I also put stuff in the back hatch, and secure with a float, or just wedge it in against itself so it sits tight.
I keep day gear that I might want for on water incidents clipped to the gear loops behind my seat. There's a bit of room back there for stuff like a thermos and a cag.
From my experience, I wouldn't move the seat forward, as the boat tends to weathercock if the boat is front loaded. I find (at 6' 180#) that I need to put most of my day gear behind me to balance the boat correctly. The stern in plenty loose, even when weighted.
PFD's (Life Jackets)
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