Kayaking is a fast-growing sport with more and more people taking it up each year. Whether you’re a seasoned kayaker or a beginner setting out on your first trip, it’s important to be well-prepared and equipped with all of the essentials you need.
Before you set out, take a look at this list of four essentials you may have forgotten, and make sure to add them to your kayaking clothing and bag list.
- Personal Flotation Device (PFD)
The most important item you should never leave without is a life jacket or personal flotation device (PFD). Regardless of your swimming ability, a life jacket is essential in unexpected situations that arise. If you’ve packed a PFD, you’ll be buoyant in the water and hugely reduce the risk of drowning. Make sure to pick a PFD that fits appropriately and is specifically designed for kayaking so it doesn’t hinder your kayaking experience. As much as you might think it looks uncool to wear one, always pack and wear a PFD when you set out on your kayaking adventure!
- Dry Bag
When it comes to protecting your valuables, a dry bag is the perfect option to make sure they stay dry. Dry bags are designed to be waterproof and keep water out, and come in a variety of different sizes to accommodate various items. Store your mobile phone, car keys, spare clothes, snacks, and everything in between so that even if you end up capsizing, these valuables won’t get wet. It’s important to invest in a good-quality and reliable dry bag, you don’t want to go on one trip and end it with wet belongings.
Although it might not seem like an essential at first, carrying a whistle is a great way to keep yourself safe whilst on the water. Many PFDs will come with a whistle, but if yours doesn’t make sure to grab one to attach to your jacket. A whistle can be heard much further than your voice and works to alert people on land if you come into any trouble so they know you need help.
- Change of Clothes
This doesn’t need to be something you keep in the bag you take out onto the water, but a change of clothing is essential to making your trip back home much more enjoyable. We’ve all done it, you’ve finished for the day, hot in your sweaty kayak clothing, and realise you haven’t brought any spare clothes to change into. Make sure you make the rest of your day comfortable (and dry) and keep a change of clothes in your car or dry bag so you can quickly change out of your kayak clothing.
Now you’re ready to hit the water! A trip without all of these essentials won’t just be uncomfortable, but can also be hazardous if you run into any trouble.