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How to Pack Lightly on Your Water Sports Adventures

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stand up paddle

Whether you want to go stand up paddle boarding, surfing, rafting, or kayaking, there are a few things you have to think about before you can get out onto the water.  Whether you’re planning on a multi-day adventure, or just a day trip to the beach, our list should be quite handy. We’re going to give you a few ideas on how to pack lightly for your water sports adventures. Hopefully it’ll make it a little easier to decide what to take and make the most of your adventure!

Use a backpack or duffel bag

First of all, you need to decide what you’re going to take all of your stuff in. Later on, we’ll get to what you should use specifically for a daypack. However, as the main bag for your trip let us tell you one thing - you shouldn’t be using a suitcase! They’re heavy, cumbersome, and can be a hindrance rather than a help. Especially if you’re in a beach destination. Better to go for a duffel bag or a backpack. The shape is more flexible and they’re much easier to carry. 

For those who are travelling to SUP, an inflatable rolling SUP backpack is a great idea. It not only has space for your iSUP, but everything else you need for your trip too! 

Get an inflatable SUP

One of the most difficult parts of water sports is carrying the equipment. As well as what you’d usually take on vacation, you need boards, oars, paddles and all sorts of stuff (depending on the sport you’re doing, obviously). For stand-up paddle boarding, this is easily solvable with one move. An inflatable paddle board takes up much less space than a hard board for obvious reasons. And while it might sound like a cheaper and less sturdy alternative to a hard board, it’s anything but. An iSUP is great for beginners and extremely durable. Even more experienced SUPers will love them. If you’re trekking to a lake or river high in the mountains, it’ll fold up easily and fit in your bag. 

Gili Sports Paddle Boards are some of the best around, and there are a few inflatable boards to choose from too. 

Drink from a reusable water bottle

When you’re doing water sports, it’s important to stay hydrated. Especially because the cool waves or occasionally dip into the water can trick you into thinking you’re taking in plenty of water. Be sure to take drinking water with you - in a reusable water bottle if possible. These are better for the environment and if you use a leak-proof bottle, it’ll keep you water cooler for longer. Refreshing! 

If you aren’t able to take a reusable water bottle with you, remember to leave no trace and take home any trash to be disposed of.

Use a microfibre towel

If you’re indulging in water sports, once you’ve finished, you’ll need to dry yourself off. The problem here is that a regular towel can take a lot of space up in your bag, and it might get all of your stuff wet. Instead, why not get a microfibre towel. They’ll instantly dry you off without getting them wet themselves (it’s not witchcraft, honest). Then, you can fold them up as small as possible in your luggage. 

Only take essential toiletries

Toiletries can take up a lot of space in your backpack or duffel bag. Better to only take what you need - and the one that springs to mind here is sunscreen (waterproof is a must). If you’re out on the water, you’ll need to be protected against UV rays. Put sunscreen on any exposed parts of your body and reapply at least every two hours. Of course, a wetsuit is also a great way to protect from sunscreen.

While your favourite shampoo may seem like an absolute must, remember that you’ll be able to pick up most toiletries in the nearest town or city to your adventure. 

Keep your stuff in a dry bag

Where to keep your things can be one of the biggest problems of doing water sports. However, there are a couple of essential pieces of kit that can make carrying your valuables so much easier. First of all is a dry bag - this is perfect for storing pretty much everything. A great option if you’re doing a multi-day trip is leaving your main backpack or duffle at your accommodation and using this as a day pack. If you don’t have anyone to look after it or anywhere to store it when you hit the water, you can even take it with you - safe in the knowledge that everything inside will stay dry and protected from the water. Just make sure you close it right! 

A dry bag is the perfect bit of kit for storing bigger belongings, but if you don’t want to take it out on the water, there’s something even smaller that can look after even the smallest valuables. A small waterproof case is the exact size of a phone - so you can take lots of pictures or listen to podcasts and music while you’re out on the water.

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