Sea kayaking can be a lot of fun, but making sure you bring the right materials is key to having an enjoyable and safe trip. Our Athlete + Explorer, @bentommat, shares his experience so you can start planning yours now.

We traveled west from Wyoming in our mom van and headed toward the coast. Onward, to the Great Pacific Northwest region of our country. We had plans to do some backpacking in Olympic National Park and sea kayaking around the San Juan Islands.

If you have plans to go on an overnight sea kayaking expedition, plan on packing (almost) as light as you would if you were going on a backpacking trip. With sea kayaking, you don’t have to carry all of your gear on your back, but you do have to make it fit in your boat.

One of the first things to note when packing for a kayaking trip, is that you will need dry bags to put all of your stuff in. That way if you tip your boat or the water is rough and choppy, your stuff will remain dry and safe, which is a must when camping in the PNW, especially in March. When I packed my stuff I put all of my clothes, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad in one dry bag and compressed it down, so that it would easily fit in the gear hatch of my boat.

Be sure to pack all of the essentials that you would bring on a backpacking trip like, a tent, sleeping bag/pad, cook stove, Munk Pack snacks, etc. However, since you are in a large sea kayak, you will have extra room for some things and you will also need extra things that are specific to kayaking. For instance, you’ll need a spray skirt to keep the water out of the inside of your boat, an extra paddle in the off chance that you end up losing yours, a life jacket for obvious reasons, and extra beer, of course!

If you plan accordingly and pack accordingly, you’ll have a great trip on and off the water!