Where do I put all this crap?

Any good tips on cockpit orginazation products? I spent 6 hours on the St. Francis river in my recreational kayak yesterday, and realized I am in serious need of organization in my boat. I live in Arkansas, and down here if it isn’t in your hatch, it has to be tied to the boat. Between the GPS and my water bottles I felt like I was chasing snakes. Currently I just clip everything to the line on my 3’ bilge sponge with little carabiners.

I have one of these

how much crap do you carry?
I carry a lot of crap for long term outings of two weeks or more. The rules change the farther you go.

Things I keep accessable: Water, Toilet Paper, Clif Bars.

Knife, and compass are on the PFD, which is always on me

Everything else is kept in bags or hatches

Boat with a day hatch
I’m not entirely kidding. If you are spending 6 hours on a paddle and need stuff like a GPS, you may be a match for more boat than you have right now.

St. Francis River
The section of the St.Francis River I was on had a lot of off shoots and ditches. I just got my GPS and took it along more to figure it out/play with it in familiar waters. I can see the river from my house, so needless to say, I’ve spent a lot of time on it.

My biggest problem is tracking down my water bottles. I have to retrieve my sponge to get my bottles, which is ok, but there has to be a better way.

go to a race
and see how the Marathoners organize. They need instant access to water and food etc, they can’t waste any time getting what they need/want. In a canoe I just glue in styro foam sleeves to drop my water bottle in. Depending on what type of kayak you could easily come ou with a similar solution or like I said go to a few races and see how the racers do it.


In a canoe.

Some PFDs have a pouch in back for holding a water bladder. There are also external CamelBak-like systems. Both have tubes that you can clip to the front of your PFD for easy access to water.

try this

Packing PDF

trade up to a canoe maybe?

Deck Bag is the way to go
Alright, I admit I love to over pack, over think, and underplan day trips. I packed my Deck Bag a long time ago. The bag is a bit more than I NEED but it comes in hady. All I have for a kayak is a little Otter Sport (the Rush if you don’t buy at dicks) and it all works out JUST fine. I clip my water bottle of choice to anything I can find (NORmally the deck rigging I added behind the cockpit) and the deck bag is in front where I can get snacks, rain gear, first aid or anything else. I think it is an invaulable tool for the rec. boats.

Mine is Very similar to this http://www.rutabaga.com/product.asp?pid=1011858

but not quite the same. I just can’t remeber which it is and it is not here for me to check. I put sunblock and bug spray in it a long time ago and that was the BREST idea ever. even when I just need a bit I go to the boat if it is handy and use it then put it RIGHT BACK (that is the trick).

If you have a larger cockpit (where the deck bag would be about 1/2 mile in front of you) you can find the fisherman’s work decks. They would serve your purpose as well.

Post some pictures when you finish up out fitting this adventure-craft.


This works well

if you’re not looking to buy a new boat with a day hatch, a la Celia’s comment. And you might rethink just how much stuff you really need immediately accessible. But I’ll never try to talk someone out of buying another boat.

In Fat Elmo’s canoe :wink:

“I live in Arkansas, and down here if it isn’t in your hatch, it has to be tied to the boat.”

Is that like a LAW?..

Granted, all my stuff is tied to the boat one way or another, the statement just peaked my curiosity…

My insulated Camelbak is laid on the front deck (it conforms to the shape of the deck), and carabiner clipped on each end to the deck rigging…I just pick up the tube, drink, and reclip the tube to the Camelbak…

consider a softsided cooler or a similar shaped bag, place the loose odds and ends in the bag and keep the bag between or in front of your feet…one item to clip to the boat that holds all your gear…

I’ve been using a sun-skirt with a zippered compartment. Things are easy to get to, and I don’t have to worry about sunscreen for my legs.


Canoes don’t stop water bottles from
rolling around in the boat. That’s one of the OP’s complaints.

Prodigy 12
I have a Prodigy 12 by Perception, with a rear hatch. I really like it’s set up. I actually have a better time keeping the cockpit organized on overnight or weekend trips, because I roll my T.T. (Tiny Tent) up in my sleeping bag, stuff the whole thing into a big dry bag, and shove it in the bow. When I put the foot pegs in position, they keep it up there nice and tight, so nothing gets beyond my feet. I also don’t mind taking a few extra stops on these longer trips to enjoy the scenery and get a drink and have a little snack.

It’s the law
Yep, in Arkansas any Kayak, Canoe, Raft, or other vessle that is easily capsized must have all contents securely tied to the boat or in the hatch to prevent water polution. Also, you have to have a zippered mesh bag tied to the boat for trash in you carry any foodstuff outside the hatch.

I’m not required to carry any signaling device, or safety gear except a PFD that has to be in an “accessable location”

We have too many drunk hillbillies capsizing thier beer can filled boats.

If out for more than an hour or so…
… swap the bottles for larger hydration pack(s).