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The Ultimate Kayaking Checklist

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Are you planning to go on more kayaking adventures this year? Do you worry that you won’t know what to bring and you’ll miss an essential piece of gear?

The Coast Guard responded to over 19,000 search and rescue calls in a single year. With the right gear, you won’t become a statistic.

Kayaking is a great way to have fun with friends and family. Here’s the ultimate kayaking checklist to help you prepare for your adventures.

The Basics for a Short KayakingTrip

If you’re planning to paddle a short distance, it’s easy to think you don’t need to do much preparation. Whenever you go out on the water, there are some basics to bring along for your safety and enjoyment:

  • A paddle,
  • A lifejacket for every person in the kayak,
  • A throw rope or rescue device,
  • A bailing device,
  • Drinking water and a snack,
  • A whistle for signaling for help, and
  • A small light, especially if you might be out after dusk.

If you’re wondering what kind of kayak will be best for you, check out Recreation Outfitters best inflatable kayaks for some good ideas.

Be prepared for the weather. Great kayaking advice includes wearing a long-sleeved shirt to protect your skin from the sun. It’s helpful to have a dry bag to protect items such as your phone or camera.

Pack a lightweight windbreaker that will keep you warm if the wind comes up. You’re going out on the water, and the weather can change quickly.

Your local state boating laws might require other items. For example, most states require that you wear your lifejacket at all times while you are on the water. It’s always best to check that you have the right equipment for your area.

Additional Items for Longer Kayaking Trips

If you’re planning an overnight trip, you need to bring more equipment. Here are some of the basics that you might consider adding to your list:

  • A tent and camping gear
  • Food and a way to cook it
  • A compass and a watch
  • A GPS unit
  • A towline
  • Emergency flares

Always check the weather and prepare for sudden changes. Leave an itinerary with a friend and check in with them when you return.

Drinking and Paddling

Most paddlers enjoy the sunshine, and it might be tempting to add a couple of cold drinks to your kayaking checklist. Alcohol impairs your judgment and can cause you to take risks.

You might not remember to drink enough water to stay hydrated when you drink alcohol. You may get dehydrated when you’re out paddling in the hot sunshine. Physical activity requires exertion, and your body needs water.

If a local authority checks your blood alcohol, they can ticket you for operating a water vessel when your level is over the legal limit. It’s possible to receive an impaired charge, so play it safe and don’t drink.

Customize Your Kayaking Checklist

When you know where you will be kayaking, it’s easy to create a customized kayaking checklist for your personal adventures. Be sure to update it if you’re going on a more extended adventure or entering a different state.

Did you find this article helpful? If so, be sure to use the simple search feature or check out our Sports section for more excellent boating information.

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