Much like any other outdoor activity, before you go out with your kayak, there are a number of things you need to have in order to make your trip a success, fun and most importantly safe. Of course there are those obvious gears and essentials you can do without and there are those you must have before you set out. Here is my top kayaking gear list, you need to put under great consideration before your journey.
Obviously, a kayak is the first thing you need to make that trip even possible. There are quite a number of them and you can actually choose one depending largely on where you are going to kayak. For example, if you will be doing a lot of fast moving waters, you need a kayak that can handle that well and efficiently. Here are the most common types of kayaks:
If you know you are going to kayak with friends or even family members and you need a kayak that can accommodate more than 1 person as a go; a Tandem kayak it all you need. It is designed to be used by multiple people. When buying this, you need to factor in a number of things. First, ensure it comes with enough space to fit the number of people you wish to go kayaking with. You must also want to look for more storage space and also comfort.
- My pick: Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL
This is meant for sea conditions. They can navigate such waters with so much ease. When buying this you need to look for sturdy materials. A small cockpit is also paramount.
- My pick: EDDYLINE EQUINOX
This is a type of kayak that can be inflated when you need to use it and can be deflated and transported with so much ease. With this type of kayak, you can travel practically anywhere with it. So when buying this type of kayak, you need to look out for a few things. First, it should be made from sturdy materials. It should also provide a very compact deflating system.
- My pick: HOBIE 19S
If you are looking for long distance, a touring kayak is your best bet. When shopping for this type of kayak, you need to check for sturdy materials, a great tracking system and also impeccable stability.
- My pick: WILDERNESS SYSTEMS TSUNAMI 145
The paddle forms an integral part of your kayak. It is a must have and it is one thing you can do without. What the paddle does is pretty much obvious. You can use it to propel your boat through the water. A paddle is made of two different parts; the blade and the shaft and most come made from different materials. It could be plastic, wood or even fiber glass.
When buying this essential kayaking gear, it is important you get one that is compatible with your boat. It should also be made from sturdy materials, especially if you know you are going to deal with saltwater.
- My pick: Perception Hi-Five Kids
Obviously, you know what this is all about. It is a seat where you can sit as you paddle your kayak. A kayak seat comes with a number of benefits including comfort and back and core support when you are kayaking. When it comes to the choice to make; you can actually decide to go for a low or a high seat, depending largely on your kayak, support and also compatibility.
- My pick: SURF TO SUMMIT GTS SPORT
When you are out there, staying safe is paramount and there is no other way you can stay safe other than with the right safety gear. Here is what you need to pack for great safety
PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICE
Also referred to as PFD, you can’t even start to imagine what you can possibly do with this safety gear. This gear can keep you afloat in case of an emergency. For example, should the kayak capsize and you are not able to get back to it, this device will ensure you are kept afloat as you wait for rescue. When shopping for this vital device, you need to find the correct size; one that provides a perfect fit. Additionally, since you will be wearing it for a considerable length of time, it should also be comfortable.
- My pick: KOKATAT OUTFIT TOUR
A kayaking helmet is another great kayaking gear you should have. It provides the much-needed protection to your head, especially when you are handling rapids or even narrow waterways. The helmet you buy should be rust proof since you will be spending most of your time In water and it will definitely come in contact with water.
- My pick: NRS WRSI CURRENT PRO
It may look so small and useless, but this device can be a great addition to your kayaking gear list. With a whistle, you can actually alert other people in case you find yourself in a bit of trouble. The whistle, you buy should, however, be rustproof just like the helmet. It must also come equipped with a cord for easy access.
- My pick: HEIMDAL SAFETY WHISTLE
CLOTHING AND FOOTWEAR
The kind of clothing you pack for your kayaking trip is also important and must be considered. As with any other outdoor activities, a number of things will come into play: the area you wish to go and also the weather conditions will determine what you are going to go with.
If you know the weather is going to be a little bit sunny, a hat will surely come in handy. This great item will help provide the much need protection for your neck, face, and shoulders from the sun. When it comes to what to buy, you need a hat that comes with a full brim for maximum sun protection. It should also be comfortable and highly breathable as we would want any outdoor gear to be.
- My pick: CAMO COLL OUTDOOR
This top will come with a number of benefits to you as a kayaker. First, it keeps you dry. Second, it will protect you from the sun. As when you are buying any other top, you need something that comes with proper fit, it should also be made from lightweight materials. Lastly, ensure it is equipped with tight cuffs as that will shield it from the spray.
- My pick: NRS RIO TOP PADDLE JACKET
During those gruesome rides, your feet must also be protected; a key reason why you need to invest in great kayak shoes. They not only help protect your feet but also offer the much-needed warmth. During the selection process, you need to take comfort into great consideration and in this case, you should settle for neoprene. The sole should also be sturdy and the shoes must offer a proper fit.
- My pick: NRS Freestyle
When you are doing those strenuous paddling, it is your hands that suffer the most. For this very reason, they must be protected well. There is no other better way you can protect them than with the right pair of kayaking gloves. The best part, we with a decent pair of gloves, you will not only be protected from blisters, but you will also get the much-needed warmth. As for what to choose, pretty much like when you are buying any other type of gloves, they should offer a very comfortable fit. They should also come made from flexible fabrics.
My pick: WARMERS BARNACLE HALF FINGER
Things can get really crazy out there and you find yourself lost and you can trace your way back home, especially when you are on the sea. Thankfully, with the right navigation tools, you can easily find your way home and avoid those embarrassing moments when you are out there. For navigation, here is all you need.
When it comes to any outdoor adventure, you will know how GPS can come truly in handy. This is one of the reasons why you need to get a decent kayaking GPS before you set out with your kayak. This little device will you navigate through waterways. Plus, you can even use it to plan your journey before you set out. When buying this, you need to be on the lookout for these few things.
First, it should be very easy to use. Second, it should be water proof. Lastly, ensure it comes equipped with a personal locator beacon.
- My pick: ACR ELECTRONIC RESQLINK
Pretty much like the GPS device, the compass is also a must-have, especially if you know you are going to venture in an area you know very little about. A compass will actually help you navigate using direction and coordinates. As with a GPS, the choice you make must be easy to use. It should also be compact and waterproof.
- My pick: SUUNTO M-3D LEADER COMPASS
When it comes to personal items, there are quite a number of items you need for kayaking. They are a must have if you are a kayaking enthusiast.
If you don’t want some of your kayaking gear and other essentials getting wet, you need to invest in a decent dry bag. This bag is not like those traditional bags we are used to. It has been designed in a way it can keep things like camera, phone, GPS among other things dry and secure ask well.
As with any other bag you buy today, when sieving through that long list of dry bags we have in the market, you need to factor in a number of things if you want to get the best bag. First, it should come with enough storage space. It must also come equipped with a clasp to help you secure closing the bag.
- My pick: SEA TO SUMMIT BIG RIVER DRY BAG
OTHER PERSONAL ITEMS
- Camera: To help you capture those breathtaking sites and also your movement on the water
- Sunscreen: To protect you from sunlight, especially if you know you are going to kayak for an extended period in the sun.
- Water bottle and Snacks: To give you the much-needed energy to paddle, you need water bottles and snacks to keep you well hydrated during the entire journeys
Moving your kayak from one location to another can be quite a challenge if you don’t have the right transportation equipment. Here are some of the things you need to help you transport your kayak safely and with so much ease.
This item comes with a number of benefits. First, it allows you to transport your kayak from the car to the water. When selecting what to buy, you need to look for compatibility with your boat. It must also be equipped with a comfortable handle. It should also be easy to store.
- My pick: MALONE CLIPPER DELUXE
If you are going to transport your kayak on your car, you need a roof rack. This item will help you transport your kayak on the roof of your car. As with the kayak cart, you need to ensure the kayak and the car are compatible. The rack you choose must also provide quick on and offloading.
- My pick: TMS HD KAYAK CARRIER