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There are a lot of guides available that detail packing for an overnight adventure, yet few touch on a paramount principle; swing weight. Swing weight is a slang term for moment of inertia around a predetermined axis. Moment of inertia is the resistance of an object to rotational acceleration. The higher the moment of inertia, the more power needed.

Say what? Basically what all this means is that the further any weight (potential moment of inertia) is from the center of the kayak (the predetermined axis) the harder it will be to turn, or once turning, to stop turning.

It’s not how much weight you have in the loaded boat, it’s how it’s loaded. Pack the heaviest objects closest to the seat, and lightest the furthest away. On extended overnight trips I’ve seen people put heavy food items under their seat.

Reducing your swing weight not only changes the kayaks ability to turn, but also how well the boat will boof, so be wary of putting too much in front of the bulkhead!