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Inspiration, Tools and Support for your own Great Bad Adventure Idea » Gearlist for Swimpacking

Gearlist for Swimpacking

I love a good comparison (and I’m tempted to plot this one somehow). The orange dry bag (ft. in the center, top of the picture below) was essentially all I had when I started out swim camping, and eager to just get started ASAP, I wasn’t going to be picky when it came to configuring my raft. And 35L seemed fine! After all, the gear I had used for my ultramarathon had fit into a 25L backpack… so this should be enough, too, no?

Pretty minimalist, wouldn’t you say?

the minimalist approach

Camping gear:
– Water repellent bivy bag
– Sleeping bag (a big, warm, winter-suited one)
– Sleeping mat (ultralight version by Sea To Summit… not ideal for colder conditions, but good enough during the late spring/summer months)
– Squishable pot (from Sea To Summit) for cooking
– Gas stove (small 250ml version)
– One small towel
– 2L water bag (which I could only fill with 1L because that’s all that fit…)
– Emergency kit

Tech Gear
– One powerbank
– Headlamp
– The necessary cables to charge everything

– No extra change of clothes because not enough space
– Shoes
– Down jacket

This was the least I could pack to still make swimcamping possible. The kayak bag ultimately proved not 100% waterproof, because it sinks pretty low into the water. Advantage: you won’t be at the mercy of any off-shore winds, as the wind has less to grab on to. Disadvantage: if there’s even the tiniest bit of an opening…. Your gear WILL get wet. I could squish the water out of my down jacket after I arrived on the island.

So my two cents on this: if you’re going coastal, and need to factor in the wind potentially dragging you out to sea, then this kayak bag is worth a thought.

But do consider a larger size. And extra waterproof bags for your clothes and sleeping gear. I doubt you’ll regret it.

Here’s the checklist for you to download!

The Comfortable Approach

This approach requires something along the lines of a RuckRaft. Those are expensive. I’ve also heard of (cheaper) alternatives, such as a “speerfishing floatie” (see examples in the link). They’re not MUCH cheaper, but it might give you an idea of what’s needed, and how to build one yourself.

Happy packing! And don’t forget to double-check whether your setup truly IS waterproof. 😉

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