Things to bring on a Kayak Trip

Kayaking is a very fun sport, and many people enjoy trying this adrenaline rushing water sport. There are different intensities of kayaking activitie

Kayaking is a very fun sport, and many people enjoy trying this adrenaline rushing water sport. There are different intensities of kayaking activities like flat-water Kayaking is a better option for beginners with a manageable learning curve. As your paddling and kayaking skills improve, you will want to tackle whitewater kayaking, which can often be challenging even for the experts. 

In order to enjoy your kayaking trip, you should ensure carrying all the essential items with yourself for your safety, comfort, efficiency, and navigation. Below listed are most of the essential things to bring on a Kayak trip.


The primary thing you will need in your Kayaking trip is a kayak itself. There are various types of kayaks available, but for most beginners, a short, simple, and recreational kayak will work. Prefer choosing a kayak with a large cockpit as it will be easier to climb in and out of. Such kayaks also have a foot pedal to help you steer while navigating in choppy conditions.


Another primary requirement for Kayaking is a paddle. When buying one, ensure you do not confuse kayak paddles with canoe paddles. Kayak paddles have blades on both ends and are generally between 82 – 102 inches long. The taller you are, the bigger the paddle you will need. In case of longer kayaking trips, you should have a spare paddle in case your main one breaks, or you lose it.

Life Jacket

You should definitely carry a life jacket while going on a Kayak trip. Whether or not you are a good swimmer, it does not matter as life jackets are not just for non-swimmers. Life jackets serve the purpose of keeping you afloat in emergency situations. 

You never know what situation might arise. You would not be able to swim if you become unconscious or if you are too exhausted to move a muscle. In such scenarios, life jackets will help save your life. 

You should buy one that fits you tight and snugly while also ensuring it is comfortable. You can choose either a foam PFD or an inflatable vest as per your preference and intensity of your kayaking activity.

Dry Bags/Dry Box

Kayaking is a water activity bound to make you wet. It is very important to store your clothes and other items in a dry bag for usage. Dry bags are watertight bags that come in various sizes, and they can be roll shut forming a tight seal. 

You can also use a dry box that serves the same purpose but is plastic boxes with a rubber seal keeping water out. You can use these boxes to store your electronics like cell phones and cameras. The dry bags can be used to store your clothing, food, and other accessories you will be carrying.

Bilge Pump

While Kayaking, water will surely get into your kayak and, in extreme situations, may even flood your it. You should always carry a Bilge pump with yourself that is designed to get water out of your boat. In case you do not find a bilge pump, you can also use a sponge for the same purpose.

Water Filter

Kayaking is a physically draining activity that requires you to stay hydrated constantly. You could not always carry a lot of drinking water and store it in the small leg space of a kayak. If you are kayaking in freshwater, you still need to ensure that the water is drinkable. Hence you should carry a water filter, which makes water drinkable by purifying it. You could also use iodine tablets instead if a water filter is unavailable. 

Signalling Whistle

In all water-based activities, especially ones like Kayaking, you should carry a signalling whistle with yourself. Especially if your PFD does not have one attached to it. Ensure you get a plastic whistle without any balls in it as the balls get stuck inside, especially in saltwater. Metal whistles usually corrode over time and are comparatively heavier than the plastic ones. In case of emergency situations, signalling whistles are very important.

First-Aid Kit

With adventurous activities, even water ones like Kayaking can sometimes lead to unprecedented injuries. You should always stay prepared for such times by carrying a first-aid kit with yourself with all the necessary items in it. Make sure the first-aid kit is in a waterproof case or bag.

Wet shoes

For water activities like Kayaking, you will need wet or waterproof shoes. Wet shoes have rubber soles with grip to help you walk on slippery surfaces. Avoid wearing flip flops as you would not have much grip on wet and slippery surfaces, making them unsafe.

Navigation tools

Other significant things you need to carry while Kayaking is navigation tools. Depending on your trip or route your tools may vary, like Kayaking in rivers or inland lakes you will need to carry a detailed topographic map or nautical chart of the route along with a compass. 

For trips in coastal areas, carry saltwater charts and area guides. For navigational accuracy, it is better to also carry a GPS unit in a waterproof case, which will help a lot.


Spending most of your time under the sun, you will be exposed to UV rays for a prolonged period of time, not only from upside but even by the brutal water reflections. This can cause sunburns or melanoma if not taken precautions. Please carry sunscreen and apply it before venturing out to your kayaking activity.

If you are planning to go for extended or overnight kayaking trips, then you should carry some essential things for your trip. 

Lightweight Tent

It is always a good idea to carry a lightweight backpacking tent while going on a trip. You can spend your night in nature even in harsher conditions. Choose a tent that is lightweight, compact, and freestanding for better efficiency.

Synthetic Sleeping Bag

You will also need a good sleeping bag to have a comfortable, good night’s sleep. A synthetic sleeping bag would be a perfect choice as you should always pick one to avoid being compromised by damp environments. It can keep you dry and warm even in wet conditions.

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