Sleeping in Kayak

Does anyone sleep in their Kayak. Some of the places I would like to go overnight, it would be safer and easier to sleep in a boat rather than on the beach or in the woods.

P.S. is any one type of boat better for this?


avoid it

– Last Updated: Sep-11-07 10:14 AM EST –

kayaks aren't designed to sleep in---some specially made boats, designed for ocean crossing, are capable of sleeping in but these aren't available commercially. Some commercially made boats have been modified by the addition of inflatable, detachable sponsons(floats) that can be put on the side of the kayak--that with the addition of a small sea anchor made it stable enough for sleeping--this was the method used in the unsuccessfull (the paddler was lost about 60 miles from his destination) attempt to cross the Tasman sea earlier this year. The final boat that I have heard of for sleeping is the old Klepper skin on frame boats---in 1956 a man named Lindeman crossed the atlantic in one(and he was lost at sea shortly thereafter.) In truth you are almost always better off either buying a larger boat to sleep in or camping on shore. I would either change my boat or my paddling area if I were you. There really is no good kayak for sleeping in. One question I have is what makes it so dangerous to sleep on shore? If it is wild animals, bears etc--there are measures you can take to minimize the risk--using proper camping techniques and equipment, such as smell proof bear cannisters to put food in, and carrying bear spray---one ultimate protection is to carry a 12 gauge marine type pump shotgun loaded with magnum slugs---it will stop the largest bear but first learn how to use it and then make sure you abide by the law in carrying it. And only use it as a last resort---if the bear is actually attacking you.

Danger On Shore
"I hear banjo music!"

What the heck kind of kayak are you thinking of? Maybe a canoe?

the strangest post I have ever read here. You must be talking about a 40 inch wide sit-on-top.

i read his post to mean that rather than pitching a tent or hammock when he stops for the night, rather he could snuggle up in his kayak…

Ive done it several times, but not totally ‘inside’

if you can adjust your foot braces and seat so that you can stuff yourself in there, and assuming your paddling a longer boat, i dont know why not. Probably wouldnt be very comfortable though.

I regularly pull over in an eddy or on a nice beach and take a nap in my yak. I paddle an Old town Dirigo 14.5’… and my cockpit opening is HUGE. I can put my feet on the dash, or drape them over the side and lean back in a reclined position. most of the time I am carrying a soft sided cooler on the deck rigging immediately behind me and that makes for a PERFECT pillow.Just the right height/position.

ive finished many a float after dark becuase my ‘quick nap’ turned into a good couple hours lol

I removed the front bulkhead in a boat I used to have to do exactly this. It was a 17’ long by 22" beam and it was actually quite stable once you were liying down in it. Not particulary comfortable though. T was doing 2-4 day trips along a very marshy section of coast and it was difficult to find dry land unless I padd;ed several miles up a coastal creek each night, so I would just pull up in a shallow spartina grass marsh and sleep in the boat.

A canoe or small row boat is MUCH more suitable for this style of camping, and that is what I use now. I still prefer to pitch a tent if in an area where that is possible though.

Not so daft
Not done it myself but heard of a few people successfully mooring for the night in sheltered bays and sleeping in the kayak successfully on a regular basis.

Slight modifications to the kayak; more space between feet and front bulkhead to allow sliding down into the kayak and some kind of out-rigger using paddle floats and the paddle.

Sounds like a good idea given the limited legal camping available along a lot of the coast.

Couple of Brits had a pair of NDK kayaks built specially to be linked together as a catamaran for sailing when conditions allow, a climbers porta ledge instead of a trampoline would be the next logical step.

Also check out

He died tragically within a whisker of completing an incredible solo kayak crossing of the Tasman sea but managed to survive some incredible conditions in a close to standard sea kayak, including sleeping in his kayak.

I sleep on my wooden bicycle
all the time.

Innova Safari
A friend of mine has an Innova Safari. It is a little 9 foot inflatable and fits (diagonal wise) inside his tent.

Besides being fun to paddle, it also serves as a great air mattress!

Many Kruger Seawind
owners sleep in their boats. Everglades trips when the “shore” is not camper friendly, quicker than a tent set up if you are tired, heck I’ve even draged it up on shore and put my sleep pad & bag inside and slept in it on clear nights for the view of the stars. Peace.

Ed Gillet
Ed Gillet paddled a 20 ft kayak from California to Hawaii alone. IMO this was one of the greatest individual feats in the history of mankind. Obviously he slept in his boat, apparently on a small wooden platform to keep him out of the bilge water, using pontoons to stabilize the boat. A short description of his trip can be found here:

John Dowd
discusses the “how to’s” of sleeping at sea in his book

one key feature: deploy a drogue

I used to sleep in my loon 138…
…I’d put it on the lake and kick back and sleep.

Of course it was a boringly stable boat.

sleeping in Kayak - Why
Appreicate the input - as to the why sleep in the boat - on the intercoastal with a barrier island between the Gulf and the intercoastal - sometimes there are trees on the island - which one could swing a hammock sometimes not. There are definately snakes and all kinds of critters that come out at night. Some of the barrier islands are goverment lands with radar stations and “no trespassing signs” upon forfieture of life. So there are several good reasons for finding a quite backwater and pitching out an anchor for the night. Not thinking of going to sea just a quite place to pull in for the night.