Mud is terrible!

I need help with entering my boat in a muddy environment. I’m used to kayaking south Missouri streams that are all clear and gravel. Since I have relocated, all of our streams feed into the Missouri river and are VERY muddy!

Entering the boat is a tad tricky, almost like trying to launch from quicksand. However, that is the easy part. My real issue is all of the mud that enters the boat with me!!!

I usually bring a towel to wipe down my feet before putting them in the boat. That was in my recreational kayak. I have recently upgraded to a touring kayak, which you have to slide in feet first with not much room to wipe down after entry.

Shores in this area are too Rocky to slide in from, so I must enter from the water. Do any of you have any suggestions how to keep mud out of my boat with this kind of kayak?

Thanks for your help!

Live with the mess

– Last Updated: Dec-11-15 12:35 AM EST –

After trying numerous different things unsuccessfully, I finally gave up trying. Mud does not damage the boat and cleans up fine after I get home.

One thing I did to help limit the total amount was to wipe the bottom of my shoes off on the inside of the cockpit rim before sliding the feet into the boat. Once in I could wipe/wash the chunk off the rim before putting on the skirt.

If you are having problems with the mud making your feet slip on the foot-pegs then you might need a different shoe (deeper tread) or different foot-pegs.

Also instead of using a towel I would get one of the artificial chamois used for drying cars after washing. They can wipe off mud, be rinsed in the water, wrung dry (getting most mud out of them), and go back for more mud. They also are useful for getting water out of the cockpit. Not as high volume as a sponge, but better at getting the last bit of water out and better cleaning off any mud left in the kayak at the end of the day.

It took me a long time to get over being so concerned about mud in the boat. Now I worry much more about sand that might be grinding through the hull under the seat :)


I do not have a kayak I have never been in one I see them step in the muddy water to get in. I like to stay high and dry in my canoe.

But I can tell you a sponge works very well for cleaning up the mud when you get in a canoe you can keep rinsing till the mud is gone.

I use to wipe my girl friends little white shoe’s and the bottom of the boat after she got in so she would be clean and dry all day.

there is a video on here that show’s the super man launch

I don’t know what kind of shape you are in but that is an option if you are sporty.


how does the catfish joke go?

Can you sit first and fold legs in?
Can you sit in the boat first and then fold your legs in? If so, you can swish your feet around in the water to get mud off before you bring feet in.

sit on hull
Astern the cockpit.

experiment with using paddle as outrigger while balancing with one foot toeing onto bottom…I’d there a reachable bottom ?

Swish one foot thru water, pullout n drip then insert foot into cockpit.

Swish other foot.

, drip.

Slide onto seat

Also, slide in after the first foot then draw the second foot over the coaming.

Forgot to see the entry videos for the running Alaska Kodiak entry.

That is how I do it
straddle your kayak, and plunk your butt down in, leaving both legs hanging out. Then clean each shoe by swooshing and wiping them off.

Then bend your knee’s one at a time and bring them in.

I have thought on occasion it would be good to have a small brush along to help

Here in the Florida Keys we are entering the kayak in mud lots of times

I guess if you have a very wide kayak you’ll have to go to game plan “B”

Jack L

river mud
Embrace it. Rinse it off at home, it’s good for the yard and the dog seems to like it.

Why would you not want mud in your boat?

All you can do is reduce the problem

– Last Updated: Dec-11-15 8:33 AM EST –

If your streams are that muddy there's probably no way to avoid the problem completely, but you might be able to reduce it.

One common practice I see among kayakers in our local club is to look for a nice flat spot on the shore for launching/landing, with a bank that's less steep than they might see nearby. That's guaranteed to make the mud problem a lot worse than necessary. For those who like to minimize how much mud they get in their boat, I always wonder why they don't simply choose the cleaner site that's "right over there".

For example, if you are stopping for lunch and come around a slight bend and see a great spot to pull over just ahead on the inside of the curve, take a look at the steeper shoreline on that same side of the river that you are passing right as the flatter spot comes into view. The current is swifter there and you'll need to control your boat during the act of pulling over and stepping out, but you can probably step right onto a dry grassy bank that is well above the waterline. Also, if there's sand or gravel anywhere in your river, this is the kind of place where it will be. Most kayakers shy away from spots like this, but not all.

Speaking of the need for boat control at the kinds of launching/landing spots I'm describing, I notice that most paddlers in our local club don't even realize that pointing the boat upstream for launching/landing where the current is swift makes things a lot easier, especially landing. Most will simply crash bow-first into such a spot, get spun, and then seek out the muddy landing spot that begins just 30 or so feet downstream. Spin the boat and ease into shore while paddling upstream at the location of the non-muddy bank, and it's a whole different situation.

Two methods
I have had the same experience here when paddling slough beds. The muck in the shallows of SF Bay is something to experience. If you stay in one place, you can sink to the knees in the foul smelling, very slimey stuff (it’s full of anerobic bacteria and to say it reeks is an understatement).

The sit on the hull and dangle legs method described by others is what I generally do, but I’ve also taken the boat into deeper water and performed a re-entry and roll. Both work reasonably well.


River Mud
I sea advice by sea kayakers to sit first, swish feet in water, then put feet in the boat. With river mud, that will accomplish essentially nothing. Once the mud is stuck to the bottoms of your boots, no amount of swishing will get it off (well, maybe if you did it for 20 minutes or so).

The OP mentioned the rockiness of the shore, which still makes me think about choosing launch and land locations with more care. Another thing that works for me is to take advantage of such rocks, but again, you need to avoid the still-water locations. Use the rocks like underwater boot scrapers. Combine the normal swishing motion with scraping (gotta do it in several directions), and there will be a lot less mud stuck to the bottoms of your boots. You CAN’T get it all off, though, unless you employ a sponge or your fingers for a final phase of the cleanup.

how hand sand
an autobody paint or bondo ?

on the soil or upstream soil

In Florida, the soil is Sand washed of the Appalachians but where Jakl is sand is replaced with limestone. Jack’s limestone use able for scuplture as the water leaves…

Beach area west of Flamingo is hard limestone mud…verrry slippery

The muddy Rio is silty…the gray stuff that does wash off.

Long Island, Bay City, in the oyster sound above Astoria OR boasts sucking mud…once in you are IN !

I haven’t tried the famous Mississippi Mud …any reports ? survivors ?

OP thanks and reply!
Thanks for the suggestions everyone! It’s not that I just detest mud so much and I don’t want it in the boat, but around our launch sites it seriously it like pulling a 2 lb blocks of mud on each feet, which gets everywhere in the boat.

I can’t really sit in first without putting my legs in as it’s a touring boat what is kind of a tight fit, and it has a high back seat making entering from the rear a bit harder. I can change the seat of course! (perception expression 15)

Our launch sites are limited to access points along the river or streams that feed into the river. Most of the banks are very steep and muddy with a few hidden rocks just under the surface mud that could damage the hull if launching from shore. There are some sandy parts on the river I could launch from, but carrying a 15 ft. boat that far would be quite a feat!

I think I we will either just live with the mud, trying finding some better launch sites or stick to the areas that have boat ramps and enter with the paddle method.

We just wanted to see what others were doing with the same issue, Thanks for your suggestions and help!

the mud wont come all off when getting in and it may be possible to dangle your feet in clearer water once you are clear of shore.

Its too bad that you dont have a backband… more support and a lower seat… that would make sliding in from the back deck easier.

virtue of mud
Many of our local lakes and streams have muddy bottoms. Without that mud, wouldn’t the water fall down toward the center of the earth … and boil?

Replace the high seat back
Put in a backband. Better for you anyway. Then you can sit on the back deck, dunk your feet in the water on either side, and slide in.

It isn’t spiffy clean but it is better than being limited on where you can get out for lunch. And if you paddle long enough you will find that you need to do the back deck thing for a high dock somewhere.

I have no problem…
just straddle the seat with the legs over the sides of the boat. When you have to get in, you raft up, lift the butt (hands behind hips on stern hull to do a small push up) and slide aft. Legs in, another push up with the hands, slide forward…voila.

When I have to launch in mud, I straddle the seat, grip the cockpit combing and pull the boat forward as I duck walk. When the hull is afloat, I perform the above procedure. Sure, it looks awful, but I gave up dignity at least 30 years ago.


I also have an Expression 15
and installed a backband. At the same time I move the seat back about 2". Both are easy to do but don’t know if it will solve your problem.

no mud
I absolutely hate getting anything except a little water into any of my boats, so I avoid muddy spots, but once in awhile mud happens, so the way I enter my boats is in the water one foot at a time. First I lift my right foot while balancing on my left and wash any sand, or mud off the right boot. Then I place my right foot in the cockpit and slide it down as I sit down in the seat. That leaves the left foot dangling in the water. I am flexible enough that I can reach my left foot and wash the sand, or mud off. So far I haven’t needed a brush, but would consider one if mud were an issue where I paddle. Anyway, all that’s left to do after cleaning the left boot is to put the left leg into the boat. I’ve done this entry thousands of times, so it’s second nature. I will admit that it was a bit clumsy the first couple of times I tried it. You have to learn to trust the boats secondary.


– Last Updated: Dec-13-15 11:10 PM EST –

NWR ? Long Island ? Forget the Mississippi mud....

Rangers at Willapa boat with Mil Spec airboats.

I have Double Deep Trouble but unread until 3 nights ago after Tompkins. From REI as a add on with clothing.

On the shelf for ? 2 years..The book opens to Skawacoma...eyehahahha ! The elves were at work.

Do you know this one ? Cunningham rates the 2 paddlers as AAA. They wander across the Columbia..

DURING MARCH ...with a compass..INTO the wrong island without a tide chart. Spending the night in wet suit and dry suit with polywear.

The wife tells the Sheriff who called to find out why the pickup is on the lot still, that the boys were camping out THEN AFTER would go to Long Island later.

The Sheriff (we have met with similar results) believes the boys are now on Long Island when they're flogging thru deep tidal brush out in the Columbia.

They're freeeezing having swum a channel after abandoning the canoe in a beaver water ! aaaieeeeeno no water the tide went out on the wrong island.

For the uninitiated this is happening across the river from a county park alongside an international freight channel.

The boys have a whistle.

Fishermen tell the wife 'oh yeah we heard somebody whistling but ? ducks maybe ?

The wife cannah believe the Sheriff misunderstood...

but the Coast Guard is flying around looking for a fisherman. This CG flies over the refuge n sees the boys n rescues. TGIF.

Was an 'I forgot' forgot the tides forgot to shoot bearings forgot the GPS forgot it was MARCH.....