PRO TIP: Packing For A SUP Multiday

PRO TIP: Packing For A SUP Multiday

January 03, 2020


Wether you are planning your first expedition or 3rd, we have put together this guide to help make packing for your next trip even easier.

You may have just purchased your first SUP board or have owned one for a while and are wondering what the potential for adventure and exploration your board has. Well with a bit of research and the five P’s (proper preparation prevents piss poor performance), you can be planning your very first multi day adventure. Here we take you through some of the essentials to planning and packing for a multi day.

paddling a loaded sup on a paddle board expedition


Of course if you’re new to SUPing it helps to put in some hours on the water before planning a multi day to get used to how the board handles and to know what your limits are – how long you can paddle for, what conditions you are likely to face, and it’ll also give you a good idea what you are most comfortable paddling in and an insight into what gear you might want to bring with you.

Your board choice may affect the type of trip you are planning to go on. There are hard boards and inflatable boards. Hard boards you won't want to be hiking with, so a location with easy access would be preferable. Hard boards are also harder to fly with so sticking to a trip that is a car trip away is key. Inflatable boards have a lot more flexibility when it comes to locations, as they pack down into a backpack so can be hiked into remote locations or put on a plane and flown to far away destinations. We would recommend the Endurance XL hard board for those who want to stay close to home and the Endurance Air inflatable for the more remote locations. Both boards have the SeaMount® system so you can add a variety of accessories to the board such as paddle clips, drink holders, cargo nets and bungee cords – all of which come in handy when out on an expedition.

a compass on the front of a stand up paddle board
a map planning a trip on a stand up paddle board


The first step is to planning your multi day adventure is to choose your destination. There are a lot of factors that should come into consideration when choosing where to go; How long is the trip going to be, is it a round trip or from A-B, the expected weather, nearest egress back to civilisation, what wild life is in the area and if permits are required.

I would suggest doing some thorough research on this part. Create a calendar with all the information and logistics for each day and share it with your pals. Allow for an extra day leeway each side of the trip so if you come into some unforeseen circumstances you have a bit of time to change plans or get things sorted in time. There’s nothing worse than a trip being shut down due to poor planning because you didn’t have the right permits to paddle in a certain area or that weather front came in the same day you were due to set off. The Internet has a wealth of knowledge and you can usually find the information you need at the click of a button.

It’s also worth making sure everyone joining the trip knows all the logistics. Also make sure that there are people not taking part in the trip that know what your plans are; Its piece of mind knowing that if the trip doesn’t go according to plan you will have a search party coming looking for you did you not arrive back home for Sunday dinner. A SPOT or Inreach are also really useful pieces of equipment to carry, especially if you are heading out to remote locations. They are GPS tracking systems that can alert the right people for rescue if necessary.

packing water for a sup trip
paddle boarding touring gear laid out on the grass ready to pack for a multi day exdedition


So now you have your logistics in place and mum knows to expect you back for teatime next week, you can now start to get your gear ready for the trip. Here’s some suggestions we have for multiday packing, by all means this is not extensive and depending on the type of trip you embark on and the destination you may need more or potentially less equipment.

You will want to think about what kit you are going to want to paddle in. Most likely you will be spending the best part of the day in this gear, so you will want it to be both functional and comfy. For warmer destinations I would advise packing a long sleeved rash vest, leggings and a brimmed hat. Trust me, I don’t tan easily, but water magnifies the suns rays exponentially, so spending hours on the water in the sun can be really harsh. You’ll want good sunscreen and keep on top of your water intake. Heat exhaustion sucks and I don’t recommend it to anyone, not to mention it could bring your trip to a abrupt end for reasons entirely avoidable. You’ll also want to pack a pair of polarised sunglasses attached to a string or croakies for paddling in. For cooler destinations layers and a woolly hat are your friend, you can layer up when cold and down layer as you get warm paddling. You can also invest in a lightweight waterproof paddling jacket and pants if you think the weather might change. A dry suit is an option for cold destinations. if you are expecting wet weather a dry suit could be the difference between putting on dry thermals everyday and wet ones. We are a fan of the Kokatat Odyssey, yes pricey but worth every penny of GoreTex excellence. Every paddler should own a PFD, its good practice to wear one while out on the water and in a lot of places it’s a requirement to wear one. I like to stash a river knife in the pocket of mine and a towline with karabiner so I can give my friends a tow if someone gets tired – this can also act as a good anchor to shore if you can pull your board out the water. A leash is something to consider too. If you are paddling on the ocean its good practice to wear one in case you fall off due to an unexpected wave, your board can easily be taken away from you in the tidal currents. On rivers you’ll want to look into a quick release leash. The quick release system is there should you fall in and the leash or board gets caught up in rocks or trees, you can pull the quick release and be free from your board.

packing gear onto stand up paddle boards for a multi day trip

You’re going to want to pack some maps, a compass or a GPS system. Most modern smart phones have a good GPS system and there are plenty of map apps to download such as Gaia. Using an app will allow you to download the maps to your phone before leaving so you don’t have to rely on data to load your smart phone maps. Your phone, can also be your communication device if you are heading where there is signal, its worth asking the locals or doing some research about this before you go as some networks can have better coverage than others. It may also be worth taking a back up map and Inreach device in case your phone goes overboard. And of course if you are relying on a smart phone you may want to consider a power bank or solar charger for power on the go and either a Lifeproof case or dry bag to keep it dry.


Most multi day paddling trips will require you to camp out overnight. You’ll need to decide what the best kind of shelter is for you and the group. A lightweight tarp, which you can stretch out using trees and paddles and tying it with some Para cord, is a great space saving shelter. Using a tarp means everyone in the group only has to bring a sleeping mat and bag. Bivy sacks are another option; they again pack down much smaller than a tent. There are also some great lightweight hammocks on the market, some of which have bug nets integrated and a tarp over the top. I personally love this option, as I feel protected from all the elements and creepy crawlies. I bring an inflatable sleeping pad, which I blow up hard and stretch the hammock out as much as I can so I’m not sleeping like a banana. Hammocks aren’t the choice for everyone so its best to give it a test before you go. There are some lightweight tents on the market, but I prefer sleeping outside among nature. Research what the campsites will be like before you go, a quick look on Google maps for trees to tie your hammock too, or soft beaches to camp on can really help you to be more prepared. You’ll also want to be aware of any wildlife that might be close to your camp spots – will you need to carry bear spray. For a lot of places bug spray can be a godsend, especially when camping near water, so plan ahead and pack some if you think it’ll come in useful. You’ll also want to consider water levels or tides when choosing a camp spot. Rivers can rise rapidly overnight, and the tide obliviously comes up and down. Be wary of setting up your camp too close to the waters edge; it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve heard of people being flooded out of their tent in the middle of the night due to the river unexpectedly rising!

day 1 camp spot on a multi day sup expedition paddling trip
loaded touring paddle board ready for multi day paddling trip

Pack a sleeping mat; I’m a big fan of the Thermarest brand. They have a range of good mats all varying in sizes and comfort levels depending on how much space and weight you want to save. I personally can’t sleep without a pillow and there are some great packable pillow options. A good trick for a pillow if you don’t want to spend more money or simply want to save space, is to pack a small bag that you can fill with a down jacket or your clothes at night. You’ll want to pack a sleeping bag for cold areas or simply a silk liner for warm locations, even if its hot it’ll keep any mosquitoes from nibbling your legs during the night. I always pack earplugs. You may not have slept next to your mate Jonny before and never realised how much of a snorer he was!


A head torch is an essential; make sure you have put fresh batteries in before you leave and maybe take spares if you’re away for a while. There are also inflatable, waterproof, solar lights you can pick up, which are a great addition to any camp, strap them to your board during the day to charge up.

Toiletries are something to consider. You will b living pretty basic so no need to pack make up and a hairbrush. But a toothbrush, toothpaste, and a bottle of Dr Bronners should be the basis of your toiletries. Make sure you pack any medications you may need, contact lens solution and sunscreen if necessary. You can buy lightweight camping towels or in the past I’ve just cut a towel in half – half the size half the weight. Girls don’t forgot to pack a token tampon, even if your not expecting aunt flow to show up. Pack toilet paper in a plastic bag to avoid it getting wet, or pack baby wipes as a substitute. Bring spare plastic Ziplocs for everyone in the group so you can pack out your trash, including toilet paper. A foldable shovel can be used to dig your toilet in the ground.

Dr Bronners is great for everything from washing your hair, arm pits, doing laundry and washing dishes. If you can’t find Dr Bronners where you live, look out for an all-natural alternative. A small hiking stove should be all you need to cook with, maybe multiple depending on the group size. Gas, a couple of stacking pots with lid, lighter, bowl, cup, sharp knife and spork are what make up my multi day kitchen. I pack a dish scrubber for cleaning and air-dry the pots and pans. The multi day kitchen is all about getting creative, yes there are lots of packable alternatives for your kitchen needs, but realistically you can cut your veggies on the pot lid and even use your bowl as a cup if you want to save that extra space. Sometimes I pack a Jetboil, it’s a quick and easy way to boil water and can be super handy to whip out if you want a quick tea to warm up over you sandwich at lunch.

paddle boards and camping gear on a beach
making a table at camp out of a paddle board


Drinking water can be easy or tough depending on your location. For the most part glacial lakes and streams are fairly drinkable with minimal treatment, but the warmer water you experience the less likely it is you’ll find fresh drinking water. Iodine tablets are good to have, and there are various drinking filtration systems on the market worth looking into. I carry a Lifestraw and a Nalgene bottle; I fill up the bottle from side streams or springs and use the straw to drink through.


I like to pack a full change of clothes for off the water, there’s nothing better than slipping into some dry comfy clothes after a long day of being wet. Think practical not fashionable; Crocs are actually a really practical camp shoe and tucking loose pants into your socks can avoid your ankles being annihilated by insects.


You should have a well-stocked first aid kit between the group, and everyone should be instructed to add anything they may require. If Jerry is allergic to peanuts, he should be responsible for packing the epee pen, and if Jane gets frequent UTI’s then she should see the doctor prior to the trip and pack the appropriate antibiotics. It helps if you have a couple of people in the group with at least the basic knowledge of first aid. If you’ve never been on a first aid course I highly recommend one, they are inexpensive and it goes without saying how useful they can be.

paddling a loaded touring paddle board during a multi day sup adventure


A repair kit is useful to have, your inflatable board should come with one as standard, but you can buy replacement bits for these online. Duct tape is such a useful commodity to have and can serve for fixing a wide range of things, from your board to your tarp to fixing a leaky hole in your Thermarest. If you don’t want to take a whole roll, wrap a bunch around your paddle shaft that can be peeled off for later use. You may want to pack a spare fin or fin hardware depending on the type of water your paddling on. A multi tool is a must for any repair kit; you wouldn’t believe how useful these can be.


Food will be next on your list to pack. Some people like to pack dehydrated meals. These come as a complete meal in one packet and all you have to add is boiled water. If you have a group of fussy eaters this could be a good option as everyone can choose their own meal options. However I like to make mealtimes a part of the multiday experience, and with some good planning you can take real and fresh food and cook as a team. Depending on the length of your trip you might even want to have a mix of both fresh and dehydrated food, that way you can cook the fresh food first and save the dehydrated meals for later in the trip, thus avoiding any food going bad. For a trip that’s a few nights total, you can pack veggies, rice, pasta, oats, beans, hard-boiled eggs, fruit, spices and sauces. I like to pack some granola bars and keep a couple handy in my lifejacket for easy access. Nut butters are great sources of fuel and you can buy them in portioned packs to save carrying a heavy jar. There are also some awesome curry pastes or packets you can find in your local supermarket, which can liven up any meal. I always pack enough dark chocolate for a few squares post dinner each night and sometime a goon bag of wine never goes a miss. Cards and dice can be some welcome entertainment in the evenings too.

making fire at camp
cooking fresh caught mussels at camp

So now you have the essentials ready for your trip, you should source some good quality dry bags to keep it all dry while out paddling. My personal favourite dry bag brand is Watershed; there really aren’t many other brands that match up to the quality and durability. Pau Hana have cargo nets that can clip onto your board using the SeaMount® system and some cinch straps, these are awesome for keeping you gear secure and in place. Bugee cords are also good for securing items to your board and you can secure your gear further by using additional cinch straps.

You should think about distributing the weight of your gear down your board evenly. Try and keep the front and the back as evenly weighted as possible for the best paddling experience.

unloading paddle boards at camp
paddling a loaded paddle board with camping gear on a multi day adventure

Now all that is left is to get out there and enjoy the experience!



Jen Chrimes is a marketing and design professional that has worked with the outdoor industry for over 9 years. She is also a professional kayaker and avid outdoor enthusiast who loves sharing her knowledge and passion through her work. You can find more about Jen and her work at

Jen Chrimes professional white water kayaker

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