What I Packed on the Florida Circumnavigational Paddling Trail

Dear Reader,

I made a list of the gear I had with me during Phase 1 of John and me paddling the Florida CT this year so that when we pick up the trail next winter packing for it will be easy. Or at least not stupid. Yes, I have learned the hard way that my brain is less tormented if I have a list to refer to when it comes time to pack. Despite having packed the same few items over and over again for 50-some days in a row like we did during our Phase 1 paddle. Which is not to say that I won’t still rack my brain over what I might have forgotten to put on the list. But still, a list helps.

So…In case you’re curious about what all crap we managed to pack into our two little boats, I’ve decided to share my list with you here.

Personal Paddling Gear:

  • NRS long sleeve rash guard
  • NRS Hydroskin shorts
  • Smartwool crew socks
  • Wetsuit booties
  • Neck buff (sun protection)
  • Sunglasses with floating croakie
  • Nylon baseball cap
  • PFD (personal flotation device, aka life jacket) with whistle, chapstick and iphone (in lifeproof case with line and carabiner to attach phone to pfd)
  • Spray deck with carabiner (I use the carabiner to attach the far end of my spraydeck to my pfd for ease of movement when I’m out of the boat)
  • Towbelt to be able to throw to John or clip to his boat in case of emergency (cinched on around my waist over the spraydeck)

Inside the cockpit of my boat:

  • Cockpit cover, which covers the cockpit opening to keep out rain and insects when I’m not in my boat (clipped behind my seat)
  • sponge to sponge out water that’s gotten into the cockpit (stuffed alongside my seat)
  • pump to pump out water that’s gotten into the cockpit in the event of a capsize or large wave while launching (stuffed above my under deck bag)
  • 10 L water bag (in front of my seat, under my knees)
  • Under-deck bag with:
  • paddling jacket
  • Poagies (wetsuit hand mitts for cold weather)
  • rain hat
  • sun hat
  • nylon baseball wind cap (with chin strap)
  • sunglass case with lens cleaner
  • day pack (for resupply trips)
  • Group Gear:
  • 30L food bag (in front of my feet and foot pegs)

On the deck of my boat:

  • Spare Paddle
  • Contact Towline (used in emergencies to attach John’s cockpit to mine)
  • Chart case with google maps (& 2 carabiners to clip chart case to my deck line)
  • Deck bag with:
  • 750 ml camelbak water bottle
  • Green Dry bag (a line and carabiner clips this bag to deck line just outside deck bag) with: microfiber sunglass cleaning cloth, fleece hat, a small plastic vial with a day’s worth of meds/vitamins/advil, and a small ziplock bag with snacks (fig bars, almond biscuits, fruit snacks, trail mix, werther’s candies and green tea drink mixes)
  • Marine Radio (with carabiner clipping radio to deck bag)
  • 50 spf sunscreen (with carabiner clipping it to deck bag)
  • hand sanitizer (with integral clip clipping it to deck bag)
  • insect repellent in ziplock bag (tucked into exterior deck bag pocket)
  • plastic shovel for digging poop holes (tucked into exterior deck bag pocket)
  • spare carabiner

Stored Inside Front hatch:

  • thermorest pad in sack with inflator and repair patches
  • Med compression stuff bag with: fiberfill sleeping bag, insect-shield liner and silk liner
  • Small compression stuff bag with: Thin down jacket, fleece long-sleeve top, NRS stretch pants, 1 pair smartwool socks, extra paddling rash guard shirt
  • X-small compression stuff bag with: 2 prs nylon underwear (1 for sleeping) , 1 patagonia nylon shorts (for town wear), 1 cotton t-shirt (for town wear), 1 pr smartwool socks (extra for use with wetsuit booties), 1 pr thin cotton socks (for sleeping), 1 cotton tank top (for sleeping)
  • Crocs (for camp wear)
  • 1 large blue Ikea carrying bag (to facilitate carrying all the above from the boat to camp and back)
  • Group Gear:
  • 10L Food Bag
  • Ziplock Trash bag (ready to be tossed as soon as I’d find a trash container)
  • 10L NRS fabric cooler with small water bottle (in hotel rooms we’d freeze water in the water bottle or just fill with ice if no freezer available) which we’d keep cheese in, and meats for the first day after a resupply)
  • 1 mesh fruit bag
  • Small tarp with stakes
  • two-person REI half-dome tent with footprint
  • tent poles and stakes

Stored inside Day Hatch:

  • 6 L Dromedary water bag
  • 2 – 1L platypus water bottles
  • 3L Turquoise dry bag with: toilet paper, hand sanitizer, pee cup and ziplock bag for dirty toilet paper (all for use at night outside my tent)
  • 8L Blue “office” dry bag with: Florida CT paperback trail guide, kindle e-book reader, pen, small fabric purse (for in town, with pen, wallet, driver’s license, credit card, debit card, health insurance card, and bank envelopes with $100 in assorted small bills to pay camping).
  • 4L Green “night ditty” dry bag: 1 pr reading eyeglasses in case with cleaning cloth, 1 headlamp, 1 Luci solar light for inside tent, spare ziplocks, 1 ziplock with folded paper towels, my mouth guard for sleeping, insect repellent, sunscreen and hydrocortisone cream.
  • 8L Orange “toiletries” dry bag with: 1 small nylon zippered bag with day and night meds/vitamins containers, eye drops, vaseline lip balm, nail & toe nail clippers, travel-size toothbrush, mouthwash & toothpaste, dental floss, tweezers. 1 medium size nylon zippered bag with extra meds/vitamins, shampoo, Dr.Bonners liquid soap, microfiber towel, aloe vera gel, tiny sewing kit, travel-size handiwipes, waterproof bandaids, ear plugs.
  • 8L Orange “easy access clothes” dry bag: nylon long pants, nylon long-sleeved snap-button shirt, 1 pr smartwool socks, thicker hooded NRS paddling shirt
  • 1 small Ikea blue carrying bag
  • Group Gear: 4L Yellow “electronics” dry bag with: usb plugs and charging cables (for marine radios, kindles, iphones and John’s Garmin watch) and 2 battery packs.

Stored inside Rear Hatch:

  • Helinox chair with ball feet
  • 2L platypus bottle filled with Pinot Grigio wine
  • 8L Orange “rain/mosquito gear” bag with: rain jacket, rain pants, mosquito netting shirt & pants in own stuff sack, and mosquito head net in ziplock bag
  • 1 large blue ikea carrying bag
  • Group Gear:
  • 30L Food bag
  • solar charger and battery in zippered pouch
  • Spare 33oz white gas fuel bottle
  • spare 10L dromedary water bag


John carried the following group gear (in addition to his own water and personal gear):

  • Kitchen set up: Dutch oven, GSI pot & frypan set, measuring cup, GSI spatula & spoon, 2 sea to summit bowls, 2 plastic sporks, 2 small knives, 1 stainless steel leatherman, 2 sea to summit kitchen sinks, 1 small bottle clorox & 1 biosuds, scraper & scrubbie in velcro mesh bag, 2 plastic mugs.
  • Whisperlite Stove & 1 22oz fuel bottle & 1 33oz spare fuel bottle
  • Repair Kit
  • First Aid Kit
  • Salish Anchor
  • Binoculars
  • GPS
  • Marine Charts in 2 Chart cases (one case was for the current chart which he kept on-deck and the other one was to store past and future charts which he kept in his hatch)
  • Spice Kit: Tea (hot & cold), honey, tobasco, salt, pepper, dried chunk garlic, olive oil
  • 1 30L food bag
  • 1 mesh veggie bag
  • Whew! Looking over this list now, three months after I first wrote it, I don’t feel like such an idiot for feeling like I had to write it all down. There’s a lot on it.
  • It took years of on-the-water experience to come up with that list, so it’s all tried and true.
  • I might add that at the beginning of our trip (mid-February and during a cold front) I also carried long underwear bottoms, top and wool gloves. We gave those up in Carrabelle when my brother Rick met up with us.
  • We also now have new life jackets which we’ll use next year. And we bought kayak locks to carry with us when we’re traveling through more populated places in case we need to lock our boats up somewhere to keep them from being stolen.
  • We are alive.
  • We are healthy.
  • We are adventurers.
  • Cheers,
  • Susana
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