If you've recently purchased a kayak from your local Canberra supplier and are planning your first trip, you'll need to pack it properly. This is something of an art, but it's surprising just how much you can fit into what at first appears to be a small space. Everything that you need for packing your sea kayak can be found at your local specialist kayak supplies store.
Here are some top tips on how to pack your sea kayak.
Keeping it dry
The most obvious issue when you go on a sea kayaking trip is how you are going to keep your kit and your supplies dry. Always check that your sealed hatches don't have any leaks, and pack everything in special 'dry bags'. Dry bags come in different sizes and colours and it's helpful to pack everything in colour-coded bags; for example, put clothing in a red bag and phones in a yellow bag.
When you pack food supplies, separate them into daily packs containing your breakfast, lunch and tea. Get rid of any packaging that isn't essential to save space. Each day of your trip, put everything that you need somewhere within easy reach, for example in the day hatch or buoyancy aid pockets. Try to store the bulk of your food down below the water line to keep it cool and fresh for longer.
Keeping your balance
Always try to pack everything below decks. Everything strapped to the deck will raise the kayak's centre of gravity, which makes it more susceptible to being destabilised by gusts of wind or large waves. The only kit you should have on the deck is your compass, water bottle and spare paddles.
Remember that how you pack your kit will influence how the kayak handles. Make sure that you pack equal weights on either side of the kayak and also to the fore and aft. This will help to keep the kayak stable and will prevent steering problems. Keeping the heaviest items stowed low down in the kayak will keep the centre of gravity low and help to stabilise the boat.
If you have a compass, make sure that you store it well away from metal items that could affect the reading.
When heading off for a trip on your sea kayak, correct and efficient packing is very important if your kit is to stay dry and your kayak is to handle properly and safely. Follow the tips given above and visit a store like Wetspot Water Sports for more advice and to obtain the right equipment.