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Building a Repair Kit for a Sea Kayak Expedition

On expeditions, the ability to maintain and repair your equipment is critical. Our expedition to Alaska will cover ~1700NM and take nearly 140 days to complete. Within this time we will be traveling through coastline of varying remoteness and through waters of varying treachery so we intend to be as prepared as possible for any incidents we might encounter.

Basically, we are assuming that every single piece of gear we are bringing will break in some way and will need to be repaired if our trip is going to be a success. We always find it useful to start by considering the principles which will guide us. In this case we are creating a kit that is: portable, activity specific, comprehensive, and durable.

Portable - We only have ~10L of space to devote to this kit so we need to be efficient in our packing and prioritize multi-purpose tools and supplies.

Activity Specific - We are sea kayaking, cooking, camping, and exploring with a specific set of tools and equipment. We need to be able to repair what we’ve brought and nothing more!

Comprehensive - As we covered earlier, we’re assuming every single piece of gear will break so we need to be able to fix everything so it is usable. We have the luxury of doing more thorough repairs when we are in a town (roughly once every 20 days), but we need to have the ability to travel to get there.

Durable - If something breaks on day 15, the repair needs to last until day 140! Tape is useful in a pinch, but we need the ability to sew holes in clothing and make permanent repairs to sea kayaks and paddles if needed.

Having taken all of these principles to heart, we’ve compiled a list that we’ve divided into four categories: tools, hard good supplies, soft good supplies, and kayak repair. Inevitably, there will be some overlap, but these categories are useful to decide how to allocate supplies.


  • Leatherman with pliers

  • Alan key set (metric and imperial)

  • Multi-bit screwdriver

  • Wrenches that fit kayak nuts and bolts

  • Vise Grips

Hard goods

Soft goods

Kayak repair

  • Fiberglass repair kit

  • Fiberglass cloth

  • Marine epoxy

  • Dixy cup for mixing

  • Stir stick

  • Latex gloves

  • Sandpaper

  • Marine putty (water weld)

  • Marine Epoxy

  • Silicone Grease

  • Sikaflex 291i

  • Rudder cable

  • Cable crimps

  • Stainless steel hardware (matching boats)

  • Webbing and buckles (matching kayaks)

  • Make-shift hatch cover (plastic and bungee)

  • Tuck tape

  • Rub-on 303 protectant

Is there anything that you’d add or subtract to this kit for your own expedition? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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