Without a doubt, kayaking is a fun and exciting way to experience the wilderness. Additionally, it allows you to cover great lengths in a short amount of time, often taking you places that are impossible to reach by foot. However, learning how to kayak is not everything you need to do before going on an adventure of this kind. Because of its nature, kayaking demands a kind of essential equipment to be experienced safely and enjoyably.
What to Take on a Kayak Day Trip
In order to go kayaking, you will need to acquire a few specific items. They can usually be found in specialized sports stores. There is also the possibility that they are available in the same place where kayak rentals are offered. In any case, here is a list of the seven items you need to have in order to go kayaking.
1. Dry Box and Dry Bags
It’s hugely important to take into account that a kayak’s storage space is not waterproof by any means. This means you will need additional containers to keep items like cell phones, clothing, food and others from getting wet.
Because they come in different sizes, dry bags are great for separately packing individual clothing and food items. On the other hand, dry boxes are great for storing electronics such as cameras and phones.
2. Lightweight Tent
Even if you are not planning on spending the night in the wilderness, it’s important to always carry a small, lightweight tent. By doing that, you will be protected from the elements if the weather takes a turn for the worse. For this purpose, freestanding tents tend to be the most effective.
3. Water Filter or Iodine Tablets
Even though there is no shortage of water when one goes kayaking, it’s important to have a way of ensuring that the precious element is made safe for human consumption. Even though boiling the water is an option, it’s not the most practical. A water filter is a great option. However, it’s always advisable to have a few iodine tablets in case of an emergency.
4. Bilge Pump (or Sponge)
In the event of flooding, bilge pumps and sponges are immensely useful. Because they make it much easier to get water out of the kayak, bilge pumps and sponges can make a huge difference during challenging times.
Unless the sky is cloudy through the entire trip, you will probably receive a considerable amount of direct sunlight. Without exception, be sure to apply it everywhere that’s exposed. Keep in mind that sunlight that’s reflected in the water can be as dangerous as direct sunlight.
6. Sleeping Bag
Sleeping bags are great for outdoor adventures. When shopping for one, make sure to ask for the ones that are made out of synthetic-fill materials. The reason for this is that they are more resistant to water, providing warmth even when wet.
7. Life Jacket
It’s very important to keep in mind at all times that kayaking is a potentially dangerous sport. For obvious reasons, a life jacket is the single most useful item you can have on you in the case of an accident.
How to Pack for Going on a Kayaking Adventure
1. Make a List
Even if you have a great memory, it’s always an idea to make a list of everything you will need during the trip.
2. Keep It Simple
Carrying as little as possible will make a huge different. Remember that when you are out there in the wilderness, practicality is king.
3. Choose Appropriate Clothing
Many beginners want to know what to wear kayaking. Apart from specialized items such as life jackets, your clothing should be light and well-suited for movement. Additionally, you should try to pack as few clothing items as possible.
4. Consider Food
It’s important to pack a good amount non-perishable food items. Ask yourself this question: How many calories do you burn kayaking? If possible, bring food with twice as many calories as you’ll likely burn.
5. Keep a Map and a Compass at Hand
Even if you think you know your route in and out, a map and a compass are hugely important. In an emergency, they can make all the difference in the world.
6. Pack an Emergency Kit
In a dry bag or dry box, store the following emergency repair items: duct tape, lightweight rope, a knife, toilet paper, needle and thread, a lighter, a fire starter and spare batteries. Additionally, pack an emergency medical kit that contains basic things such as gauze, bandaids, and antiseptics.
Without a doubt, kayaking is an excellent adventure sport. However, it’s not as definite and controlled as other sports. Because things can easily get out of control when kayaking, it’s very wise to take every precaution imaginable before trying it.
For beginners, it’s very helpful to seek help from kayaking professionals. Personally, I started out by looking for people experienced in kayaking near me. How did you go about learning how to kayak? Let us know in the comments!