Preparing a Day- Touring Kayak




This instructable will give you step by step information on preping a day- touring kayak for a trip. I have been paddling for almost 5 years now, and just upgraded my Victory Blast to an Equinox 124.(the shorter version of a Future Beach Patriot) I bought it at Costco for $330 dollars.

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Step 1: Packing Survival Equipment

When kayaking anywhere, it is always good to pack basic survival equipment in case of an emergency. For this, you should pack an L.E.D. flashlight, a basic first-aid kit, a knife, a multi-use tool, and hand sanitizer (for washing your hand before you eat anything). All of these supplies should be stowed in a small water-tight container. The container should be stored within close reach of the paddler at all times. I always keep this secured under the front bungees.

Step 2: Water Bailing and Anchoring Kit

When kayaking in a large body of water for more that a few hours, you will eventually want to pull over to a shore and take a bathroom or lunch break. While not in kayak, you will obviously need to anchor the kayak to something to keep it from drifting away. I find that the best way to do this is by taking a 50 foot long cord and tying it to a small grappling hook (I bought one at Dick's Sporting Goods for ten dollars.). When you are out of the kayak, keeping the rope tied to the kayak and the hook caught on a tree or root, will keep your kayak anchored. The best place for this to be stored is the rear bulkhead.

Also, when kayaking your kayak will always end up with about a cup of two of water in it after the first couple of hours. It is not mandatory, but always a good idea to have a boat sponge and water pump in the rear bulkhead at all times.

Step 3: Water and Food.

If you are kayaking for 3 to 5 hours, two water bottles should be plenty of water. However, if you are paddling for more than five hours, you should take a large canteen as well as the two water bottles. If the water bottles are kept on top of the kayak, it is a good idea to invest in BPA free stainless steel bottles. When a plastic water bottle is in the sun, after an hour or two, it will begin to release nasty chemicals into the water which are bad for humans.

For lunch, you should pack it in a small lunchbox. Do not use a paper bag if your lunch has to stay refrigerated. I always keep my lunch in the front bulkhead.

Step 4: Storage of Electronic Devices

If you are carying any electronic device onboard with you in the cockpit, you will need to store them in a dry bag. You may also store them in a water tight container, but they are more difficult to keep in the cockpit.

Step 5: PFD, Spray Skirt and Clothing

     When paddling, one of the most important pieces of equipment to have is a PFD.  You should always wear one regardless of whether or not you are a good swimmer.  Make sure that you have the proper type of vest for your type of paddling.
     Another important piece of equipment is a spray skirt.  Although it may not be mandatory in all paddling situations, it is still good to wear one in order to keep the sun off of your legs.  What type of spray skirt you need depends on what type of paddling you will be doing.  For rougher conditions, you might want a nylon, neoprene mix.  For calmer paddling where water may splash over the deck only a couple of times, you may want only a nylon spray skirt.  When purchasing a spray skirt, it is very important to buy the right size for your cockpit and test it before you go down to the water.  It should be easy to put on but tight enough to keep the water out. 
     Also, you will always want to wear proper clothing.  For warm conditions, I prefer to wear comfortable gym shorts and an underarmor tee shirt incase of rain.  In cooler conditions though, I wear jeans and a long sleeved tee shirt under a light coat.  If wearing cotton, it is always a good idea to wear a water proof paddling coat over it. 

Step 6: Conclusion

Hopefully after reading this instructable, you will have a bit of a better idea on how to prepare your day touring kayak for water. Remember, if you are planning on ocean kayaking or paddling for multiple days, your packing list will vary. Also, remember that having even the best equipment will be of no help to you if you don't know how to use it.



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    9 Discussions


    7 months ago

    Good article, but you missed on what I consider the most important piece of kit for an all-day kayaking trip; toilet accessories.I always carry a dry bag containing:
    - one roll of toilet paper inside a zip-lock plastic bag
    - a one ounce bottle of hand cleaner (airport TSA-approved size)
    - a small hand towel (6" x 6" washcloth)
    - a folding trowel ( UST U-Dig-It, Such as
    For added benefit, it's a good idea to keep some Imodium or equivalent in your first-aid kit. Just in case your lunch doesn't agree with you :)


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Another thing to consider for your kit: fire. In the form of a ferrocerium rod or even a lighter. A small tarp wouldn't take up too much space, either, and could be used (among other ways) as a temporary shelter until some unexpected rainstorm passes.


    9 years ago on Step 6

    Go to your local motor cycle dealership and purchase a net used to secure small objects on the luggage rack of a bike, thread your Yaks bungy cord thru the edges and re-attach the bungy cord and Vola!, a net on top of your boat that can hold stuff REALLY securly. MJMcDowell

    2 replies

    I found a little net at Walmart in the sporting goods section for a motorcycle I think. It was just the right size and this is a great idea. It was cheep but I don't remember the price. Both Kayaks now support the net and hold my extra stuff.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    sunshine kayakers haha
    i went kayaking last week in ct in 30 degree temperature. Fun to kayak through the ice even if tho i was still a little worried it might capsize me.

    rock climberwillih2o

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Thankyou so much for mentioning that.  I have no idea why I did not put a page up about all of that kind of stuff.  I will add another page for that as soon as possible.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I'ts ok, I wear the proper clothing considering the weather and put on my PFD by rote, it's automatic, your not mentioning this gear is probably because you just... do it automaticaly every time, I do see people who don't have a dry bag, knife water, etc., oh well...... I also drag a 15 ' length of yellow floating ski rope with a big knot in the end to help me get back to the boat should I fall in, and a long fiberglass  mast w/orange flag (like the ATV folks use) so as to be better seen by other watercraft if they are on the same waters you use, we are so low to the surface even with a bright colored boat this gets the visability up higher and it moves. Attach any way you want behind your seat, mine is in a large suction cup (like the ones used on the old roof  racks) the mast fits tight and works well if your boat is smooth. If not use industrial velcro to mount the suction cup semi-permantly to the deck (this is how I had to do it.) I go solo out in the bush and on the waters, I know I supose I should not.......... but this is the way I have been doing it for over 35 yrs. :) MJMcDowell