TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...

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By Beve
This is high on my list of favorite things in the world. :D Absolutely love it.

I have had a fair amount of folks ask me for advice or I have helped get started into kayak camping, and hope this thread can be helpful to someone getting started or mayhaps present something new or different to experienced kayak campers.

Some of the other TNT threads spill over into this one like first aid and survival gear. Mostly I want to get across that kayak camping can be relatively inexpensive and once you get started, you find things that work and don't work. Also, simple overnighters, which a majority of us do, have a different set of logistics involved than multi-day trips. We'll go over that too.

Remember--kayak camping is very seasonal and the gear/tactics change with the seasons and our wonderfully dynamic Texas weather.

A depends and begins with what paddlecraft vessel is going to be used for the trip. A canoe presents (almost) endless possibilities in packing and amount of gear to haul. Touring kayaks can have advantages as well. A lot of the wooden pirouges and other wood boats you see on the FW board is they are perfect for kayak camping. But the majority of kayak fisherman are in plastic SOT with a minority in Sit-ins. Some boats are more difficult to pack than others because of weight capacity and hatch size.
I'll present how-to with a 13 foot OK Prowler, an average kayak-fishing boat. Hopefully others on here can show the advantages of wooden pirouges, canoes, and hybrids like the Native Ultimate series.

Distance/Time factors:
Whether you are on an overnighter or a week-long trip, some equipment will go no matter what. Other stuff will change like food, water, and other specific items.

Paddle gear:
Pretty obvious stuff here.
Spare Paddle
Repair kit
(good for multi-day trips without much public access)
Throw bag--good for groups (especially with newbies) and encounters with whitewater
Seat ( maybe an extra pad for long trips so the 'ol butt doesn't get sore)
Bowline--good for many uses-lining through shallows, tieing off boat to structure at camp in case of a water rise, getting hooks tuck into them :lol:

Camping Gear:
This will vary with your comfort level and what season it is (as well as potential weather changes like rain, cold fronts, wind)

Tent- I like one that breathes well in the hot summers and has a strong rain-fly that can handle storm. There are a lot of good three-season tents for reasonable prices, and often tent manufacturers will come out with new lines every year or so, and the perfectly ok old version goes on sale. :wink:
There are many excellent choices. I use a Mountain hardwear Meridian-2. A two-man tent that is perfect as a one-man for a tall guy with his gear.

Now others may want to consider being even more lightweight/spartan use a tarp (like YakinAg-tough dude) or a bivy sack, something worth considering for mild but not cold nights. Or even a hammock like Siler's.

Also get a ground cover or tarp to go under your tent--lots of rock and shells can wear out the tent floor.

Sleeping pad--I think (personally) this is a must. And this is one item I feel shouldn't be skimped on. Some good pads out there that are durable from rocks, shells, and the like. Size is also a factor. There are some luxury pads out there that you could throw your car keys under and sleep on the pad not knowing they are there, but can be bulky. There are also cheapo pads that don't do squat. I chose a pad that was durable, reputable, comfortable, and packs small and light. I use the Termarest proLite3. It's not cheap, but you get what you pay for in quality.
It's the small orange roll inside the dry bag here.

Sleeping bag--I use one in the winter. If it's above 50 I pack a light weight fleece blanket and then a waterproof thick camp blanket to go over that. Plus they pack small and light. For winter I use a zero degree bag. It's bulky but I got it cheap for under $50. Remember even though a bag is "rated" to a certain temp, go ahead and add 10-15 degrees and that's the temp you can be sure you are comfortably warm. Also a bivy sack is a good option here. I pack mine into a compression dry sack to get it down to a packable size.
Sleeping bag is a bulky 5lbs and the extra-tall version but it packs down nicely into a compression dry sack, left.

Folding camp chair-gotta have a place to sit after a hard day's paddle.

Spare clothes and seasonal clothes-I always take a change of clothes, even in summer. Never know when you may need a clean, dry change of clothes. Once got caught up in a bad squall line of storms and got drenched. It was late spring but I was shivering. Spare clothes made me warmer and feel like a new person.
Plus I hate going to sleep wet.
Also take along seasonal stuff-like a coat/jacket for cold nights, gloves, wool cap or ski mask, extra base layers--layers, layers, layers in the cold months. Waders or the like for paddling in cold water. Also a set of camp shoes or sandals are handy as well. *Also if drying wet shoes near a fire, watch them closely, might have melted a pair of my wife's shoes once. :oops: Avoid cotton clothes BTW. They take forever to dry and don't wick moisture well. There are multitudes of good outdoor clothes out there and not even going to get into the plusses and minuses of each type. Another campfire tip--I melted the pant leg cuff of a pair of good kayaking pants once by standing too close to a fire--polyester and nylon melt easy. :shock:
Clothes should pack tight into a dry bag as well.
All clothing, sleeping pad, and pillow are in bag on right.
Also don't forget raingear.

Pillow-I take along a small compressible pillow-whatever works for you. Spare clothes can double as a pillow too.

Dry bags/compression sacks--I love compression dry bags like shown above. They reduce space and keep your stuff dry. If you use trash bags---if you turtle, your stuff will get wet. Usually a 30L dry bag can hold most gear for an overnighter. I have smaller bags to hold random items because they pack easier into my hatch that way. Also, I have a huge NRS Big Bill dry bag when I'm lazy or taking a ton of gear along. It was designed with rafting outfitters in mind, but can hold enough gear for two or three folks.
Green bag shown here in tankwell.

Stove--another item with plenty of good choices. MSR, Coleman, Jetboil-are all great choices--choose based on how many you want to cook for, and how much room you have. I use an ultralight backpacker stove that is no bigger than the palm of my hand. It is made by Brunton, got it cheap at Cabela's (<$40) and uses variable size fuel canisters.

Cooking gear--plenty of cheap options here. I have foldable cookware and army surpluses usually have a bunch of pans and such. Last trip realized I needed a can opener for the fried corn--good thing somebody else brought it. Plan out what will be cooked and what utensils will be necessary.
If grilling, I suggest a grate for cooking over coals or charcoal briquettes--drfitwood smoked-meat isn't very tasty. Bowgarguide saw my grate recently and noted where I could cut it down for better packing.

Food--pack it light and tight. Doesn't mean you have to sacrifice quality. :wink:
Cut out extraneous packaging if it doesn't sacrifice freshness. Pre-cook, cut, dice, or mix anything you can beforehand. Strider showed us a handy way of pre-mixing eggs into a plastic spice bottle. Also pre-mix spices and the free fast food condiments are helpful too.

Water--muy importante. Pre-freeze as much as possible as this will double as "ice". For multi-day trips or just trying to be lightweight, I use a water filter. I use the katadyn hiker pro, but there are many other options too and all about the same price. You can cut pounds of water weight off with this.

Cooler--You want something that will keep things cool as long as you are on the water. Plus it helps to have something that fits your tankwell. I use all sorts of small coolers depending on what's going back there.

Other items:
headlamps and spare batteries
-I rarely use them as I usually get enough light from campfire, stars, and moon, but they are helpful
shovel-foldable shovels are handy,especially if handling coals. For minor digging in sand, I use my paddle.

first-aid kit
http://texaskayakfisherman.com/forum/vi ... +n+tactics
survival kit
http://texaskayakfisherman.com/forum/vi ... +n+tactics

foldable hand saw- for trimming firewood
bandanna--1001 uses. nuff said.

Campfires and safety:
If in a no trace area, consder a fire pan.
I like to dig a small fire pit to self-contain the coals and still fashion it for air to feed the fire. I try to place it where the wind will blow ash into the river if possible and not on dry brush. As for starting a fire, I use a small bottle of vaseline and dryer lint.
It's a great lightweight option.

More effective is a roll of TP soaking in 90% rubbing alcohol inside a coffee or baby formula can. Helpful if tinder and kindling are wet.

Fishing gear:

I try to bring what is appropriate for what I'm fishing for (bass stuff?, catfish gear?) but minimizw what I can. I try to limit lures, rods, weights, and stuff I most likely won't use. Just fishing with lures? Maybe don't take as many. Not keeping fish? Leave the stringer. Not using live bait? Leave the bait bucket. Not using anchor? Leave that heavy thing at home, too. Brush clips are lightweight and more pertinent on rivers.

One thing about keeping fish. Ice chests are great. Dragging a stringer of fish for miles while trying to make up distance and time is tiresome and cuts down on speed immensely. Trust me, it stinks.

Of course rod holders. Keep rods at a low profile if dodging tree limbs.

Multi-day trips:

Water is probably your biggest issue. Water filters can help solve that. Pre-freeze as much as you can. For food, dried foods pack light. Reduce cokes and beer if you need the space :lol: May consider a weather radio to keep track of weather changes. Mine has a dynamo if batteries run out.

For me this is inmportant as hatch options are limited. In a canoe it's more mkaing sure weight is distributed properly.
I shove the tent under the console.

You can stow away extra rods for later bank fishing, too.

Next goes in the camp chair.

Then a dry bag with survival gear and camp items.

Then dry bag with clothes and sleeping arrangements.

Note many little dry bags can be fit into little spaces as well.

One thing I'm working on is reducing the amount of fishing junk I take along. More room in the tankwell.

Deck bags can be handy too. Keep a rainjacket/poncho or map for easy access. I used one on the Devils for just that purpose.
Yellow bag on the bow.
<a href="http://tinypic.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i19.tinypic.com/4q3wy95.jpg" border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic"></a>

This is just a basic start. Please everybody expound on this and add what I forgot.

Discuss. :wink:
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By Bigrock
That's living the life of luxury compared to some of my backpacking trips. :D

But the message holds true... ounces add up to more energy expended...leads to fatigue... leads to less enjoyment of trip. Used to pack rafts for river camping, but have never had to deal with the tight confines of a kayak. Hope to in the near future. :D Thanks for the info and I'm looking forward to hearing more tidbits from other kayak campers.
By rodloos
Excellent Topic!

Great article and I really look forward to everyone else's additions.

As a kid I used to go canoe camping very frequently, but as an adult in the USA I have never camped via canoe. I'm always worried I'll get there and wish I had something else along with me. When I camp at a campground, seems I completely fill up my pickup with crap just for 1 person, I'll have to learn how to pare down what I take.

Great post!
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By bowgarguide
Here is the list I used on a week trip on the upper Brazos.

Observations on the trip
The Coleman extreme cooler preformed well I froze 8 small water bottles 8 small gator aides and dumped the ice out of the ice maker on the fridge in the cooler Monday morning this morning 8 days later some of the waters still were half ice . It was worth build in a spot in the yak. Had way to much food in the cooler there was two packs of beef sausage, 2 pork chops 2 steaks ground meat for four burgers, sandwich meat
cheese, mayo olives and the water a gator aide that was frozen.

Other food in the yak 8 small cokes, frito’s, 2 packs of Pringles two packs of saltines five gallons of water salt pepper 1 pan 1 bowl silverware coffee cream sugar coffee pot ,cup 2 cans spam,1chilli,beef stew,black eyed peas with peppers pinto beans and peppers flour tortillas bread 2 cans soup sauerkraut 8 cans of propane roll of garbage bags grill 5 oranges 4 fruit cups paper plates paper towels. I had enough food for 10 days easy

Camping gear
Tent cot sleeping bag pillow machete clothes bag combination gortex parka extra paddle lantern single burner stove (propane) first aid kit extra paddle pfd .2 tarps

I loaded this yak heavy I wanted to see what she could carry and still handle while I had someone else with me The T-V aka Brazos Queen did fantastic paddle well stable glided better loaded, wood is the king, cooler worked fantastic you can have fresh food for at least a week loved my fold out seat .

There was two of us and we ate out of my cooler the whole week I don't think Jack ever got into any of his food.

A few things I highly recommend
The machete is an ontario Knife brand with a saw on the back of the blade that works. This is the only brand I will use and I have tried several


The Coleman extreme cooler is a definite keeper.
and having a wooden boat built for extended camping helps to


Here is a pic of the boat loaded and heading down the Brazos , One dry bag strapped to the back deck and a jacket under front tie downs.


And my prize possession my folding chair kayak seat.


I camp comfortable

PS This boat was built for extended camping
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By Siler
Great thread Beve! I’m gonna enjoy this one……

I’ll list as much of my kayak camping gear as I can remember and will try to come back later with pics of a few items.

Camping Gear:

Tent: REI Quarter Dome T3 w/Ground Tarp – Used for winter camping and when I take the girlfriend along.

Hammock: Claytor Jungle Hammock – Used for solo summer trips.

Winter Sleeping Bag: REI Mojave +15 Down Bag – Double bagged in an Event fabric waterproof compression sack and a 20L dry bag.

Summer Sleeping Bag: REI Travel Sack +55 Synthetic Bag – Kept in its own stuff sack and thrown in the same dry bag as my hammock.

Sleeping Bag Liner: Sea to Summit Cotton Rectangular Liner – Always used when sleeping. In a bag or out. Helps keep some of the stink off of my bag, hammock, and pad.

Pillow: Therm-a-rest Stuff Sack Pillow – Stuff sack with a fabric lining that you turn inside out and stuff with clothes to make a pillow. Works great.

Tent Sleeping Pad: 4” Thick Magellan Self Inflatable Pad – Bulky, but I don’t care. Great inexpensive pad.

Hammock Sleeping Pad: 2” Thick Cabelas Self Inflatable Pad – Used in the hammock to insulate my underside and prevent mosquito bites on my arse. Also carried in the event that I can’t find a suitable place to hang and have to sleep on the ground.

Overnight Cooler: Coleman Marine 28 qt. – Perfect for this length trip.

2+ Night Cooler: Coleman Extreme Marine 36 qt. – Good compromise between size and function. Too big for most kayaks though.

Furniture: REI Camp Chair or Stool – I take whichever one I have room for.

Trash Bag: REI Medium Mesh Bag – Catch all in camp and the boat.

Stove: Jetboil – Works great for boiling water but hard to cook on. Might look into getting another stove that is better for that.

Water Filter: Katadyn Vario Water Microfilter - Haven’t had to use yet. Carried for emergencies mainly.

Lantern: Brunton Polaris Lantern – Carry two. Small LED units.

Headlamp: Cabelas Alaskan Guide Series and Cyclops Orion Clip Light – No problems with headlamp, but find myself using the clip on light mostly.

Flashlight: Coleman Cree XLamp LED – 2 AA Model. Very bright and rugged.

Saw: Cabelas Outfitter Series – Small double edged pack saw.

Hatchet: Buck Camp Hatchet – Used for several jobs.

Firestarter: Diamond Strike-A-Fire Starter Sticks, Coleman Butane Lighter, Waterproof Matches – There are much cheaper alternatives though.

Plate: Sea to Summit X-Plate – Collapsible dinner plate/cutting board.

Utensils: REI Lexan Set – Cheap and durable.

First Aid Kit: 3 Man – Need to make up my own.

Shower: Stearns Sun Shower – Found this on sale. Packs small, so I’m gonna take it along to give it a try. When it warms up, of course…

Toilet Paper: Small Camping Rolls – I bring plenty.

Gun: Ruger Single Six or Kimber 1911 – Insurance I hope I never need.

Extra Clothing Packed:

Jacket: XPS Soft Shell – Around the fire. (Winter)

Fleece: REI Woodland Vest – Used for layering. (Winter)

Beanie: Under Armour – Pack an extra one to sleep in. (Winter)

Gloves: NRS Hydroskin – If needed. (Winter)

Neck Gaiter: Under Armour – If needed to pull up over my grill on cold days. (Winter)

Shoes: North Face Hedgehog GTX Trail Runners – I like to get out of my waders ASAP after returning to camp for the night. (Winter)

Flip Flops: Columbia Marlins – Gotta have them. (Summer)

Pants: Under Armour Fishing Pants – Nylon with the zip off leg. (All Seasons)

Shirt: XPS Supplex Fishing Shirt – Nylon. (All Seasons)

Underwear: Under Armour – Undershirt, boxer briefs, and socks. (All Seasons)

Towels: Cheap Thin Ones – Normally bring two bath size and one hand towel. (All seasons)

Misc.: Toiletry Kit – Gotta have it.


Dehydrated Meals: Mountain House Brand – Lasagna, Beef Stroganoff, and Spaghetti are my favorites.

Meat: Hot Links or precooked – Links over the fire is quick and easy. I also like to bring along various meats that I cooked ahead of time at the house. Heat and eat.

Lunch: Hormel Snack Tray – Crackers, pepperoni, and cheese.

Snacks: Gum, Chocolate, and Hard Candy – I have a sweet tooth, bro!

Sports Drinks: Gatorade G2 – In summer I bring as many as possible.

Water: Bottled – As much as possible anytime.

Colas: Dr.Peppers – Gotta have a few or I get cranky. Especially with dinner.

Beer: Miller Lite – Don’t drink when I’m solo, but like to have a few with others along.


Dry Bags: Bass Pro XPS 20 and 30 Liter – Durable bag with a lifetime guarantee against punctures and leaks. Can usually fit all of my gear into three or four of these.

Dry Box: Plano Molding (Orange) – Keep wallet, phone, keys, etc.

Thwart Bag: Cabelas – Recently bought one of these for the Ultimate. Works great in its canoe-like design. Use it to keep my dry box, camera, bungees, handy toilet paper, gun, poncho, etc. in.

There is a list of all of my crap. I will edit if I have forgotten anything.

If I get time I will get into how I pack it in the yak, my fishing gear, and the like.
User avatar
By Buckeev
I am soooo NOT ready to do an overnighter from the yak...and that was one of the main reasons I went with my Adventure. :cry: Soon...

By rodloos
A couple more questions for Beve and the rest of you campers:
How much total weight (besides the boat) does all your gear add up to?

And when you can't park right at the water's edge, how do you get it all into the water? Do you load the 'yak up at your vehicle, then drag (or use cart) to get it to the water, or is it easier to get the boat to the water first while empty, then carry the rest of your gear down and load up? What about when you have a steep bank to the river?

I had bought one of those folding carts with pneumatic wheels, thought it would be great to use with my kayak and my canoe, but trying to cart the canoe with all my gear in it was just too much for the cart, bent the aluminum frame. I can carry my canoe on my back for a short distance to get across rough terrain, but then having to get the rest of my stuff to the canoe is a lot of work - thought of using one of those yard/garden type carts or a wagon to load all my stuff separately from the boat.

Your method you use?
User avatar
By DarrellS
My gear weighs about 65 pounds (I take the kitchen sink too) :lol: + cooler

Where I put there is a pretty gentle sand slope to the water so I load at the top and let the boat slide down.
Last edited by DarrellS on Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
By Olde Farte
I haven't had the chance to camp with my new Ride yet, but one thing we always like to prepare in advance is the modern day Boy Scout standby - FOIL DINNERS. Just put together your own style tv dinner, wrap in heavy foil or double wrap a single serving of stew meat (all seasoned up) green beans, and new potatoes (with butter & other fixin's). Hard freeze it in advance and ad it to your ice chest. When you go to cook it, scape up a bed of coals, bury it for an hour or so in the coals and you have a great hot meal. It doesn't matter id the wood is pine, cedar, or hardwood or driftwood, just that you have enough coals. You can make up biskits or cobbler in advance as well. No pots & Pans, no dished, just a fork spoon and knife.

One thing I didn't notice was a bag to carry your trash out with!


I may grow older, but I'll never grow up! :wink:
User avatar
By Beve
rodloos wrote:A couple more questions for Beve and the rest of you campers:
How much total weight (besides the boat) does all your gear add up to?

And when you can't park right at the water's edge, how do you get it all into the water? Do you load the 'yak up at your vehicle, then drag (or use cart) to get it to the water, or is it easier to get the boat to the water first while empty, then carry the rest of your gear down and load up? What about when you have a steep bank to the river?

I had bought one of those folding carts with pneumatic wheels, thought it would be great to use with my kayak and my canoe, but trying to cart the canoe with all my gear in it was just too much for the cart, bent the aluminum frame. I can carry my canoe on my back for a short distance to get across rough terrain, but then having to get the rest of my stuff to the canoe is a lot of work - thought of using one of those yard/garden type carts or a wagon to load all my stuff separately from the boat.

Your method you use?

I haven't reweighed in a while but when trying hard to be lightweight, I shoot for (approx) under 50-60 pounds including food.
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By Beve
Old farte-good point about trash bags. I keep a few in my hatch on all trips. And foil cooking is a great tip....reminds me of scouts when we made "hobo stew". 8)

Siler-that is one impressive list bro. I nabbed a cheapo $6 solar shower and it worked well when the wife was along for trips in the summer. It was downright hot after sitting in the sun all day. :shock:
User avatar
By Gutter Girl

Thanks for sharing the wisdom. I've made some notes. Grew up on canoe trips but yeah, the kayak is a different thing!

A concern - I absolutely hate sleeping in a bag. When I tentcamp, I make up a bed just like I'm at home! :D I guess babysteps are in order - start sleeping with a bag on the airbed, then the bag on pad.

Since moving to TX and starting my SP camping I've started to get a nice assortment of gear but I'm gonna start thinking about gear that will multitask for tent and kayak camping! Can't afford both!

Again, thanks all, for sharing what works for you... Better go get my list together!
User avatar
By Siler
Thanks Beve.

My gear fetish knows no bounds. :twisted:

My post would have been even longer if I listed the crap I bring along for the dog too..... :roll:
User avatar
By gyoung
oh, bless you beve!!! my 3 favorites.. camping, fishing and kayaking (not in that order).

I'm not going through everything I take... too many have already done this. I'm simply adding this link to my favorites!

A couple of questions:
1) In my last couple of excursions I took a couple of small tents and each had center line zippers but no zipper on the bottom of the door. Since I have been known to "crawl" into the national forest in the middle of the night (deep woods) in summer the thought of waking up with snakes have crossed my mind. Do you know any good tents that seal even at the bottom of the door?

2) I've recently been thinking about camping on the beach.. shell specifically, any recommendations on tents that work well on the shell?

A couple of recommendations:
1) I take with me a small hatchet and avoid the machette (too long/large). I've found the hatchet works well in chopping and cutting anything I need. Buy this from acadamy and get the one with the plastic or shatter proof integrated handle (don't get a cheap one)! The axe will last your for many... many... years!

2) buy a wooden bowl from randels or krogers... Heat your food in your aluminum pots or what ever you use.. but the wooden bowl keeps the food warmer longer and you can hold it! People using metal or cheap styrofoam will be juggling thier bowl or cup while you comfortably sit there eatting! (I never camp without my wooden bowl)!

Below is a photo of my camping excursion, but as already pointed out... your goal is to know your environment and pack for it! become an expert in reducing your packing and carry what you need!!!
Packed down for a 4 day trip!
five fingers on the big sam rayburn
P5180061.jpg (41.59 KiB) Viewed 13631 times
Unpacked - learn to pack less than this!!!
P5190065.jpg (42.61 KiB) Viewed 13631 times
User avatar
By gyoung
okay last post...

when I camp for 3 to 4 day's and I really want a "base camp" and not portage around, I do this.... my gp small is really elaborate (I've collected everything my wife considered throwing out and turned it into camping gear... it's my home away from home) :twisted:
Conroe (national forest) directly across from Scott's ridge (other side of the lake from the launch).
P1050032.jpg (36.5 KiB) Viewed 13622 times
perspective of the GP Small army tent against my chev. tahoe
P1050036.jpg (37.74 KiB) Viewed 13624 times
Gibbons creek yak tournament (was cold and VERY Windy) some of you probably remember... I had to use most of my support ropes that weekend!
User avatar
By Beve
Great post gyoung!

I like the wooden bowl idea! May have to try that.

I guess I've never used a tent that would allow any type of critter in be a large insect to a "Mr. No-shoulders" as Ron puts it :lol:

The tents I have used in the past and now all zip the bottom above ground and it makes a"_____floor" and can't think of the "term" used for that.

As for shell, use a ground cover or footprint. And a sleeping pad....

Most folks don't want to spend the extra$ for the footprint made for that specific tent. I didn't until mine went on sale for 75% off. until that point I used a tarp to help protect tent from rock and shell.
By SpookyAg
Great thread! I love to camp out of the kayak, just haven’t done it enough yet. I cheated and used Siler’s gear list and substituted my gear list.

Trip pictures to the Devil’s River - http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/TC ... directlink

Camping Gear:

• Tent: Mountainsmith Edge, three person with Tyvek ground tarp– a little on the heavy side (6 lbs 10 oz) but has plenty of room for two plus gear

• Hammock: Crazy Creek – Crazy Crib hammock – Only weighs 1 lb 7 oz.

• Winter Sleeping Bag: Big Agnes Cross Mountain 40 degree – I have two of these and use both when temperatures drop below 40 degrees. They are very light weight (2 lb 3 oz) and pack very small (8” x 6”). I did this just recently on a dry camping trip to Big Bend Ranch State park and it work wonderfully for the 20 degree nights.

• Summer Sleeping Bag: Big Agnes Cross Mountain 40 degree for temperatures down to 40 degrees. Just use a light weight fleece blanket for warmer temperatures.

• Sleeping Bag Liner: I need these for my two bags!

• Pillow: Big Agnes Air core pillow and Cocoon down travel pillow.

• Tent Sleeping Pad: Big Agnes Insulated Air core pad. This is the reason I purchased the Big Agnes sleeping system. The pad fits inside the sleeping bag so you don’t roll off of it and has a temperature rating to 15 degrees. They are also light (1 lb 8 oz), you get 2.5” of cushion, and it packs very small (5” x 9”).

• Hammock Sleeping Pad: Big Agnes pad

• Overnight Cooler: Medium Soft sided

• 2+ Night Cooler: The medium Soft sided cooler is about the biggest cooler I can fit in my Manta Ray 10’ kayak.

• Furniture: Crazy Creek Cradle Lounger - Only weighs 1 lb 10 oz.

• Trash Bag: Glade kitchen - keep several garbage and wet clothes.

• Stove: MSR Superfly – Lightweight (4.6 oz.) and has good adjustability for boiling to simmering.

• Water Filter: Katadyn Hiker Pro – Used it during my trip to the Devil’s river. Works great.

• Lantern: Primus EasyLight Lantern – Only weighs 6.9 Oz

• Headlamp: Cyclops Orion Clip Lights – green and white

• Flashlight: I only carry the headlamps

• Saw: Don’t currently bring

• Hatchet: Don’t currently bring

• Firestarter: Light My Fire Firesteel

• Plate: MSR Stainless Alpine plate

• Utensils: Outdoor Research Backcountry Kitchen 4 – Includes utensils, cutting board, spice containers, soap containers, etc for 4 people.

• First Aid Kit: Adventure Medical Ultralight and Watertight

• Shower: Don’t currently bring

• Toilet Paper: Small Camping Rolls – Bring plenty, they don't go far.

• Gun: Don’t currently bring

Extra Clothing Packed:

• Jacket: Don’t currently use – just layer for Winter

• Fleece: Patagonia Pullover – Used for layering. (Winter)

• Beanie: Under Armour Balaclava (Winter)

• Gloves: ArticShield Glomitt (Winter)

• Neck Gaiter: Under Armour Balaclava (Winter)

• Shoes: Nike Alvord Series Trail Runners

• Flip Flops: Columbia Titanium Thresher (Summer)

• Pants: Columbia Fishing Pants – Nylon with the zip off leg. (All Seasons)

• Shirt: Columbia Titanium Pullover – Nylon. (All Seasons)

• Long Underwear: Under Armour Coldgear 2.0 and Patagonia Capilene 3 – Undershirt and pants. I've found the Patagonia to be more confortable. (Winter)

• Towels: MSR Packtowl Ultralight (All seasons)

• Misc.: Toiletry Kit


• Dehydrated Meals: Tried several of the pre-made meals from Mountain House Brand, etc. but prefer Lipton Noodle meals for the $.

• Meat: Some pre-cooked sausage, dryed sausage and hopefully catch some fresh fish along the way

• Lunch: Dried sausage, dried fruit

• Snacks: Breakfast bars and granola bars

• Sports Drinks: Don’t bring

• Water: Bottled – As much as possible anytime.

• Colas: Don’t usually bring

• Beer: Don’t bring


• Dry Bags: Outdoor Research Helium Series – In sizes 6.5L, 10.6L, 28L and 37L. I can fit most all of my gear in these four dry bags. They weigh almost nothing.

• Dry Box: Don’t bring

• Thwart Bag: Cabela’s Waterproof Camera bag. Usually keeps my camera, wallet, binoculars, etc.
User avatar
By gyoung
Beve wrote:As for shell, use a ground cover or footprint. And a sleeping pad.....

Tarp!! that's what I was thinking, thanks for the confirmation (now I just need to re-think the tent and keep my costs down).

SpookyAg, awsome pic's of the devils river!! looks like you could get into some hairy spots with those currents!!!

By SpookyAg
The great thing about the devil's river is that the flow is fairly constant year round due to it being spring fed. When we were there, the flow was average at best.
User avatar
By fishr3
Here's a few tips & recommendations based on my limited experience
I recommend the headlamp or mini LED clip on flashlights.
Nylon fishing clothes and PFDs will get burn holes if placed too close to a crackling campfire.
Walking around on a gravel bar in aqua socks will give you stone bruises.
A PFD makes an OK pillow.
I regret trying to use a three legged camp stool. The feet just sank into the sand. Get a camp stool with feet that won't pierce the ground.
Baby powder provides amazing comfort in the stickiness of a humid night.
Foam ear plugs are a must for the light sleeper.
Any tent can be improved by a $5 can of spray on seam sealer and a ground tarp.
Practice packing all your gear in you kayak at home prior to your trip.
Don't carry a fully packed and loaded kayak from your vehicle to the water. Load the kayak after placing it in the water.
User avatar
By fisher of people
This has been an exceptionally informative thread on one of my favorite topics. I used to camp out of my T120, now that I have a solo canoe, my approach is a little less minimalist. Here's what I typically take camping with me:

Tent: REI Half Dome 2, roomy, easy to set up, and fairly lightweight.
Bag: REI Kilo Flash, a great warmweather (40 degree) bag.
Bag liner: Sea to Summit silk travel liner. Soft as, well, you know....
Pad: Big Agnes Dual-core. After years on a thermarest backpacking pad, this is one of my favorite pieces of gear ever. Very comfortable, and packs quite small. I have a chair kit that I use with it, which is not the most comfortable camp chair, but not too bad.
Pillow: Thermarest camp pillow
Lantern: Black Diamond Apollo LED lantern. Another one of those great purchases.
Stove: MSR Whisperlight International. Been using it for over 20 years.
Other furniture: GSI Microtable. This is a really cool table, small, but functional. Check it out: http://www.rei.com/product/668820 .
Coffeemaker: Snowpeak titanium coffee press. I know, I know. But I love my coffee, and was tired of using coffeebags. This is a nice small coffeemaker, and makes decent coffee. Cost 50 bucks, but well worth it.

I pack my stuff into three drybags. I recently got a Sealline widemouth duffle, which is a great bag.

As far as food goes, my approach might best be described as "lazy". I don't much care for cooking when I'm camping out, which I'm a little embarrassed to admit in the presence of so many camping gourmets. I generally eat freeze-dried food for dinner, dried fruit and granola bars for breakfast, beef jerky and canned tuna for lunch.
User avatar
By bowgarguide
Fisher Of People
Let me make this statement ,I am not a cook,dont like to cook.
The reason I do came from some experiences over the years.
I used to be macho and shoot an 86 lb bow hunting,I noticed on the first day the bow was easy to pull second day a little harder,by the third day I was struggling with it.
The same hunting in the moutains of Colo. after several days of eating sandwiches ,freeze dried foods and snaks my energy level would hit bottom, and I also noticed how tired I was when I would get home.
So I started cooking , now I feel as good on the last day of a trip as I do on the first day. It works for me.
A ll the meals I cook are fast simple and easy.
User avatar
By fisher of people
Ron, interesting thoughts on nutrition. Wonder why that is? I don't think that I've experienced what you describe, but I do make a point on these trips to eat food with a much higher fat content than normal. As far as cooking goes, I actually love cooking at home. I think one of the things I dislike about camp cooking is the cleanup. But like I said--the operative term is "lazy"!
User avatar
By johnny a
I found a folding shovel (military style) except that when it is folded up it is the size of my hand. It was only $8.00 at Academy.

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