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Useful Packing Tips for Your First Kayaking Trip
If you are new to kayaking, it can be difficult to know what equipment you need. There’s nothing worse than being underprepared and forgetting something crucial. In fact, it can make all the difference between success and failure.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the basic packing list for your first trip. Then you’ll have the peace of mind in knowing you’re adequately prepared and all set for an amazing experience.
Bring A Quality Kayak
A kayak is a small, narrow boat with one or more cockpits and pairs of paddles. It’s made from fiberglass, plastic, wood or rotomoulded rubber. Kayaks can range in quality and price, but it’s important that your kayak will last for your entire trip. You don’t want to be stuck with one that leaks or falls apart while on the water! Once you’ve made your purchase be sure to correctly maintain it. When you’re kayaking in saltwater always rinse it before storing it away. This will help remove the excess salt which could cause corrosion over time.
It’s well worth doing some online home study on the different models. Many people prefer real, durable, functional kayaks that you can inflate and deflate, and specialist websites can explain things like dimensions, weight and portability. You can also learn about materials and durability, and extras such as storage compartments, carry handles, carry bags and detachable skegs.
Be Wise Over Clothing
Bring clothes that are lightweight, highly versatile and appropriate for your geographical location. They need to be light to reduce weight in your kayak, and suitable for most temperatures. This way, if it rains one day and then warms up the next, you’ll still have what you need. Add an extra layer to your clothing if it can be hot or cold on the water depending on the time of day.
Pack as much as possible into waterproof bags so that everything stays dry if something leaks or spills inside your kayak. Bring a change of clothes that are easy to pack. Keep in mind that if you’re storing items that may get wet or dirty, it’s best to keep them separately from the dry/clean clothes. If there’s a chance of rain or if it has rained recently, pack an umbrella too. You’ll definitely want something to cover yourself and your possessions when you’re onshore or taking lunch breaks.
Think About Shoes And Towels
When packing shoes, it’s important to consider that you’ll likely be getting them wet at some point, whether it’s crossing a stream or simply kayaking in the rain. Be sure to pack shoes that will dry quickly and that won’t take up too much space in your bag (e.g. sandals).
You should bring a backup towel with you on your kayaking trip, even if you think your regular one will be sufficient. Kayaks tend to hold a lot of water inside them, so there’s always the potential for everything – including your towel – to get soaked. Plus, if you’re out on the water for a long time, you’re going to want something dry and clean to sit/lie down on.
Bring Medical Supplies
A first aid kit should be included in your kayaking inventory. It’s helpful to learn from others who have gone kayaking before you so you know what exactly to bring. Don’t forget sunscreen because sunburn can happen if you’re outdoors for a long time, even when it’s cloudy outside. In fact, the presence of lots of water significantly increases the likelihood of sun-related issues. Take a sun hat along with you and some sunglasses as well.
Another thing to consider bringing is insect repellent. Mosquitoes are often prevalent near bodies of water, so it’s best to be prepared and avoid getting bitten as much as possible. DEET is a common ingredient in mosquito repellents, and you should do your research before purchasing any product. This is to ensure that you’re picking something safe for both you and the environment. Finally, bring along any prescription medication in your medical kit.
Bring Your Phone
You should have a smartphone with you always in case of emergencies. You may decide to bring along an old phone or consider buying one just for your kayaking trips. Be sure to pack it carefully and keep it dry by putting it into a Ziploc baggie alongside other water-absorbent items such as tampons or tissues. Then put this inside another waterproof container until it’s needed. This will keep your phone safe should you accidentally drop it into the water! Remember to fully charge your phone prior to leaving home because you don’t want it to die out unexpectedly.
Pack a portable battery charger; this is especially important if you plan on taking lots of pictures and videos during your trip. There are many different chargers available on the market, so be sure to do some research beforehand and choose one that’s best for you.
Take Some Snacks And Drinks
There are many different kinds of snacks that you can bring with you on the water, such as granola bars, trail mix and fruit snacks. Fruit snacks contain added sugar which helps provide healthy energy for extended times of activity. Trail mix contains caffeine that can help if someone gets drowsy or suffers from mild motion sickness. Granola bars consist of things like oats and honey that have been proven to give people plenty of lasting energy.
You can either bring bottled water or buy drinks once you get to the put-in point. It’s always important to recycle them when you are finished with your trip. Many kayakers also like bringing sports drinks along with them because they help replace the electrolytes that are lost through sweat. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day so that you stay hydrated and don’t end up feeling sick from the sun.
Hopefully, you now feel more confident about what you need to bring. By doing some research and getting organized upfront, you’ll be able to maximize your experience and protect your health in every way.