Kayak camping on a budget?

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The Shiner
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Kayak camping on a budget?

Post by The Shiner » Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:56 am

Morning.
This year as I prepare for my 5* Sea I will be looking to do some overnighters and weekends away in my kayak.
My budget is pretty limited, so I would appreciate some input from people who do similar trips and haven't had to thrash the credit card to do it.

I'm looking for a 2 person tent (was considering a Vango Blade 200), a good sleeping bag (not a mummy preferably), a thick sleeping mat, and a stove (I was thinking of a jetboil).

I'm sure there are other bits I'll need, but for now that's all I have time to jot down.
If you have any other suggestions or recommendations then I'd really appreciate it.

Cheers, Rich.

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Re: Kayak camping on a budget?

Post by PlymouthDamo » Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:03 am

You can get a copy of the gas burner used in Jet Boils from Wilkinsons for around £7, along with cheap gas cylinders. It folds down into an extremely compact plastic box, and it works very well. The only problem is that Wilkinsons don't start sell their camping kit until around Easter.

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Re: Kayak camping on a budget?

Post by Grian » Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:24 am

I've bought much of my more £££ stuff through eBay / gumtree. It might depend on your sensibilities - a friend was disgusted that I bought a 2nd hand sleeping bag, but it was the only way I was going to afford a down one and I didn't get no kooties from it.

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Re: Kayak camping on a budget?

Post by rockhopper » Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:43 pm

Don't skimp on the sleeping mat.... I heartily recommend the Exped downmats or their Synmats. Super comfy and warm. Very tough and rolls down very small for packing too.

Rog.

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Re: Kayak camping on a budget?

Post by Fozzy » Fri Feb 10, 2017 2:38 pm

Tentwise I took a chance on one of these and was so impressed when it arrived I promptly bought another. Cost me £48 but they're £55 now.
I'm taking it on a kayaking trip to Greenland in the summer.

http://www.gearbest.com/tent/pp_326670.html

As well as a sea kayaker I'm also a mountaineer and would happily take it pretty much anywhere.

Re sleeping mat another vote for the Exped Synmat - brilliant.

For sleeping bags have a look at Alpkit - excellent bags and very good value. I've used theirs at up to 7000m and no problems.

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Re: Kayak camping on a budget?

Post by PeterG » Fri Feb 10, 2017 2:40 pm

Hi Rich,

re tents for UK conditions you need a large porch, somewhere to cook and struggle into the drysuit in the rain, the sleeping area can be pretty small. Cheap tents are good for the odd weekend, an expensive one will do 100s of nights.

Multimats are good, the one they now call the NATO used be a short summit at half the price so maybe even they are profiteering, but they have some good cheaper ones. Alpkit also does some good ones.

Cooking: I've tried them all, paraffin, petrol, multifuel, gas, over 45 years and have come back to the M kettle and a Trangia for kayaking, if you take add-hot-water ration packs you only need the M kettle for a weekend away. With bio-ethanol the Trangia is also renewable energy.

Sleeping bags are tricky, the cheap synthetic ones are barely compressible so hard to pack in a dry bag, so you need an expensive synthetic. If you go down, a cheap down and feather will be lighter and more compressible than an expensive synthetic for the same warmth, but good down will last a lifetime, I'm on my 1975 Point Five Orion, still good to zero, 40 years ago it went down to -5, but then I was younger and tougher. 600g of down and 900g overall It packs easily into a 5l drybag, in fact a silk liner fits as well and the bag is only 3/4 full.

All this kit is rocketing in price post Brexit as the 20% drop in Sterling kicks in. Fleabay has bargains if you are not in a hurry to buy.

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Re: Kayak camping on a budget?

Post by The Shiner » Fri Feb 10, 2017 6:47 pm

Thanks everyone, I'll start trying to find some of the items mentioned.

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Re: Kayak camping on a budget?

Post by thesambaman » Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:13 am

My two penneth:

Tent: I bought a second-hand Terra Nova Voyager on eBay and I've been using it for years now. Bombproof. Also a 2nd hand thermarest ultra lite. Very good.

Lomo for dry bags if you haven't used already.

Jetboil is great as a kettle but not brilliant as a stove imho. Have heard great things about these: http://www.anglingdirect.co.uk/coleman- ... 0wod3EgDeQ

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Re: Kayak camping on a budget?

Post by pathbrae » Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:24 am

As a stove, hard to beat a trangia.....
From past experience... don't try to cut too many corners, it's better to "buy it once, buy it right!" as the old adage goes.
So much sea - so little time to see it.

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Re: Kayak camping on a budget?

Post by Mark Graham » Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:41 am

I agree with thesambaman above - a jetboil is great for heating water for brews and/or dehydrated meal packs but less good for cooking other things. So its ideal when you have a quick brew stop, especially if the weather is poor and all you need is to heat some water quickly and simply. If that's sufficient for your purposes Field and Trek were selling a jetboil copy last year for less than half the price of an actual jetboil.
Dehydrated meals are expensive of course so its often cheaper to just take some pasta or rice and whatever you want to go with it - pre-soaking it for a bit saves cooking time and fuel. I wouldn't bother with the 'real food' packets you can buy in outdoor shops, they seem to me to be just a tin of something in a packet that's five or six times the price!

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Re: Kayak camping on a budget?

Post by The Shiner » Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:32 am

pathbrae wrote: it's better to "buy it once, buy it right!" as the old adage goes.
Sound advice, thanks.
That's exactly the reason why I posted ;)

Rich

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Re: Kayak camping on a budget?

Post by Allan Olesen » Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:06 am

I have a Jetboil MiniMo. This is the version which can be used for cooking because the flame intensity can be controlled much better than on the older Jetboils. I also have the original Jetboil frying pan and a larger, original cooking bowl (or whatever it is called in English). And of course the additional attachment which I need to be able to place the frying pan and the larger bowl on the burner. I think the total price of this kit is around 250-300£.

... and I want a Trangia anyway. When we are on a trip, the other kayakers use their Trangias which sits much more solid on ground than my flimsy Jetboil arrangement, and their flames are much more stable when the wind is blowing.

An original Trangia plus the optional Primus gas burner can be had for less than 1/3 of the kit I have. So much more value for money, and you will probably end up buying it anyway. So that would be my advice. Skip the gas burner if you want to go even cheaper.

Do not buy the Trangia copies. Some of my friends have done that, and they have ended up buying original Trangia because the copies were too flimsy.

But the Jetboil is really good for two things: You can pack it in very little space if you don't take all the acessories, and it is incredibly fast and efficient. Boiling 1 liter of water takes 1/3 of the gas quantity on a Jetboil, compared to a Trangia.

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Re: Kayak camping on a budget?

Post by The Shiner » Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:47 pm

I really appreciate everyone's input, I've ant easy started my list and online search.
Thanks, Rich.

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Re: Kayak camping on a budget?

Post by MikeB » Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:56 pm

eBay always has lots of used Trangias for sale. As suggested, get the gas conversion and you have a robust and efficient cook set.

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Re: Kayak camping on a budget?

Post by Jim » Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:46 pm

Another vote for Trangia.

I had a plastic base I got in the US that I could strap my MSR pressure stove to in order to get a similar level of stability that a Trangia has when cooking on rough tussocky ground, but because the trangia base is like an upturned bowl it will sit over lumps that still make the MSR base tilt. Even if you do end up with the Trangia slightly askew, the main pots and kettle (optional) hang inside the windshield so cannot slide off the stove as they can on an MSR, even with the supports flipped out for the frying pan there are flanges to stop the pan sliding off.
Add a gas conversion kit - I was lucky to pick up a Trangia brand one at huge discount but I'm told the Markhill version works just as well - and you will be able to get a brew easily and quickly wherever you stop. If it is too cold for gas, you shouldn't be sea kayaking, but can use the meths burner if you are and/or get used to popping a gas canister in your clothing or sleeping bag to warm up before you use it.
Minor emergency when cooking on a trangia, even with a remote gas bottle - just pick it up and move it all together, no problem - try that with an MSR or a burner on a gas bottle!
Also the smaller Trangia (27k?) fits exactly through the old style 17cm VCP hatches, rumour has it the hatch was designed around that stove.... Less of an issue with the larger kajaksport hatches, but some pan sets didn't fit the old VCPs!

I always have a simple gas burner in my cooking kit too, which I can set up on a spare gas bottle if I desire a second ring on the go, brew tea and cook tea at the same time for exampe, but even on a good campsite with apparently level ground it can be a faff to set it up safely.

Sleeping mats - there are a lot more choices available now, some are super thick and comfy, some are stupidly cheap, but I have had my original (1" thick) thermarest full size mat since the summer of 1993 and although it is slow to self inflate these days it is still going strong - well worth the £50 I spent on it at the time (which was a fortune to me back then).

Tents I seem to be bad at choosing.
My current favourites are Quecha 2-second range because they are so easy to put up and down and I can use them on tarmac or decking if I need to (just add weight), but they are totally useless for sea kayaking because the size of the packed disc is bigger than the width or depth of any sea kayak let alone any hatches, I wonder if I might be able to fit the latest one in my canoe though.....

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Re: Kayak camping on a budget?

Post by norb » Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:42 pm

if I have no much money I will don't spend them on 5* that s for sure
Norbert

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Re: Kayak camping on a budget?

Post by PeterG » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:06 am

.....but some clubs support their trip leaders ;-)

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Re: Kayak camping on a budget?

Post by PeterG » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:15 am

Re tents, the Saunders Spacepacker seems impossible to beat on utility (a massive porch and a door on all 4 sides!), pitchability, storm proofness, longevity, packability and weight. Pity that no-one took over the design when Saunders stopped trading. The MSR hubba range seem closest nowadays but over-priced or the Chinese lookalikes from Naturehike, the latter seem to get good reviews if you are prepared to do some needlework to correct any manufacturing carelessness as soon as you buy them. Naturehike also pay homage to some of the Big Agnes range. Not all of the designs have adequate porchage for UK conditions.

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Re: Kayak camping on a budget?

Post by The Shiner » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:13 pm

norb wrote:if I have no much money I will don't spend them on 5* that s for sure
Norbert
But then if I didn't go training I wouldn't meet people like yourself ;)
(We met in Parliament House cave about a month ago)

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Re: Kayak camping on a budget?

Post by The Shiner » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:14 pm

Cheers Peter, will check those out.

The Trangias certainly seem popular, cheers, will add them to my "look at" list.

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Re: Kayak camping on a budget?

Post by Renegade » Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:41 pm

Fozzy-
Would you have the camping weight of the tent you spoke of?
The website only gives a shipping weight.
I agree it looks like an outstanding value, and your review has me intrigued.
Also, is it free standing, it's not clear from the website?
Many thanks!

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Re: Kayak camping on a budget?

Post by srod » Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:53 pm

The following has done me well for the occasional overnighter, as well as a 5 day Mull circumnavigation.

Tresspass self inflating roll mat - £15
8' x 4' tarp - £5
Old army surplus bivvy bag - £10
Sleeping bag (can't remember what I paid for it, about 10 years old).

Cooker I use meths gel or hexamine tablets on rocks with an old alu pan. Lightweight, low volume, low tech and cheap!
Image

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Re: Kayak camping on a budget?

Post by Fozzy » Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:49 pm

I weighed my tent and it came in at 2.7kgs all in.
Yes it is free standing.

The ground sheet is quite heavy duty and should be good on pebble or shingle beaches. I have tied 8 inch loops with 2mm cord to all pegging points so I can use rocks where pegs won't work and changed the pegs for the Y shaped ones from Sports Direct £3 per pack which are light and very strong.

I really like the idea of a porch on either side as depending on wind/rain direction you can keep kit in one and cook in the other.

It's not the lightest tent in the world, but I've still used it solo backpacking and at my age I'd rather carry a little extra weight and have enough room to spread out and sit up. For kayak camping I think it's great.

If you PM me your email address I'll send a few more pics of it up and how the very minor adaptions work (it'll have to stop raining first though)

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Re: Kayak camping on a budget?

Post by Chris Bolton » Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:37 pm

Fozzy, can you pitch it outer first, ie, not get the inner wet if it's raining? The website says you can use the inner and outer independently, but the poles appear to be fixed to the inner?

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Re: Kayak camping on a budget?

Post by rockhopper » Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:39 pm

To be honest, the weight of a tent does not matter too much if you are sticking it in a kayak, it is more about the packed size.

Rog.

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Re: Kayak camping on a budget?

Post by Sprucey » Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:39 pm

Trangia with both meths and gas conversions. If you can, buy the non stick pans - fry pan at least! When you come to clean, you won't regret it!
The whole thing apart from gas/meths bottle will pack into stove incl. foldable cutlery, cleaning scourer/sponge, fire starter, matched/lighter, salt & pepper and spices/herbs. Store in a cheap dry bag.

Alpkit for the rest - the make a great sleeping mat, bags, head torches and their version of the jet boil.

I have used a small 1-2 man Coleman tent for the last 15 years - Polaris MTB challenges and sea kayaking - still going strong. Vango make good reliable budget tents which will come in well below £100 and be fine for what you are looking to do for now.

Buy lots of smaller dry bags.

Check out Roddy(?) from Sea kayak Bute - his You tube video of packing using two large blue Ikea bags should be mandatory viewing on all training syllabus!

Call me if you want any more advice about what I use and what works for me - remember - it also depends on how well you want to live! ;-)

Sprucey

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Re: Kayak camping on a budget?

Post by The Shiner » Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:44 pm

Sprucey wrote:Trangia with both meths and gas conversions. If you can, buy the non stick pans - fry pan at least! When you come to clean, you won't regret it!
The whole thing apart from gas/meths bottle will pack into stove incl. foldable cutlery, cleaning scourer/sponge, fire starter, matched/lighter, salt & pepper and spices/herbs. Store in a cheap dry bag.

Alpkit for the rest - the make a great sleeping mat, bags, head torches and their version of the jet boil.

I have used a small 1-2 man Coleman tent for the last 15 years - Polaris MTB challenges and sea kayaking - still going strong. Vango make good reliable budget tents which will come in well below £100 and be fine for what you are looking to do for now.

Buy lots of smaller dry bags.

Check out Roddy(?) from Sea kayak Bute - his You tube video of packing using two large blue Ikea bags should be mandatory viewing on all training syllabus!

Call me if you want any more advice about what I use and what works for me - remember - it also depends on how well you want to live! ;-)

Sprucey
Cheers buddy ;)

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Re: Kayak camping on a budget?

Post by MikeVeal » Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:00 pm

srod wrote:The following has done me well for the occasional overnighter, as well as a 5 day Mull circumnavigation.

Tresspass self inflating roll mat - £15
8' x 4' tarp - £5
Old army surplus bivvy bag - £10
Sleeping bag (can't remember what I paid for it, about 10 years old).

Cooker I use meths gel or hexamine tablets on rocks with an old alu pan. Lightweight, low volume, low tech and cheap!
Image
Smear the outside of that pan with washing up liquid before you start cooking and that soot will fall off when you wash it later.

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