Paddling Gear

Kayaking is a relaxing way to enjoy the outdoors, and the whole family can join in the fun, too. Whether your next trip is a short paddle, or a multiday excursion, don't forget to bring the right paddling gear.

More: 4 Tips for Choosing the Right Kayak

Personal Flotation Device (PFD)

A personal flotation device is required for anyone under the age of 13, regardless of whether they are paddling or just along for the ride. However, you should always have enough available for everyone on board. If traveling outside of your region, check with local regulations.

Signal Device or Whistle

Regardless of which tool you use, it needs to be of audible capability—as required per Navigational Rule 35 for signaling—and clipped to each PFD.

More: Kayaking Safety Tips

Spare Paddle

This is not required but a good plan for longer trips; you never know what might happen, and without paddling, you're stranded. To save room, you could pack a collapsible paddle, which is technically is an oar.

Repair Kit

These are a very important for longer excursions and should always be specific to your kayak material & include duct tape. Most kits include apoxy, patches and sealing gel.

Float Line

A float line, with or without clips, is used for towing. You can purchase a quick release pack that straps to your waist, with the line packed in a pouch. Consider taking a kayaking class to fully grasp how to use this tool.

First Aid Kit

No paddling trip is complete without a first-aid kit. Be sure it is placed in a small air-tight container or dry-bag to avoid water damage. Pack it in a sealable plastic bag and wrap it again in two more sealable bags.

More: How to Care for Your Kayak

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About the Author

Elizabeth Schaffer is dedicated to kayaking beginners. Covering all the basic "how to's" and more to get you paddling safely and with confidence.

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