What you pack for a hiking and kayaking trip can sometimes make or break the whole experience. Fail to prepare properly for a rainy break and you’re going to spend a lot of time either sitting indoors or getting miserably wet.
When you’re packing for an action or adventure weekend, it’s not just what you pack but how you pack it that can affect your chances of having a great time. This is especially true when you’re packing for combined hiking and kayaking trips.
Because the two activities are so different and have such specific needs, getting your choice of equipment right is doubly difficult. You need your gear to be sturdy enough to withstand some serious time on the trail but it has to be light enough and durable enough to get wet without weighing you down and taking up precious space.
The most important item when packing for hiking and kayaking trips is definitely footwear. For anyone who has ever done any serious hiking (or even gone for a brisk country walk for that matter) you know that the right footwear is absolutely essential.
Ordinarily, when going hiking, sturdy boots are the order of the day. They are strong enough to take a beating on the trail and offer the right level of support to help prevent injury. They also provide good grip and with the right pair once they are on they stay on for the day.
However, because this is a combined hiking and kayaking trip traditional hiking boots might not be suitable. Taking them on and off will be a pain but also they aren’t exactly designed for water. Get hiking boots wet on the inside and they’re going to stay wet for days.
Depending on how much hiking you plan to do you might find that a pair of reliable, comfortable and lightweight trainers strikes the perfect balance. There is a wide range of trainers to choose from, but a good quality cross trainer seems to tick most of the boxes for joint hiking and kayaking trips.
If you intend to be in and around water for most of your hiking then a pair of aqua trainers or trekking sandals might suit your needs. On the other hand if you plan a lot of hiking then a pair of trekking trainers may be the most suitable. Of course if you are doing multiple days of hiking then you will need to bite the bullet and take proper boots.
The footwear you chose for you hiking and kayaking trip will also be influenced by the climate, weather conditions and the terrain you’re hiking across. But as utility shoe, a good trainer is hard to beat.
It sounds obvious but don’t forget the kayaking element means that you should take anything you don’t mind getting wet. Even when packed well in a waterproof bag, digital cameras and smart phones are still at risk. Water has a habit of finding a way in so be sure to invest in bags that are submersion proof.
Before packing, make a thorough list of everything you need, then lay it out on the bed and pack methodically. Hiking and kayaking trips are loads of fun but come with risks. The more prepared, organised and methodical you are, the lower the risk. Pack things you need access to nearer the top of the bag and you wont have to unpack everything to get at your sun cream, or to access your first aid kit in an emergency. It really is all about common sense.