Banner Image
Spring Sale

Up To 50% Off Kayaks + Take An Additional 10% Off

Shop Now
Order online with and make easy monthly payments.Continue Reading

Packing for a Long-Distance Kayaking Trip

Packing for a Long-Distance Kayaking Expedition?  Here's What You'll Need

Ever want to just get away from it all? Pick up a paddle and just keep going? Well, if you are jones-ing for a long-distance kayaking expedition, you aren’t alone. But preparation is always key when undertaking ambitious adventures. Here are a few things to think about before you get underway. Compact & Comfortable are keywords for packing for long-distance kayaking trips.

Compact is Key for Long-Distance Kayaking

When considering what to bring on your kayaking excursion, think more like a backpacker than a camper. Everything you take with you is a literal weight that you carry / paddle. If you want to go the distance, you will need to consider that what you paddled with ease at mile 1 will feel considerably different at mile 5 or 15.  Choose lightweight, necessary (this will be impacted by the weather / conditions), and compact options.

  • Tent

Keep it as small and compact as possible. If the weather is right, you might even consider a hammock or lean-to option instead of a full tent. 

  • Sleeping system (including pad, liner, bag, compact pillow)

Make sure to match your sleep system to the weather and pick things that can be rolled up tightly or inflated / deflated.

  • Camping chair

These used to be considered a luxury but new designs have made them extremely compact. And they can be necessary to relax after a long day on the water.

  • Paddle leash

Whether you lease your paddle to yourself or your kayak, it doesn’t matter. But having a way to keep your paddle safe, if you need your hands free, is important. 

  • Water filtration capability 

Schlepping around heavy, unwieldy water bottles might not be the best choice for a long distance trip. If you can get a lightweight, effective filtration system that will help tremendously. 

  • First aid kit 

While it is never a good idea to cut corners on your first aid kit, it can still be helpful to target your kit for your trip. 

  • Sun protection

Being out under the sun for hours on end requires appropriate protection, no matter the weather.  Lotion, hat, sunscreen, full-coverage clothing are all ways to guard against UV rays.  

  • Bug spray

Depending on the time of year, it is essential that you consider ways to ward off bugs, especially mosquitos. Also, make checking for ticks a part of the plan. 

  • Flashlight / Headlamp

Find a compact light source to help during those dark, wilderness evenings.

  • Tow rope

While you never expect to need it, a tow rope is a must-have. If you are traveling with a group, there is always the off chance that someone gets sick, injured, or exhausted and a tow rope helps you pull together (literally).

  • Sponge / pump for sit-in kayak

Don’t forget the basics. 

  • Toiletries

Cut down your kit to the basics and consider travel-size containers. 

  • Gear for activities: photography, fishing, wildlife watching. 

Of course, you want to use this time for fun activities too. Just remember to pare down your stash to the minimum.


Comfort is Key for Long-Distance Kayaking

Since you are going to be in your ‘yak for a long time, make sure you pack & plan for comfort. And always expect that your gear will get wet so make use of dry bags. Paddling for long distances is exhausting so make things as easy on yourself as possible.

  • Gloves

Invest in a good pair of paddling gloves. If you are putting on the miles, you will want to have padding in key areas. They can be full-fingered or fingerless (depending on temperature and preference), but you will want good padding to reduce friction and blisters. 

  • Personal Flotation Device (PFD)

Since you are going to have to wear your PFD, make sure to get a comfortable one. Ones with pockets can be great for holding your snacks, phone, whistle, radio, etc. Extra back padding can also help provide lumbar support. Or maybe you want no lumbar padding and extra upper back padding. Find the fit that works for you.

  • Waterproof phone case / solar powered charger

Your phone is handy for multiple reasons, not the least of which is emergency help. But you may also use it for mapping and photography. If it is protected, you will likely be more comfortable using it.

  • Prepped food / snacks

Anything you can do ahead of time will pay dividends at the end of a long day of paddling. Pre-packaged snacks and prepped food will keep your energy up and your rest time, well, restful. You might even find that you do better eating every 30-60 minutes to keep your energy up, rather than stopping and cooking regular, large meals.

  • Layers

This really can’t be overstated. Make sure that you have appropriate layers for any circumstance - cooling, heating, waterproof, and more. It is miserable to be cold and wet with no way to fix it. Consider wool socks, shorts, pants, long-sleeve moisture-wicking / breathable shirts, fleece / mid-layer jacket, rain jacket / windbreaker, warming gloves. 

  • Upgraded seat

If you are going to spend considerable time in it, an upgraded kayak seat can go a long way toward more comfort. Of course, not all kayaks allow for this sort of customization, but padding, memory foam cushioning, all of these things can help make your bones rest a little easier.

Final Keys for Long-Distance Kayaking

Some last thoughts before you paddle off into the sunset.

  • Practice your posture

Kayaking is not all about the arms. In fact, it is very little about arm strength. Good posture goes a long way to reducing neck pain and back pain.

  • Pay attention to abdominals

Get those abs engaged. Spend some time strengthening your abs before a long expedition. You are essential using your ab muscles the entire time you kayak. The neck, fingers, and abs are where a lot of tension develops when kayaking long distances.

  • Encourage flexible itinerary

Lastly, be flexible. Especially when you are out on a multiple-day trek, you can expect that things will have to change. Be ready to respond to whatever the water throws at you. 

You got this! There is so much out there to explore when long-distance kayaking so, be sure to pack smart, get comfortable and go. Happy Paddling!

Get on the water faster with Brooklyn Kayak Company.

We are committed to providing high quality kayaks at a competitive price. High quality materials, genuinely helpful service, easy online ordering, and to-your-door delivery.

Because we use our own products, our kayaks are designed by kayakers for kayakers.

We use cookies to provide you with the best possible online experience. To adjust your cookie settings, visit Cookie Settings via the link at the bottom of the page.

Don’t see your local kayak dealer? Send us their information and receive a special offer if they decide to carry Brooklyn Kayaks!