13 Tips to Select The Best Kayak for Camping

Best Kayak for Camping

Kayaking is an extremely fun and relaxing activity and can be done with both, friends and family. Moreover, it can add the element of fun and adventure in any camping retreat. However, there are many things that need to be kept in mind when you are planning to paddle to reach your campsite. For example, you need to be mindful of your clothing, you must pack light and in an efficient manner, etc.

Thus, if you are planning a weekend getaway or a short – trip to rejuvenate yourself, then do include kayaking as it is the most stress–free and enjoyable activity. Adding kayaking is sure to take your trip to another level of fun and adventure.

So, now that you are ready to go kayak camping, here are some tips and tricks that will come in handy when you select your very own kayak!

Storage

Storage is yet another important factor that must be considered when making a purchase. What is most ideal to have in a kayak is a storage option that is available on the boat’s deck as we as inside the kayak. In order to make efficient utilization of the space in the kayak, you can use the hatch for small items that can easily fit through the opening and can be removed with ease. Moreover, make sure to stash away those items in the hull which you will not require while paddling.

When talking about heavier items like tents, you must place it in the rear tank well of the kayak. You must keep the items that you require during your paddle on the deck so that you can access it whenever the requirement arises. So, ideally, you must go for a kayak that is designed in such a manner that it has a big rear tank and a big front hatch. It might be possible that you may not end up using all the space available to you in the kayak, but it is better to have more space than face a space crunch.

Durability

An extremely important factor to consider when purchasing a kayak is its durability. When you go out to camp, you might be faced with situations where you might need to paddle for a long duration of time, or maybe even carry it between rocks, boulders, and debris. So, you must choose a kayak that is strong enough and does not get affected by a little wear and tear.

Speed And Stability

When you are out for a kayak camping, then the first and foremost thing that you need to do is carry proper equipment and gear. This is a non – negotiable clause and must be followed at all times. But, the catch here is even though you pack the lightest of gears, the weight will eventually sum up. Thus, it is highly recommended that you check the weight of the kayaking gear to ensure that you do not go overweight and do not go beyond your kayak’s existing capacity.

Thus, what is imperative is that you must choose a kayak that is stable because despite the weight of all your camping gear you would still want your kayak to be able to move around in the waters without any danger of tilting or getting stuck.

Now, as you already know, that stability might come at the price of managing speed. So, if you are planning long camping trips and wish to cover a considerable distance via kayaking, then you must opt for a long kayak as a longer kayak is better to manage speed, thus balancing it with stability. Moreover, you can also add a rudder to a wide kayak in order to increase its paddling while keeping your track straight as well.

Pick The Right Material

Kayaks are available in different materials such as inflatable, fiberglass, rotomolded plastic, etc. Each material has its own set of pros and cons. For instance, inflatable kayaks are extremely lightweight and can be easily transported from one place to another. However, they are not very durable and might puncture easily. On the other hand, fiberglass kayaks are quite durable but are heavy and difficult to transport. Therefore, it is important that you pick the right material as per your needs and requirements.

Look for a comfortable seat

A comfortable seat is essential for an enjoyable kayaking experience. Look for a seat that’s adjustable and provides good back support. Also, make sure there’s enough room to move around in the cockpit so you can change positions if necessary.

Check for storage options

If you’re planning on camping with your kayak, be sure to choose one with plenty of storage space. Look for a kayak with built-in compartments or an easily accessible storage area for your gear.

Pick The Right Type Of Kayak

There are different types of kayaks available in the market such as sit–on–top kayaks, tandem kayaks, etc. Each type of kayak has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, it is important that you pick the right type of kayak as per your needs and requirements. For instance, tandem kayaks are ideal for couples who want to paddle together. On the other hand, sit–on–top kayaks are perfect for individuals who want to enjoy the scenic beauty while paddling alone.

Consider the transportation options

Kayaks can be heavy and difficult to transport, so it’s important to consider your transportation options before making a purchase. If you don’t have a vehicle with a roof rack, you’ll need to choose a kayak that’s easy to carry. You should also make sure the kayak you select can be easily loaded onto your chosen form of transportation.

Inflatable Or Hard–Shell Kayak?

This is one of the most common questions that people have while selecting a kayak for camping. Both, inflatable and hard–shell kayaks have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. For instance, inflatable kayaks are extremely lightweight and can be easily transported from one place to another. However, they are not very durable and might puncture easily. On the other hand, hard–shell kayaks are quite durable but are heavy and difficult to transport. Therefore, it is important that you pick the right type of kayak as per your needs and requirements.

Think about portability

If you plan on camping in remote areas, it’s important to choose a kayak that’s easy to transport. An inflatable kayak is a good choice if you need something lightweight and portable. Hard-shell kayaks can also be portable if they’re short enough to fit inside your vehicle.

Consider the length

Kayaks come in a variety of lengths, from short and maneuverable to long and fast. The length you choose should be based on your needs and the type of kayaking you plan on doing. If you’re mostly interested in exploring calm waters, a shorter kayak will be plenty. If you want to cover more distance or paddle in open water, a longer kayak will be a better choice.

Consider the weight capacity

Another important factor to consider is the weight capacity of the kayak. This will determine how much gear you can bring along on your camping trip. Make sure to select a kayak that can comfortably accommodate your body weight and any additional gear.

Choose The Appropriate Size

The first and foremost thing that you need to do is to choose the kayak size as per your body type and height. You can find kayaks in different sizes such as 9 feet long, 12 feet long, etc. It is important that you select a kayak which will suit your body type so that you are comfortable while paddling it. Moreover, it is also important to take into account the weight capacity of the kayak before finalizing it. This will ensure that the kayak does not tip over when you are in it.

So, keep these factors in mind and enjoy your kayaking trip!

Posted by
Arthur G. Moore

Arthur G. Moore is a veteran paddler. He has over 10 years of whitewater kayaking experience in his kitty. When he was young, he used to love kayaking in rapid III and rapid IV but as time went on, he decided to concentrate mainly on covering long distances on a standard touring kayak. He is currently working as a senior editor for Kayak Manual.

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