General Loading Information
Generally, a canoe or kayak can carry a lot of gear and supplies.
- Do not pack a boat while it sits on land and then drag it over rocks or sand to the water. Wait until the boat is in the water and you are ready to board. As you load more into the boat, up to its maximum capacity, it becomes more stable and sits lower in the water. However, loading a boat improperly can affect its balance drastically, leading to unexpected capsizes or steering difficulties.
- Pack bottles and round containers so that they won’t roll around. Although this is not dangerous in most cases, it can make an irritating noise that you can’t fix easily when you’re underway.
- Pack gear along bulkheads.
- Pack heavier items lower down, near the boat’s centerline.
- Don’t carry containers between your legs. Although it may seem like a good idea under normal circumstances, it’s not such a good idea if you capsize. When you’re under the water, you do not want anything in the way that makes it difficult to pull your legs out of the boat.
- Use collapsible water containers whenever possible. Fixed-size containers are more difficult to pack.