If you are planning for a kayaking trip, do consider even little things that can help to make your trip more comfortable and enjoyable. This will include proper clothing, equipment, safety gear, map, dry-bag, etc. As the water surfaces are very dynamic, so navigate by taking proper safety gear with you and learn the technique properly to navigate your kayak. For kayaking, you’ll need a list of things that are essential for a safe and wonderful trip. Let’s look at the list below:
CHOOSE THE RIGHT KAYAK:
One of the basic things that you’ll need for kayaking is a kayak which should be in good condition. As kayaks are of various styles, which are designed for specific purposes like some are best for calm water surfaces, and some are best for rapid white-waters, while some are best for touring and so on. And even they come in many different designs like inflatable, sit-on-top types, tandem, etc. And don’t forget to check out the storage of a kayak according to your luggage. Just go through the list of kayaks and pick the one that best serves your purpose, so that you get comfortable and enjoy kayaking the most. And some also prefer to wear spray-skirt especially in rapid white-waters, which actually helps to keep out the wave water or rainwater of your kayak.
As we know that the paddle is must navigate your kayaks, just make sure you pick the right paddle. For kayaking, you’ll need a double-bladed paddle and are longer, so that you can conveniently paddle it on both sides to move your kayak. Do pick the right one and learn the technique to move your kayak. And if you pick the kayak that carries two passengers, then you’ll need two paddles for each passenger, which makes transportation easy. And if you plan for the long kayaking trip, then do carry one extra paddle, so that in case your paddle gets break-down or slip from your hand. It’s good to go with preparation.
PFD (PERSONAL FLOATING DEVICE):
Personal Floating Device like buoyancy aid is a must to wear when going for any of the water activity including kayaking. It basically helps you float even though you don’t know how to swim. There are various types of PFDs available in the market, just pick the one that serves your purpose, can allow you to twist and turn for paddling, and is even comfortable to wear throughout your kayaking trip. Simply take the measurement of your chest and choose the proper size, so that you can freely make movement while paddling.
WEAR PROPER CLOTHING:
Wear the clothing for your kayaking trip depending upon the weather condition. It’s good to wear a t-shirt on top of a swimsuit/drysuit, which helps you protect your skin from UV rays in summer as well as from cold wind in winters. While kayaking, you are more likely to get wet from the waves or splashes while paddling, so better to wear water-resistant and moisture-absorbing clothing. And it’s also good to wear gloves to have a better grip so that you can paddle more properly and easily. You don’t need to spend too much on clothing, even normal ones serve your purpose.
Now if we are talking about footwear, then a good pair of water shoes serves your purpose while going kayaking or any other water activity. They come in two types i.e. closed-toed or open-toed water shoes. In some cases like calm-water kayaking, open-toed water shoes are good to serve your purpose. But many kayakers prefer to wear closed-toed water-shoes especially in rocky regions, to make their feet safe, dry, and comfortable. Don’t even think about wearing fancy footwear or sandals, while going for your kayaking trip.
HAT AND SUNGLASSES:
Wear the type of hat or headgear depending upon the weather and the type of kayaking you are going for. In summers, do wear a nice hat to protect your head from sharp UV rays and pair it with sunglasses. And if you are going to wear sunglasses, then it’s good to wear them with a sunglass-retainer or a strap, so that they’ll not fall down in the water in some circumstances. In winters, it’s good to wear a head-gear to protect your head from the cold wind. And if you want to go for rapid water kayaking, then helmets are highly recommended to protect your head from getting injured.
MEAL, SNACKS, AND WATER BOTTLE:
When you go kayaking especially during a sunny day, then dehydration is more likely to hit you. So don’t forget to carry a water bottle with you and keep hydrating yourself with water or an electrolyte drink to protect yourself from dehydration. This is just a little tip but is very important to consider. And you’ll need a lot of energy and stamina for paddling, so do carry energy bars, energy meals, or other energy snacks with you, so that to fuel you up when you get tired and hungry in-between while kayaking.
As you need to pack a lot of little things with you when you go kayaking, so you’ll need a bag to carry those essential kinds of stuff. Do carry a dry bag for that purpose, so that in case of water splashes in your kayak, your stuff will not get wet.
As kayaking is an outdoor activity and you need to spend a lot of time outdoors, so don’t forget to wear good sunscreen to protect your skin from getting damaged or tanned. Just pick the sunscreen depending upon the temperature and do carry it with you as well to re-apply it after some intervals.
Apart from the above basic things, there are a number of other things which are also very important to take with you, especially on long-kayaking trips (depending upon the type of kayaking you are going for). Do carry a compass to get the direction, map to get the way, small plastic bag to cover your mobile, night-lamp to get some light if it gets dark, 2-way radio to get the help from your other kayak buddies, whistle to get the help in case of capsizing or other situation, an emergency portable tent in case of bad weather condition and you need to stay somewhere, bug-repellant, water-filter tablets, and some cash and credit card. Apart from these, you can also carry other things with you that you think you’ll need the most as per other’s guidance or experience.
Do remember one thing, that different kayaks are meant to carry different weight-load. So, make sure to carry the things as per your kayak weight-load for a stable and smooth-kayaking trip experience.