Tips Needed for Accessing Gear While Kay

I’ve been out twice now on my new Venus 11 kayak and find myself struggling to have certain things easily accessible yet dry & secured in case I flip my kayak.

These things are: smart phone, towel, camera, kleenex, sun protection lotion & lip balm, snacks & water, maps.

There’s a storage well behind me, but not easy to get to while on the water. There’s a hatch right in front of me but it’s too small for most of these things. I do use the water bottle well in front of me, but can’t easily get to my second water bottle or snacks (in a zippered lunch bag behind me in the well) when the first one is empty.

At the moment, I bring a small dry bag that I keep by my feet with the lotion, kleenex, towel, & maps, but it is awkward to get into if it is secured to the kayak, and is in the way of my feet.

How does everybody else solve the problem of keeping things easily accessible, dry, & yet not in the way?

Thanks for any suggestions!

clear vinyl
dry bags are excellent.

Keys DL REI MasterCard in a small Pelican Box.

Always pee well before a rip

various options
One option would be to move some things into pockets on your PFD. If they need to be dry, you likely will have to have them in small dry bags. I keep snacks in my PFD pockets. Tissues, lip balm, and stuff like that also would go there.

Another option is to get your feet wet. On a sit on top kayak, if you stick you feet out to the sides and down in to the water, your balance increases a lot. So I would put my feet down first to each side, then take one and swing it over to the same side as the other and sit sideways (feet in water). Practice this some and you should find you can reach a dry bag behind your seat without flipping. Works even in sit inside touring boats, but with more practice.

Fun Suggestion!
Cool! I’ll try that maneuver next time out! Unfortunately, my PFD is very low-end and has no pockets. Maybe I should think about upgrading that.

Hydrator pack for PFD helps

– Last Updated: Jul-13-15 8:29 PM EST –

Just make sure it is one with 4 anchor points rather than two. Other than that the same as for bikes.

I have an amount of stuff in my PFD pockets, likely equivalent to all the small stuff you mentioned. It is different stuff, like a small first aid kit and a compass and a signaling mirror and a flashing light and a laser flare and a snack bar and a knife... but the point being pockets can be very helpful in a PFD.

And you need a dry bag, or two. They come in all sizes. But I paddle sit insides with day hatches, as well as full bungies, so likely have more options to stash stuff than you do. But I also twist around to get into that day hatch behind me -some ability to move around on/in the boat is likely needed even with yours. You just need to get comfortable doing that.

Also, while it still needs a case that will float it I have one of those fancy waterproof LifeLock cases for my cell phone. Makes it much easier on the water for the only issue to be flotation, not having to keep it dry.

pockets with polyester thread

go to the local SalArmy or thrift ask for damaged packs…strip packs of pockets and whatever…sew onto pfd.

1/8th shock cord is useful as are parachute cording in various dayglos and toggles

Didn’t understand…
Sorry - newbie here - didn’t understand what “hydrator packs for PFD” or “4 anchor points instead of 2” referred to. Can you give a bit more detail?



There are other brands, but these are ones by Kokatat.

Kokatat Tactic Pack

I paddle a SINK and can’t say enough good things about this pack. It will hold all of your stuff and more. On you, where it should be.

A phone/maps in waterproof bags attached to my deck won’t do me any good if I get separated from my boat.

Hydrator pack
It is a small pack that fits over your PFD and has a soft plastic water bottle inside with a tube that comes around the front and you can sip from.

Have you done any biking? They have the same kind of thing for bicyclists to wear on their backs so you don’t have to reach down for a water bottle. The only diff between them and ones for paddling is that the paddling ones fit over a PFD rather than right on your back.

Some of the ones for paddling only clip to your PFD at the upper two points, on each shoulder. Started with that and really did not like it. Hence my advice to get one that clips to the PFD straps on each side under your shoulder as well.

Waist pack
I have a canoe, which allows some more storage and moving around space, but even in a canoe you don’t want to be rummaging about too much while on the water.

I solved your dilemma by using a waterproof “waist pack” I simply spin it around so its in front of me. It holds everything I want to keep dry, but may want quick access to. Phone, digital camera, GPS, pretty much anything but the towel.

The I have is a Seal Line Seal Pack, but there are others including Hummingbird Travel Pak, Patagonia Stormfront, OR Sensor Dry Holster, etc.

Second the waist pack idea, in yr lap
A shirt with pockets under your PFD.

And then, redefine dry:

A water bottle can get wet, so can Chapstick. Bandanna’s work wet when tissue doesn’t . Rinse it out and wear it on your head. Cell phone is waterproof and slips in a shirt pocket under my PFD. My camera is waterproof to 3 meters. Snacks get eaten when you stop, or a ziploc bag of nuts in a shirt pocket.

It’s probably a little gauche, but I like putting things in a plastiic coffee “can”. It has a handle and you can tie it off. Not 100% waterproof but relatively dry and a big opening so you can see inside. Same idea, bigger scale when canoing; 5 gal paint bucket.

If your kayak is a sit in…
get a underdeck bag.

I have one on my QCC, and it is very handy for odds and ends.

Jack L

she is paddling a sot
In case it matters for whether that woulD work. I rely on the day hatch more because there isn’t good space for that in my boats, so wouldn’t know.

Actually on the dry part

– Last Updated: Jul-14-15 11:26 AM EST –

Above reply makes a good point. Most what you listed does not need to be dry, snacks come in wrapping etc, and after a while of paddling many of us have gone to adaptations like waterproof cases for the cell phone and waterproof cameras or waterproof cases for cameras that aren't. If your state has not gone to plastic drivers licenses yet, some l know just carry an expired one. Since it is for paddling rather than driving it works fine.

I First Looked At Your Kayak
To start decide what you really need to carry on deck. Your kayak has a place for a water bottle. Don’t waste money on anything else. The suggestion to spread your legs is dead on. You can slide forward to access you hatch if need be. That’s where I’d consider you carry your camera. Quite frankly your kayak is too small to be carrying a camera of any size in the cockpit or at hand. Your yak allows you to run a line from side to side. That’s a good place to hook a dry bag. I buy carabiners at Walmart for that. Walmart carries watertight cell phone boxes. They will fit into your snack hatch. You can cheap dry bags and larger boxes. Don’t load your pockets with any thing other than maybe a knife, whistle or bandana. You really don’t want bulky pockets.

I have a Walmart box on deck in my WS Tarpon 160. In it I have Nikon binoculars, a bandana, a clip watch, Neoporine lip balm, Carmex (for immediate rash relief) a Leatherman and cheap reading glasses. On my vest I have clipped a whistle with a small compass. The helps predict the direction t-cells with travel.

Excuse my writing style. I really don’t mean to sound like a dictator. It just comes out that way.

Hydration bladder under bungees…
Behind the seat. Run the tube beside your seat. Walmart $10. Put in existing backpack or small duffle to keep out of sunlight. I freeze mine about 1/3 full then top it off before heading out. Works great.