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What to take Canoeing

By Jemma Goulds29 October 2018

You can usually hire most equipment for canoeing, or you can invest in your own gear if it is something you want to do often. Here is a list of the essentials you might need for beginner level canoeing in the UK.

If you’re heading out on a canoe for the first time, you’re most likely to be able to hire specialist equipment from your chosen provider, but here are a list of things you might want to take to make your trip easier.

What to Wear

  • Trainers or light shoes or wellies for children
  • Comfy trousers (not jeans as they take ages to dry)
  • Warm clothing – several layers of clothing is better than one thick layer
  • Waterproof Jacket
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Woolly hat or sun hat depending on weather
  • Gloves – essential if it’s wet or cold to protect your hands and help you to continue to paddle even if you’re freezing
  • Buoyancy Aid or Life Jacket

What to Take

  • Bottle of water
  • Snacks or Picnic Lunch
  • A ‘dry bag’ to keep essential items in
  • Suncream and sunglasses (if it’s sunny)
  • A fully charged mobile phone (keep in dry bag or waterproof case)
  • Insect repellent (for the summer months when midges and mosquitos are about)
  • A camera to capture the experience (optional)


  • 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.


  • Sports camera
  • Nose clip


Jemma Goulds

About Jemma Goulds

Jemma Goulds blogs about her family’s adventures with four children based in South East London. Their aim as a family is to have more adventures, try new things, and make the most of their weekends, hopefully encouraging others to get outdoors along the way.

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