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Kayaking Checklist

By Leanne Downs10 October 2017

If you are going kayaking or canoeing for the day, then you can usually hire most essential specialist equipment from an activity provider, or you can invest in your own gear. Here is a list of the essentials you might need for a day paddling in the UK.

What to wear kayaking

  • Trainers or water shoes
  • Shorts or trousers depending on the weather – avoid jeans or cotton trousers as these do not dry easily and won’t keep you warm when wet
  • Warm baselayer
  • Warm mid layer such as a fleece
  • Waterproof over trousers
  • A waterproof and windproof jacket
  • A warm hat or sun hat depending on the weather
  • Gloves – these are good for keeping your fingers warm if cold out and for helping you grip and stay comfortable paddling

 What to take with you

  • Water in a flask or bottle, enough for how long you’ll be out on the water and for the temperature. 2 litres is a usually a sensible minimum for a full day
  • Mobile phone, fully charged
  • Watch
  • Packed lunch and snacks
  • Map and compass (a waterproof case is ideal and the means to attach the compass to your clothing or vessel)
  • First aid kit with any medication you need
  • Wallet
  • Emergency contact details and identification
  • Headtorch with spare batteries
  • Midge net and spray
  • Suncream
  • Sunglasses
  • Lip Balm
  • Toilet roll

Specialist Equipment

  • Kayak or canoe
  • Paddle and lead
  • Buoyancy Aid – ideally equipped with a light and whistle
  • Spray deck (optional) – this is a cover used to help stop water entering your vessel and keep you warm and comfortable
  • Dry bag for spare clothing, personal items and essentials.
  • Drybag with safety items such as a flare, survival bag, repair kit, radio (VHF) especially if not being supervised or paddling on the sea or somewhere remote.

Optional extras

  • Sports camera
  • Nose clip
Leanne Downs

About Leanne Downs

Leanne Downs is the content editor for Thryve and works as an outdoor writer, blogger and photographer. She loves hiking, hillwalking and wild camping.

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