Thursday, February 5, 2015

Fish, eat, sleep

In general, I avoid camp grounds at all costs, unless it's in the winter or I'm camping with my family, b/c I hate paying to sleep outside.  Between me and my brother we live with 7 "crazy ladies" (none read this blog so I'm safe-but plz don't repeat) who prefer electricity and running water.  Really, they like bathrooms which are commonly found in more civilized parks.  I however, enjoy the solitude of waking up beside a stream miles away from other people...and showering is overrated!  Not seeing another fisherman is a huge PLUS (no showers)!!

Being completely honest, kayak camping is not S.E.R.E school and I try, REALLY HARD, to not eat bugs and drink urine...but you can leave the 1000 count Egyptian cotton sheets and the Keurig at home.  If you've ever wanted to give it a try my suggestions are to pack light and keep it simple..think backpacking gear.  My packing list breaks down into 2 categories:

1- Keep me alive:  Food and Water
Everything has to be light weight, not require refrigeration, and easy to open.  I plan to recycle as much as I can, so small plastic containers (like the vegetables below) are ideal.  I plan on eating bagels for breakfast, PB&J for lunch, (the travel sizes fit my needs), and depending on my mood...sometimes I'll pack dehydrated meals (if you like eating recycled socks!!)...most times I'll take some spam, chili, other canned meat for dinner.   Snacks include, trail mix, or mixed nuts, granola bars (sometimes the chocolate melts...but I don't care), jerky is a must!!!  Food is just calories, as long as it's easy to prepare, I'll eat it.  I want to maximize my fishing time so building a fire to cook steaks, eggs, and bacon isn't for me.  The good news is the load get's lighter after every meal!

Water is a no brain'r.  It weights the most but can't be forgotten...take more than you plan to use.  I pack a few gallons and keep my 2 liter Camelbak filled (fits behind my kayak seat perfectly).  I always have water purification tablets in my first aid kit for emergencies.  There are some really interesting treatment systems available now, but I don't feel they are needed for a 2 night trip.  I'd absolutely pack a LifeStraw or similar product if I were spending 3-5 nights on the water.

Coffee...technically not a "keep me alive" item, but I'm addicted to it and can't function w/o it.  Keep it simple some instant coffee, non-dairy creamer, and sweetener are all I need.

Camp chair also holds bug spray, headlamp, rags, pliers in the pouch on the back

2 - Keep me happy:  Comfort Items
Clothing (what's appropriate for the area), fire starter, boots, my kayak seat doubles as a camp chair, small battery operated lantern, TP/disposable bags, mesh trash bags, knife, utensils, camp stove, extra batteries and some fine china...plastic plate.

Propane stove for boiling water for coffee or heating food.

I carry a 2 man tent.  Some would argue it's not necessary...but it makes me happy to be out of the wind, rain, and bugs.  I have spent many a night under a tarp or wrapped up in a sleeping bag on a gravel bar.  But I'm older and wiser now (FYI, waking up w/ a rock lodged in your A$$ crack is called wising up).

Small sleeping pad, clothing, and roll-up 40F sleeping bag, all pack nicely in a dry bag, secured in the hull of my kayak.

 2 dry bags keep all my gear from getting wet.
These are just some of the items I pack (not all inclusive).  The beauty of kayak camping is you can make your own pack and decide what's most important to you, some may want a pillow, others a Yeti full of beer and steaks?!  For me it's about the fishing and being able to start in the areas that most day tripper's paddle through on their way out.  I focus on the fishing and try to not get overly complicated with the camping, eat, sleep, in order of importance!!  So don't forget your fishing gear!!!

***Remember to pack out what you pack in and leave the glass (containers/bottles/etc) at home***


  1. Sounds like we would get along on a trip just fine. Canned Tamales and Hominy. I don't get in a rush by any means but for out of the park trips, I always think high speed low drag! FFS (fish, food, sleep)

    1. I agree and couldn't have said it better myself...FFS...what else is there really?!

  2. You won't want to take Mel, Mark or I on a fishing trip with you. We're grown up now. (geezer speak...means old)

    1. Ha, I do this to stay ahead of guys like you...all that wisdom and experience. If I didn't get a head start, all the fish would have sore lips when I got to them.

  3. Just wanted to add that minus the Kayak, a very good rundown on why you go and what to take. Where were you when I needed you back in the day? Anyway, Howard right about taking us ol' Geezers along............................

    1. Thx Mel. Back in the day, I was probably fishing or camping, seems like I have less time for those activities now and more time to blog about them.