The Ultimate Kayaking Checklist – RIVER COUNTRY


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Are you planning to experience more kayaking adventures this year? Worried about not knowing what to bring and missing essential equipment?

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

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

The basics of a short kayak trip

If you plan on paddling a short distance, it’s easy to think that you don’t need to do a lot of preparation. Whenever you go out on the water, there are a few basic things to bring for your safety and enjoyment:

  • A paddle,
  • A life jacket for each person in the kayak,
  • A throwing rope or a rescue device,
  • A scooping device,
  • Drinking water and a snack,
  • A whistle to signal help, and
  • A little light, especially if you might be outside after dusk.

Be prepared for the weather. Good kayaking tips include wearing a long-sleeved shirt to protect your skin from the sun. It is helpful to have a dry bag to protect items such as your phone or camera.

Pack a light windbreaker that will keep you warm if the wind picks up. You are going out on the water and the weather can change quickly.

Local boating laws in your state may require other items. For example, most states require that you wear your life jacket at all times when you are on the water. It’s always best to check that you have the right equipment for your area.

Additional items for long kayak trips

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

  • A tent and camping equipment
  • Food and how to cook it
  • A compass and a watch
  • A GPS unit
  • A tow rope
  • Emergency rockets

Always check the weather and be prepared for sudden changes. Leave a route with a friend and check back with them when you get back.

Most paddlers enjoy the sun and it can be tempting to add a few cold drinks to your kayaking checklist. Alcohol impairs your judgment and can put you at risk.

You may not remember to drink enough water to stay hydrated when drinking alcohol. You can get dehydrated when you paddle in the scorching sun. Physical activity takes effort, and your body needs water.

If a local authority checks your blood alcohol level, they can issue you a fine for using a water boat when your level exceeds the legal limit. It is possible to be charged while impaired, so play it safe and don’t drink.

Customize your kayaking checklist

When you know where you are going to kayak, it’s easy to create a personalized kayaking checklist for your personal adventures. Make sure to update it if you are going on a longer adventure or if you enter a different state.

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

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