Your Complete Packing List for an Overnight Paddle Excursion

So, you’ve got your heart set on an amazing overnight kayaking trip this fall. You’ve got the dates set, your travel companions are ready to go, and route maps have been made. The time has come to pack up your gear and get your boat ready. We’ve rounded up a complete gear list for an overnight paddle excursion, so you’ll be ready to go and not have to worry if you’ve left anything behind. Let’s get packing.


The number one most important detail to not overlook when preparing for your upcoming trip is to keep gear and weight minimal, as space is very limited. Plan on wearing the same clothes throughout your overnight trip, but allow room for layers. Pro tip: Pack clothes or other soft goods in gallon size ziplock bags or drybags, in the event it rains or your kayak tips over.

  • Brimmed hat
  • Rain jacket or windbreaker
  • 2 t-shirts (wicking material preferred, short and long-sleeved)
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 1 pair of pants
  • 1 pair of underwear
  • 2 pairs of socks
  • Water shoes
  • Lightweight shoes for camp
  • Gloves & beanie (for colder temps)


Let’s be real. You really don’t need to bring deodorant on an overnight paddle trip. When thinking about what toiletries to bring, go back to the basics. And at a minimum, think of the items that will provide you with the most protection — looking at you, sunscreen and bug spray.

  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Toilet paper
  • Comb/brush


While some of this may seem completely obvious, it’s easy to miss something on this list when you’re packing everything at once. Now is the time to take inventory of all of your gear, and update or fix whatever may need some improvements.

  • Kayak
  • Paddle
  • Safety gear
  • Tent
  • Ground cloth
  • Sleeping bag
  • First aid kit
  • Cooking gear (stove, utensils, plates)
  • Water filtration system

Miscellaneous Equipment

Don’t get caught on your excursion without the necessities. This list is basic, and you might not need all of it, but it’s all crucial to have if you do happen to need anything. 

  • Water bottles
  • Water filtering
  • Duct tape
  • Flashlight/headlamp
  • Compass
  • Pocket knife
  • Gallon Size Freezer Bags
  • 1 trash bag
  • Hammock (optional, but you know you want to lounge under the stars)

Packing for an overnight paddle excursion can feel overwhelming, but the good news is it doesn't have to be. Take the time to start packing a few days before your trip. That way, once you’re on your destination you’ll feel at ease and ready to take in the beauty of your overnight paddle trip.

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