What to pack for a kayaking trip in Croatia

Packing gear for sea kayak trip in Croatia - AndAdventure

What to pack for a kayaking trip in Croatia

Croatia has a lot to offer to lovers of sea kayaking. 1244 islands, crystal blue sea, beautiful nature, and pleasant climate make Croatia a sea kayaking paradise. What to pack for a kayaking trip in Croatia? No matter if you are planning a short or long adventure, self-guided or guided, camping, or sleeping in guesthouses or on a boat – you need to prepare and pack the right gear.

Few things can match the excitement before departing on an adventure, no matter how long or short. Anticipation, planning, reading maps, and gearing up – it is all part of the experience. And as the day to leave the land and make your first stroke through the water approaches, that sweet excitement can become a distraction. How often did you depart on your journey and realized that you forgot to pack something?

This is a reason why personal checklists do the magic and are a fantastic tool to have. As we all are different, with different habits and preferences, most of us would adjust the list according to personal needs and travel style. Adventuring with a kayak means you can take more gear than you could fit into a backpack for a land-based experience, yet space and weight limitations do put an upper limit on what you can ultimately carry.

First things first – General items

General items are items you will get from the sea kayaking tour operator if you are joining an organized trip (guided or self-guided). If you are on your own adventure, this is a good reminder for gear you need to have:

  • Kayak with all hatch covers, etc.
  • Paddle w/ Leash (if you prefer to have your paddle, you are welcome to bring it with you)
  • A spare paddle (if you are on a guided sea kayaking trip, your guides will have an appropriate amount of extra gear for the group)
  • PFD (if you prefer to have your PFD, you are welcome to bring it with you)
  • Spray Skirt
  • Dry Bags of different sizes
  • Tow Belt
  • Bilge pump and/or sponge
  • Paddle float (if you are on a guided sea kayaking trip, your guides will have an appropriate amount of floats for the group)
  • DUCT TAPE! – solution for all sorts of problems. (if you are on a guided sea kayaking trip, your guides will have an appropriate amount of tape for the group)
  • First Aid Kit – Stylized for the environment and activities, if possible. Don’t forget medications (include dosages – for others to know, just in case…) (if you are on a guided sea kayaking trip, your guides will have a First aid kit for the group)
  • Batteries – bring enough for each different piece of equipment, also consider solar/heat re-charging units. Especially if you are spending days in remote areas and wild camping without standard infrastructure and electricity
  • Emergency radio or beacon with signaling, weather, location, communication options (if you are on a guided sea kayaking trip, your guides will have emergency radio for the group)
  • Fully charged Mobile phone and solar battery charger if you are spending days in remote areas and wild camping without standard infrastructure and electricity (signal coverage in Croatia is pretty good)
  • Emergency capsize/survival pack; (be sure to include a compass, whistle, fire starter, knife) (not an essential item on guided tours)
  • GPS device + Charts or maps of the general area in case you need to alter pre-planned routes; (not an essential item on guided tours)
  • Deck Compass (not an essential item on guided tours)
  • Quality steel, 4″+ fixed-blade knife (not a necessary piece on guided tours)
  • Flashlight/headlamp (some new solar-powered lanterns are ideal as camp lights)
  • Camera (waterproof or in a waterproof case);
  • Binoculars (waterproof) (not an essential item on guided tours)
  • Water bottle and/or camelback for hydration while you paddle
  • Small day pack (to pack essential personal items if you go for a walk or similar)
  • Food utensils
  • Sunscreen
  • Mosquito/ insect repellent
  • Lip balm
  • Pain reliever
  • Misc. Drybags, Duffels, Mesh Ditty Bags, Ziplocks, Tough Trash Bags w/ Rubber Bands
  • Personal hygiene (toothbrush & paste, soap, deodorant) – and please use biodegradable and eco-friendly items
  • Small Towel
  • Money (some cash in the local currency)

Camping list – if you are off on a sea kayaking and camping trip

  • 1-2person tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Camping stove
  • Can opener
  • Eat-ware: bowl, mug
  • Cooking set
  • Matches, lighter
  • Trash Bags

Clothes & footwear

Layers are the key. Like in all outdoor sports, it is also advisable to plan your clothing in layers and add clothing items with UV protection. Always adjust the type of clothes to the season and temperatures. Make sure to gather necessary details about the weather before your departure so you would be able to gear up properly. It is different if you are visiting Croatia in April, July, or October. You can learn more about the weather in Croatia HERE

  • LYCRA or similar long (or short) sleeve shirt with UV protection ( 2pcs)
  • Neoprene shorts (if you are visiting Croatia in the cooler part of the season)
  • Quick-drying shorts for water activities (2pcs)
  • Swimming gear
  • Lightweight waterproof rain jacket
  • Water shoes or paddling wet-shoes
  • Hat (UV protection and/or waterproof in case of rain)
  • Sunglasses with cord
  • Gloves (cycling gloves will do)
  • Synthetic Socks, 2 Pairs
  • Bandana
  • Synthetic Undershorts, 3 Pair
  • Synthetic Fleece Long Underwear PJs: Top & Bottom, Sleeping Socks
  • Camp Shirts, 2
  • Socks: Long and Short; 2 Pair each
  • Short Hiking Shoes or running shoes
  • Sandals
  • Convertible Pants
  • Synthetic Fleece Jacket
  • Or any other clothing item that is easy to pack and can keep you warm in cold weather or cool nights


The amount of food will depend not only of the length of your trip but also about other logistics, like:

– are you joining a guided tour

– will you be paddling in a remote area (like Kornati National Park) or in the area where you can stop in local villages almost daily and buy fresh groceries

– will you enjoy some of the fantastic food in local restaurants in small bays and villages on the islands?

But whichever scenario you plan, please remember to have:

  • WATER – STAY HYDRATED – you must stock with sufficient drinking water, especially if you are paddling during the hot summer in Croatia (2l per person/day at least)
  • Snacks – make sure to have enough power snacks that keep you going (dry fruits, almonds, energy bars, chocolate might melt on the heat – so be careful with the decision to take some…)
  • Picnic items (sandwiches/ cured meats/ bread/ cheese, VEGAN OPTIONS….)
  • Fruit like bananas, oranges or apples
  • If you are camping, then selection of your favorite food for camping, but be ready that some items will not be available in Croatia, so you would need to make some adjustments while in the grocery store. Buy things that can resist heat, because most of the items will be stored in sea kayaks during hot summer days.
  • COFFEE and TEA (maybe adding a thermos?)

Good to have

Items that can help you have more pleasant kayaking trip, but are not as essential

  • Cockpit cover – stow gear in the kayak at night and cover to keep dry
  • Fishing gear (breakdown rod)
  • Books; journals and other personal luxuries
  • Electricity converter (a plug with two round pins)
  • Electrolytes/ Vitamins / Minerals/ – if you are active in Croatia in summer, you can expect to sweat a lot – so it is essential to be able to replace some of the electrolytes lost by sweating.
  • Mask + snorkel
  • Hand Sanitizer

Tools & repairing

Final choice of tools and repair kits would depend on the trip you are taking. If you are joining a guided tour, your guides would have necessary items, but if you are departing on a solo kayaking adventure in the wilderness here are some items to consider:

  • Repair kit with tools/materials to fix breaches in the hull (quick-set resins, patches), broken rudder/pedal mechanisms; (a multi-purpose tool is an invaluable “toolbox”)
  • Mini tools for adjusting/fixing any camp/cooking appliances (stove, lantern, etc.)
  • Spare clips, cleats, section of bungee cord, parachute cord
  • Sewing kit (stout thread can be used to fix things when glue or tape doesn’t work temporarily)

Since you will be traveling to Croatia with many of the items noted above, it is advisable to use duffel bags rather than hard suitcases. If you do choose to travel with hard-suitcase or if you have some extra things you don’t need on your sea kayaking adventure, you can ask our staff for advice and available storage options.

This list is made for various situations, from solo sea kayaking and camping trip to small group guided tours that might not include camping.

If you are not sure which items we provide on guided tours – be free to contact us. We will be happy to give the exact details for the trip you booked.

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