdeck rigging you can keep stuff in the kayak that you normally use and leave it on the kayak.

Packing a sea kayak
I camp out of my kayak quite a bit. Usually my compartments are jammed so tight with gear that shifting of cargo is never a problem (but then I use a low-volume Anas Acuta). I worry more about weight distribution – keeping the ends light, the load balanced, and putting the heaviest items as close to the cockpit as practical.

Greg Stamer

if you’ve got
room left over, you may not be packing enough whiskey.

Seriously though, whenever I camp from my kayak, I’m usually up to the gills and room left over just isn’t a concern. I do try to pay attention to where I put my heaviest gear, I try to put all my water either ahead of my feet or right behind me, and I also try to put all the food just like that too.

This way the load is balanced while you are paddling, rolling, etc.

tie a line
to the light stuff at the bow and stern so you can pull it out easily at the end of the day. I’m also one who ends up with bleeding knuckles trying to jam everything into my Sirius for a camping trip. But I learned that it can be a pain to get the lighter stuff out, so some kind of “rescue” line can save time.

I agree with the others…especially with a P&H. Don’t worry about the hatches.


Double sealing hatches
I cover my back hatches with my spare paddle. I am not sure whether it does any good, but it makes me feel better. In my front hatch, I pack my sandals on top and upside down. My feet are large, so that my sandals are larger than the front hatch opening and form an inner barrier for the hatch. I am sure that tent poles or other gear could accomplish the same thing.

I have an NDK Explorer with the same Valley style hatchcovers as on the P&H and Anas Acuta. As far as losing a hatch due to rolling or gear; it has never happened to me. Extreme surf could force a hatch cover off, but it would not be due to rolling or gear.

BTW be sure to double check your hatch covers before paddling off. I have seen many hatch covers not completely sealed.

Thanks for all of the information. It will be applied, again, thank-you!