If you’re planning an overnight or extended guided trip with Low Country Adventures here are a few tips on how to prepare, and how to fit it all in your kayak or canoe.
What to Bring:
The equipment, food, and water you carry with you must fit in your boat with you in it. If you are practicing packing your own boat, don’t pre-pack without sitting down in the boat with all your stuff, you must fit in the boat too, this is very important. Your kayak is rated to a certain weight. Your own weight, plus the weight of your gear should be no more than 75% of that rated weight, less if you can. Your chances of turning over are greater the more weight you carry above water so remember, the more you carry the greater your chances of losing your stuff in the river.
A note on clothes, you don’t need a change of clothes for each day, that will only add to your packed weight. Pack clothes and other supplies into gallon size zip lock bags. This will add additional protection to your clothes from the rain or if your kayak tips over. I recommend you invest in a few good dry bags of varying sizes too. There are all sorts of rigid boxes that are waterproof, but soft bags are much easier to tie off and to scrunch together. I’m a real fan of Baja Seal Bags they’re a good price-point and they really keep the water out.
This list is about equipment and clothes only, everyone has different needs so use your own best judgment. You must decide for yourself what kind of food you will bring with you and how you plan to prepare it. I recommend you look up hiking menus and snacks online. Things like trail bars, power bars etc, though light easy to pack offer minimal nutrients and usually pack a lot of sugar which burns through your body very quickly. I prefer nuts, dried fruits, and jerky. Cooked rice also travels well and can be eaten cold or warmed into a porridge at night.
Clothing for a 4 Day/3 Night Float
Hat with a brim (wear)
2 Bandannas (wear one/pack one)
4 t-shirts (one to wear / 3 in pack) – Wicking material – Preferable no cotton
1 – pair of hiking shorts (wear) – No cotton
1 – pair of long lightweight pants – No cotton
4 pair of underwear (one to wear / pack three)
Lite weight long sleeve thermal top (suitable for layering)
1 set rain toggs
4 pairs of socks
Water shoes (to wear in boat)
Light weight shoes to wear in camp after paddle (your feet will get cold as the sun goes down after being wet all day.)
A ski cap for night may be a good idea if you’re cold-natured. (optional)
Waterproof rain jacket with hood (suitable for layering) The temp is unpredictable in May
Tech gloves to prevent paddle blisters, a blister the first day can ruin the whole trip.
1 Camel-back or 2 Water bottles (32 oz Each) with clips so you can secure them to yourself.
Mess Kit: Small light-weight hiking stove, 1 small metal cook pot OR 1 light-weight steel or enamel bowl (you don’t need both), 1 Spoon, 1 Cup (if you plan on sharing group meals on one of our guided trips, you will still need your own mess kit)
First aid kit (small personal kit)
Bug spray – 98% deet (yeah yeah I know deet is bad, but we’ve got bugs that won’t quit)
Small hand sanitizer
Duct Tape (always a good idea)
Meds if needed
Small head lamp
Bear bag and polycord
Small tube of tooth paste (could share with tent mate)
Small pocket knife
Micro 50 degree rated sleeping bag
Small packable tent.
Extra gallon size zip lock bags / Freezer bags preferred
1 – 30 gallon trash bag
Carabineers (4 minimum)
If you bring fishing gear please make sure you have the proper licenses for both Alabama and Florida.
Trip Home Back / Day Pack
(For your comfort we will bring these for you to pick up at the end of our journey)
Please label your bag to prevent confusion
Full size towel
Brush or Comb
What not to Bring:
Deodorant (bears love the stuff, yes we have bears)
Extra heavy cloths
Extra cook gear
Large bulky clothes