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What To Bring Kayaking

It’s always useful to bring a few things with you when you go kayaking. Some things are more important than others but we’ve made a list of things that you should bring with you when thinking of spending some time on the surface of the water. 

But what should you take? What is important and what can be left behind? It’s hard to make this decision yourself, especially when you are new to the kayaking world. You start to panic, you don’t want to leave anything behind, but you don’t want to be weighed down by bags.

Well, don’t panic! We are here for you! In our guide, you’ll find more obvious things that need to be brought and some smaller items that can be useful for certain situations. After following our guide you’ll have the ideas needed to go and have your next adventure!

What To Bring Kayaking


When it comes to keeping warm, nothing is more useful than the wetsuit. Because of its stretchy material and thickness, you’re able to find a balance between warmth and mobility, without having to wear several layers at once. 

The wetsuit works by letting water into the space between the suit and your body, using the body heat from the wearer to warm the water. This will make you wet but will keep your body warm in case you fall in the water. Wetsuits are crucial when preventing shock and other conditions like hypothermia.

On top of the wetsuit, you can also bring gloves and boots to ensure that you stay warm. A lot of body heat is lost when the heat leaves through areas like the feet and the hands, so this ensures that you can still function to full capacity and have a good time. 

You can always get wetsuits with a hood included if you want to make sure that you lose the least amount of heat possible. The ears and the head are vital parts of the body for retaining body heat.


Safety is always the most important thing when kayaking and there are precautions you can take to ensure your health remains intact. Helmets are a key piece of equipment that people of all sports use and kayaking is no different. 

If you’re kayaking down a river and the water is especially rough, it can be easy to lose control and hit different objects like rocks and branches. Having a helmet makes sure that if you do lose control then your head is protected.

There are lots of records from around the world where people have been kayaking and injured themselves when on a body of water without a helmet. The bottom line is that a helmet can be the difference between life and death. Be safe and pack a helmet!



Bringing a backpack along with you can always be handy if you want to keep things on hand like a flask with a warm drink or some first aid supplies. Of course, you’ll have to make sure that your backpack is waterproof so that the things inside don’t get ruined if you fall into the water. 

Having things like bandages, Band-aids, and tape can be really useful when out on the water. Not all water streams are clean, even if they look like it, so having things like Band-Aids can prevent cuts and wounds from becoming infected and wet.

Other supplies like tape can be useful if your kayak has a hole in it or you need to secure something to your mode of transport. Waterproof tape is recommended so that your tape doesn’t get lost in the water and fall off. This allows you to make the most out of the smallest amounts of tape without having to replace it often.

Life Jacket Or Buoyancy Aid

Life jackets and buoyancy aids are other pieces of equipment that can mean the difference between life and death in some situations. By being able to float you can ensure that your body isn’t using unnecessary amounts of energy and will make sure that you can float in harder conditions. 

After falling out of a kayak a lot of people will look to turn it back over, and the life jacket helps you to have some buoyancy when doing this process.

On top of this, lifejackets will usually have at least one pocket where you can keep items like a whistle and other ways to call for help if you need it. These are crucial when kayaking, especially within a group. Buoyancy aids are typically easier to move around in and maybe better suited to the sport than life jackets.


Talking about being able to recover from capsizing moves us onto the next item – a paddle! It seems like a very obvious point to make but a paddle is arguably the most important part of kayaking, except for the kayak itself.

If you don’t have a paddle then you have no way of maneuvering around and being able to have some sort of control. Paddles can also be used to push off of objects like rocks and embankments to make sure that you stay in the desired position on the water.

Paddles are usually lightweight and aren’t too heavy to carry around and can fit inside of the kaya or even be strapped to the side. Make sure you don’t forget to bring one!


Compasses are a very handy tool for people who are kayaking in areas that they’re not familiar with. By using a compass you can find out which direction is the right one to take, especially when kayaking through canals and rivers. 

Due to the many different situations that compasses can be used in, many variations of the tool can come in waterproof and water-resistant forms. This can be especially important if you tend to fall in the water a lot! Because compasses are usually small in design, you can easily keep one in a pocket or compartment without feeling too much of a weight change. 

Final Thoughts

Kayaking is a wonderful activity that can be made better by bringing items to enhance the experience. Such items can be anything from first aid kits to having a compass and some protection in the form of a helmet. 

At the end of the day, your health is the most important thing and nobody wants to see you get hurt doing the things you love. So take these extra precautions and bring some items with you, you won’t regret it!

Hi! My name is Adele Stevens, and I have a big passion for water sports. I love nothing more than traveling to my favorite kayaking spots on my days off and spending hours out on the water.

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