Hey everyone! I hope you all have been having a safe and fun-filled summer this far. Things have been a little wacky around home and have just started to settle down to where I can post some good content for you. I didn’t want to be that blogger that gets on here with nothing to say, other than to whine about a bunch of crap that no one really wants to hear about. So here we are! I originally wrote this post last year and posted it to my old blog, but since I am in the process of migrating over posts that I think you guys will love AND I’ve been working on planning another overnight kayak excursion, I figured this was the best time to bring this one over to Amor et Vita. I hope you enjoy it!
This post does contain Amazon affiliate links, which means when you shop using my links, I may get a small commission on the sales. Thank you for your support!
- Sea-to-Summit Sink -I felt like it was really important to have a place to wash our dishes that wasn’t in the river because that is actually a big no-no when it comes to the leave no trace principals. This sink was super sturdy and quick-drying!
- Sleeping Pad -You can camp freely on any of the sand or gravel bars that line the river and trust me when I say a sleeping pad will be your best friend when it comes to going to be on the rocky ground! There are tons of versions and price points out there, but this one from Amazon was actually really comfortable. I could see upgrading to a nice pad down the road, but for my first trip where weight was a concern, this one work perfectly.
- JetBoil Flash Cooking System -Since we took freeze-dried meals, we had to boil water for them (and morning tea and coffee!) and the JetBoil was perfect for this. It’s light-weight, compact, and literally boils in minutes. We have the Flash system, which is currently showing as unavailable on Amazon, but they have several different options to choose from!
- JetBoil Cooking Pan -I won’t lie to you, this was a total splurge purchase! I also got a little egg holder and took some fresh eggs with us so we could have scrambled eggs in the morning to go with our breakfast meals. You do need to make sure you have a pot rest to use it with your JetBoil burner though.
- Sea-to-Summit Plate & Silverware -These plates and silverware worked out great. The plates have a high enough lip that it can almost double as a bowl, and the silverware set clips all together right in the handle. Plus, there is a waffled design on the bottom to keep you from burning your hands when you pour the hot food onto the plate. Matt got a slightly different silverware set that was actually metal, and I think that I will upgrade to that for future trips.
- Food -As I said, we took freeze-dried meals for this trip to save on weight, and we tried a couple of different varieties beforehand. I loved the chili mac, and Matt liked the stroganoff. We also got biscuits & gravy and a tex-mex hash type that I mixed in with my scrambled eggs the next morning. Tip: Don’t use the full amount of water that it lists for the chili mac if you want it to be thick. Using the full two cups will result in a more soup-like mixture!
- Sea-to-Summit Dry Bags-Obviously dry bags are a necessity when you’re doing any type of floating activity. I had a 20L and a 13L bag. The 20L held my camp pillow, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and a couple of changes of clothes with plenty of space to spare. I used the 13L to hold toiletries and other items that I didn’t particularly want to get wet.
- Tent-I had a super old tent from when I was 16 (!!!) that we set up, tested, and found out was leaking. So we upgraded to a new tent! There was enough room for us to both stretch out completely and store our dry bags with our clothes inside, plus it has vestibules on each side so we could keep our shoes and anything wet out there so it doesn’t make your sleeping area soggy.
- Kayak-This might seem like one of those “Are you serious?” links, but I just want to talk about my kayak a little bit (this isn’t an affiliate link, by the way!). I chose this particular kayak because the weight capacity alone is one of the highest that I found at 400 lbs. So it gave me plenty of room to work with as far as what I could bring and carry. It’s actually a hybrid design between a canoe and a kayak with a more open cockpit like a canoe, and enclosed hulls like a kayak. The stability was amazing, and for being 12 feet long, the maneuverability was pretty top-notch! I highly recommend this version to anyone who is looking for something super stable and has a high capacity for packing.
- Cooler-I know, we are that family who is all about our Yeti products. But the fact that I was able to carry a large amount of water, tuna salad that I made for lunch stops, eggs, and a few other things in there and they stayed cold for both days we were out is a big selling point for me. The fact that this is super light, and also soft-sided so there is a bit of give to it, makes it an even bigger must-have for traveling.
- Sleeping Bag-I got this bag at REI. I haven’t had a sleeping bag since the age when it was cool to have cartoon characters on it, so it was a must purchase for me. I chose this one because it had a bit more fluff to it and it’s rated for down to 30 degrees. I didn’t need the warmth, but the extra cushion was appreciated on the rocky beach we camped on!
- Camp Table-This isn’t the exact one that we have but I couldn’t find that one on REI’s website. This one is similar in design and price though. That was another plus to having such a large capacity with our kayaks (Matt has an older version of mine). We were able to take full-size chairs to sit in, instead of smaller, lighter not quite as sturdy ones, and we were able to pack along a table (even though it only weighed a few pounds). Those things meant that we were battling with uneven surfaces or being all hunched over when we were trying to make our food or eat it.
Also, we took along chairs (as mentioned), water-filtration systems (just in case), and we each had cases for our phones. We also took fishing equipment, even though the fish weren’t biting, as well as life jackets for safety! It was a very successful trip and I feel like a lot of these products made it that way!