Prepare your trip
One of our favorite things to do at Get Out Kayak is to plan for upcoming outdoor adventures! If you booked a trip with us, we are happy to share this joy with you and to help you through the process. To make your life easier, we have collected information about some common topics that normally pop-up when planning a kayak tour with us.
If you do not find the answers you are looking for, you are always welcome to e-mail or call us and we will be happy to help you out 🤩
Here we have gathered some of the guides' best tips and ideas on how to make the kayak tour an extra memorable one
- Book one extra day to cut yourself some slack. Stay in a beautiful place and linger for a day. Chill in the tent, explore the island (day hike anyone?) sunbathe on the cliffs, breathe in fresh archipelago air and cook nice food on your stove.
- Bring good food. The kayak can carry plenty of weight so spoil yourselves with your favourite food, snacks, and perhaps a bottle of wine or a beer. Food taste so much better in nature after a day when you have been physically active.
- Visit a local village. Through some of our routes, for example the 4 day A-to-B route from Stavsnäs to Sollenkroka, you pass by local archipelago villages such as Berg on the island of Möja. These are perfect places to take a break and discover some of the island culture, and perhaps have a Swedish Fika (hot beverage + cinnamon bun a.k.a. 'kanelbulle').
- Cherish all weathers. Sometimes mother nature does not show her best side. In Sweden we say “there is no bad weather, only bad clothing”, and of course this is a somewhat cheesy way of trying to stay positive, but it does make life more fun! So put on your raincoat and go on an island hike when the wind is too strong Or just take a chill day in the tent and read (or cuddle) when the rain is pouring down. And remember that the weather can change to the better just as fast! It is not rare to enjoy a warm evening and fantastic sunset after a rainy day in the kayak. Perhaps with a skinny dip?
- Talk to other kayakers and boat people out there. When out on outdoor adventures, many people are extra open to meeting and greeting, sharing some insights on nice places to visit and make new friends. The archipelago is, in a way a community shared by everyone with a kayak, boat or sailing boat and with a love for nature. And even if many prefer to camp on their own, who doesn’t enjoy sharing a conversation and perhaps a meal together?
If you have rented a kayak, here is what is included:
- Kayak, paddle, life vest, spray skirt, safety pump, sponge, cloth
- A map over the area you wish to kayak
- Dry-bags (as many as you need), and a water resistant smart phone case
- Fresh water in 5 Liter containers, as many as you need
- Storage of luggage bags and other things you do not need during the trip
If you need camping equipment, compass etc. or wish to do an A-to-B tour, you can add these things separately to the booking.
If you have booked a tour package, everything above is included, but also this:
- 2-person dome tent (self-supporting)
- Sleeping bag and bed linen
- Inflatable sleeping mat & a foam mat
- Cooking stove incl. camping gas
- Cooking utensils (cutting board, knife, spatula, salt, pepper, oil, matches)
- Eating utensils (Spork, glass, plate)
- Dishwashing kit (eco-detergent, sponge, cloth)
- Sustainability kit (garbage bag, garden spade, toilet paper)
- Flashlight and first aid kit
- Kayak spider compass for navigation
- Waterproof kayak jacket, neoprene gloves and waterproof hat
- An introduction session with a guide to the area, kayak safety, kayak technique, invisible travel & sustainability and a suggested route to follow.
If you have booked a tour package, we will take care of all the kayak and outdoor equipment for you. You just need to bring food and clothes. Here is a list of what we recommend:
- Food and snacks (bring a lot of snacks)
- A few changes of comfy outdoor clothes (depending on length of tour)
- Shell layer; wind/waterproof jacket and pants (kayak jacket is included in tour package)
- A warm sweater and hat if the night gets cold
- Sunscreen, sunglasses, sun cap and water bottle
- A book to read, a powerbank and other personal items
- Saltwater soap/schampoo (can be bought at the kayak center)
- Mosquito repellent (can be bought at the kayak center)
If you rented a kayak, add the following to your list:
- Tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat
- Outdoor stove + fuel
- Stuff to cook with (depending on what you plan to cook)
- Stuff to eat with (plate, glass, fork/spoon (or spork))
- Stuff to clean the dishes with (eco-friendly detergent!)
- Sustainability kit with spade, toilet paper, garbage bags
- Matches, flash light, first aid kit
- Compass for navigation
- Water/wind proof jacket and gloves for kayaking if cold
We offer four kinds of kayaks: 3 different single kayaks (K1/one-person) as well as double kayaks (K2/tandem/two-person).
All our kayaks have large packing spaces both in the front and rear, as well as a day hatch were you can store small things such as a water bottle or extra sunscreen. A sea kayak typically fit significantly more gear than a regular hiking backpack, so people used to outdoors life tend to find it roomy. Packing a kayak can take some getting used to, however, as the packing spaces are quite long and narrow towards the ends of the kayak. Our kayaking guides will help you with suggestions and tips for how to pack your kayak in an efficient manner.
All our kayaks are equipped with a rudder system for ease of steering. You have pedals in the cockpit and press with your feet in the direction you want to go (in the double kayaks it is the person in the back that handles the rudder). Our kayaking guides will help you adjust the pedals so they are the right distance for you and walk you through how to handle the rudder and steering before you set out. Please note that the kayaks are designed to work without the rudder system as well, so if you don't feel comfortable using it you can just raise the rudder out of the water and steer with you paddle instead.
Our three single kayak variants are:
- Regular (a reliable expedition sea kayak)
- Long (same as regular but with extra leg space, suitable for people 185+ cm)
- Beginner (slightly wider, good if you want more stability or extra space)
The beginner kayak is a really nice sea kayak which suit most people (also tall people as the pedals are adjustable). If you have prior sea kayak experience (kayaked about 5+ times) you can choose the regular or long.
The double kayaks are even more stable than the single kayaks, as they are wider and heavier. If you are two tall persons, consider chosing single kayaks 'long' or 'beginner' instead, as the leg space in the front cockpit of the double kayaks is a little bit tighter than that in the rear cockpit. One benefit of chosing a double kayak is that you can help each other, if one gets tired or if the wind is heavy one day. One drawback of the double kayaks could be that the packing space is a little tighter compared with two single kayaks. Usually this is no problem though, as the double kayaks still has a large packing capacity.
You are free to pick up the kayaks anytime between 09:00 and 12:00.
If you wish to start your adventure later than 12:00, that is no problem. Just reach out to us and let us know approximately at what time we can expect you.
Our opening hours are 09:00-17:00. This means you should return the kayaks no later than 17:00 on the last day of the trip. Please check the weather forecast regularly (especially wind) and plan your route accordingly so that you have some margin and can be sure to make it back in time.
Yes, you can leave bags and extra luggage with us while you are out kayaking.
We have a lot of international guests arriving either with big backpacks or travel suitcases, so we are used to taking care of this. In case you have booked an A-to-B trip we will make sure to transport your luggage from the starting location to the end location by the time you get there.
Please note that you leave bags at our base on your own risk, and that Get Out Kayak do not take responsibility for any luggage that is lost or damaged while you are out kayaking. We recommend that you bring any valuables with you.
In general, we do recommend shopping for groceries in the city. One convenient place is at the large COOP supermarket at the Central Station, where trains as well as airport transfers arrive from all Stockholm airports. From the Central Station you can then take the subway (green and red line) to station 'Slussen' and change to the bus headed for Stavsnäs or Sollenkroka.
Another alternative, if you start your tour at Stavsnäs, is to shop at the ICA Stavsnäs supermarket, a grocery store located about 700 meters from our kayak center at Stavsnäs.
Unfortunately there is no grocery store close to our center in Sollenkroka, so then you must do your shopping before arriving at the center.
You will need to bring drinking water with you on your trip as it is hard to find fresh water "in the wild" out in the archipelago. Altough sea water is typically safe to use for cooking, it might not taste very well and we generally recommend that you bring enough fresh water also for this.
You can stock up on water at our kayak centers before you set out, and there are also a few places out in the archipelago were it is possible to refill during the trip (our kayaking guides will show you on the map before you go). As a rule of thumb we recommend bringing 3-4 litres of drinking water per person and day.
We will provide you with 5 litre tanks (as many as you need) and advise on how much water to bring. Please remember to bring your own water bottle so that you can stay hydrated while on the water!
You can travel to the kayak centers by car, cab or bus. By public transport, you make your way to 'Slussen' bus terminal and take the bus to either 'Stavsnäs vinterhamn' or 'Sollenkroka brygga' depending on where you plan to start your kayak tour. Slussen can be reached by the red and green subway lines. Check the Stockholm Public Transportation website to plan your trip.
There is plenty of parking space in Stavsnäs for a fee (150 SEK/day). There is parking space for a fee also in Sollenkroka, but it is scarce and we do not recommend going by car there, at least not during peak season (approximately between June 20th and August 15th).
If you choose to go out by cab, we recommend either Uber or Taxi Stockholm.
Generally, it depends on weather conditions and what time of year you are out. Here are some tips for you who will paddle during the summer months.
- The head is the most exposed part of your body. It is nice with a cap or hat to protect against the sun and possible rain.
- On the upper body it is nice with a t-shirt closest to the body to avoid chafing from the life jacket and chapel. In addition, you can choose, depending on the weather, if you want a wind or rain jacket as well. Usually you get your heat up when paddling, so warm sweaters are rarely needed during the summer. If you have booked the tour package, a water proof kayak jacket is included if needed.
- The lower body is well protected by the kayak, so in the summer months it is usually enough with a pair of shorts or swimwear.
- On the feet you can choose to be barefoot, have a pair of socks on, or use some kind of shoes (e.g., a pair of sneakers, bath shoes, or sandals works well).
- Your hands will become wet whatever you do. If it is hot outside, there is usually no need for mittens even though you get wet. On the other hand, if it is very windy, it can be a good idea with a pair of windproof gloves (e.g., cycling or running gloves). It is often the wind, in combination with the moist, which has the greatest cooling effect. A pair of vintage gloves helps quite well even if they get wet, as they still protect against the wind. If you know you are often cold, or if it is lower temperature outside, a pair of neoprene gloves can be a good idea. If you have booked the tour package, neoprene gloves are included if needed.
- In Sweden we have something called Right of Public Access. This is a statutory right that allows all people to cross, stay and wildcamp in nature, even if the land is privately owned. However, you cannot do whatever you like. You have an obligation to take care of and be careful with the environment. This means, for example, that you are allowed to camp on an island owned by someone, but that you must not cut down trees, damage plants or animals, or otherwise make visible signs that you were there.
- A good guiding principle is to 'travel invisibly'. That is, it should not appear that someone has been at the place when you packed up and leave from there. Leave nothing but footprints.
- Keep in mind that the Right of Public Access does not apply to land that is directly adjacent to buildings—so you must not pitch the tent on someone's lawn! If someone tells you you are to close to their dwelling, the reasonable thing to do is to respect this, and perhaps ask for a suitable alternative for the tent.
- You can learn more about the Swedish Right of Public Access here.
- If you have booked the tour package, the guide will go through this during the introduction session before you set out.
It is very cozy to sit around a bonfire in the evening. Unfortunately, it is often very dry during large parts of the summer, which increase the risk of wildfires. When it is especially dry outdoors, a general ban on making fires can also be imposed in Sweden. At these times it is forbidden to start a fire, even if you build a proper fireplace first. To be sure to adhere to any fire bans, as well as reduce the risk of wildfires in general, Get Out Kayak strongly recommends that you do not light any fires while out kayaking.
- Starting a fire on the bare rock is strictly forbidden and will be seen as a very serious offence by the natural reserve rangers, by Get Out Kayak, and by fellow swedes. A fire on the bare rock destroys the rock forever (it cracks). Remember all rocks have been carved out by thousands of years of ice pressure during the last ice age. Do not be the one to destroy it.
- Do not make a if there is a fire ban. It is your responsibility to make sure to check the risk of a fire spreading, and if there is a fire ban. Many forest fires start with a cosy camp fire.
- Any fire should be made in a properly constructed fire pit, dug down in earth and sealed of by many large stones and rocks. If you build a fire pit, you must remove it before leaving the camp, replacing stones where you found them, put back the earth and preferably also the grass if you manage to save it (goal: leave no sign of the fire place).
- Many nature reserves have permanent fire bans. Remember that you are not always allowed to build fire pits, especially not in natural reserves where the nature should be left untouched. It is your responsibility to know the rules.
- If you are planning to make a fire, bring your own fire wood. It is not allowed anywhere to cut down trees, bushes etc. In some places there are already made fire pits where they supply fire wood.
- If you have any questions regarding lighting of fires, please ask the Get Out Kayak team members before you set out on your trip.
Everyone needs to go to the bathroom, even when you are out in nature. For everyone's sake, it is important that you take care of what you leave, so that others do not have to see it. Here follows a simple how-to:
- Bring a small garden trowel with which you dig a pit. You do your thing in the pit (it's ok to leave paper in the pit, because it is biodegradable), and then re-fill the pit again.
- Just as with the Right to Public Access, a good guiding principle is to 'travel invisibly'—preferably no one should know that you have used the spot when you're done.
- In some places, especially in the natural reserves, there are service station set up so you can visit an outhouse (latrine/dry closet).
- If you have chosen the tour package, a garden spade, toilet paper and garbage bags are included.
Bring all garbage back—leave nothing behind that is not biodegradeable. Food residues are to be dug down using a garden spade, or to be brought back in the trash bag (not thrown in the water). There are recycling possibilities at our kayak centers. If you have forgotten your own garbage bag, ask the staff at Get Out.
In the tour package, a garden spade and garbage bags are included.
- Stay together. In general, it is good to keep the group close together. This way you will be easier to seen by boats, and you are close to each other if a friend gets into trouble and needs help.
- Have regular check-ins. Decide a few points on your daily route, at which you have a check-in with the whole group. Is anyone tired? When did you drink and have a snack last time? Exhaustion and sun stroke are common features of any accident, but it is very easy to avoid! It is always good to eat a snack and drink some water often, so everyone has energy.
- Crossing open water. Before crossing open water, consult the map and look for the place where the distance to the other side is as short as possible. When you have arrived at your point of departure, identify a landmark on the other side that you can aim for (it can be a white stone, a high tele mast, a red cabin, or something else that is easy to see). It is good with a landmark to follow, since you often drift sideways when crossing open water, and by having a fixed point to aim at you know that you are holding the right course. Before the crossing, gather the group together and have a short check-in. Look out for passing boats and ferry traffic, and then begin jointly to make your way over to the other side.
- Check the weather forecast. Check the weather forecast in the morning, in the middle of the day and in the evening. Remember to check on the island closest to you. The weather in Stockholm will be different from the weather in Stavsnäs, and the weather on Gällnö might be different from the weather on Nämdö. Always have a plan B in case the forecast is wrong and you are surprised by bad weather. Recommended weather apps are SMHI and YR (YR is in English, SMHI only in Swedish unfortunately).
Even though you are out in the wilderness, there is surprisingly good mobile coverage in large parts of the archipelago. There are several apps for your smartphone that can be of use during your kayaking trip. Here are a few examples of staff favorites.
- Weather apps. SMHI or YR are recommender. Windy is another app, perhaps a bit over-the-top for casual users, but very good at providing timely weather data and forecasts about wind and rain. The free version of the app is all you need.
- Maps apps. We recommend using google maps (download the offline map of the areas a hedge). All our physical maps have a QR code printed next to the legend. If you scan the QR code with the camera on your smartphone this will redirect you to a digital version of the map inside Google Maps. Comes in handy if you get lost among the myriad of small islands and skerries, or simply want to double-check that your navigational skills are on top.
- 112 SOS Alarm. Download and allow the position function. This way, if you need to call 112 in an emergency, the operator can see your exact GPS location, which is very handy. Only in Swedish but google translate will take you a long way.
To grab a beer after a day in the kayak or to enjoy a bottle of wine in the sunset can be the perfect rewind after a fun and intense day in the outdoors.
In regular supermarkets in Sweden you will find drinks with up to 3,5% alcohol level. Stronger things like wine and spirits can be found at Systembolaget, the public alcohol monopoly. Search on Google maps or equivalent to find your closest Systembolaget store. Be aware they have limited opening hours especially on Saturdays, and are always closed on Sundays. So plan your shopping accordingly!
Please note that you must be 18 years or older to drink alcohol in Sweden (in bars etc.) and 20 years or older to purchase alcohol at Systembolaget.
Finally, we strongly discourage drinking alcohol while on the water, as this can significantly affect your safety, and advise all our guests to drink in moderation (if at all) throughout your trip. Anyone under the influence of alcohol or drugs will not be allowed to depart in kayak from our centers.
Please contact us and we will do our best to answer your questions! It also gives us great feedback ontopics relevant to add on this page to make the life of our guests even easier.
We also recommend that you read our terms of service as this might answer additional questions that you might have.