Canoe & Kayak Expedition Kit List

Taking a bit of time to plan what you need to take on an expedition can make a huge difference.  You don't want to be left without something important but equally, you don't want to be carrying too much.  Here are some suggestions that might help you get organised.

On the water

  • Water bottle
  • Hat(s) for sunny or cold conditions
  • Sunglasses
  • Spectacle retainer (if required)
  • Sunscreen
  • Thermal top and bottom clothing
  • Fleece top and leggings
  • Waterproof trousers to paddle in (not always necessary if in a kayak)
  • Trainers or other footwear you don't mind getting wet.
  • Watertight barrels, dry bags or dry pouches to keep your 'must keep dry' kit dry – IMPORTANT.
  • If canoeing, you may want to bring knee pads or a kneeling mat for additional comfort
  • Tip: Take an extra pair of waterproof trousers to canoe in, they will get wet but an old pair or cheap ones are great for keeping wind off legs.

On the land

  • Sleeping bag (warm, small pack size)
  • Good set of waterproofs (jacket and trousers)
  • Fleece or warm top
  • Light trousers
  • Spare thermals: top and bottom
  • Warm socks & undies
  • Gloves
  • Shoes
  • Tent, sleeping bag & sleep mat*
  • Cooking & dining equipment
  • Small day sack in case you spend any time on land
  • Tips: Avoid denim or cotton clothing because it doesn't dry quickly and has no thermal properties when wet.
  • * If you own a Thermarest or similar brand (inflatable sleeping mat) bring it; they give great comfort and warmth and pack small and light.
  • 10 & 20 litre dry pouches are really handy to help keep your kit dry even if already inside watertight barrels or dry bag

Other essentials

  • Insect repellent (most likely to be needed from May to September)
  • Midge Head Net
  • Small toiletries (biodegradable is best) *
  • Head torch
  • Spare batteries
  • Book
  • Zip lock bags or small dry pouches for personal items
  • Camera (with some way of keeping it dry)
  • Swimming costume (just in case!)
  • Personal/ Group First Aid kits
  • Matches or a lighter
  • Tips: *If you can find some small hotel style bottles they are great for decanting soap and taking on expedition.
  • It can get cold at night at any time of the year in Scotland so bring enough to stay warm!
Remember: keep things to a minimum, small & light.  Your favourite feather pillow & the complete works of Shakespeare in hardback may be a bit excessive, and besides you will have to paddle it along with you!
The items listed are in addition to the basic equipment you will require before you can do anything, such as buoyancy aid, spare paddles and emergency equipment. Don't forget the boat!

Important: this is not a definitive list of the equipment that you must take with you, it's simply a guideline designed to help you organise your trip.  If you have any questions about what to take with you or the suitability of any particular pieces of kit then please feel free to call us for advice.
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