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Kayaker’s Day Trip Guide

Kayaker’s Day Trip Guide

It’s easy to forget your spray skirt, paddle or life jacket, or forget to bring cash for a park pass. Use this kayaking day trip guide to prevent from missing another piece of gear for your next trip.

Paddling Equipment
  • Spray skirt
  • Paddle
  • Paddle leash
  • Sponge
  • Pump or bailing device
  • Dry bag and/or deck bag
  • Pogies
Safety Gear
  • Lifejacket (Get a hi-vis PFD with easy to access pockets for stuff)
  • Kayak rescue paddle float (do you have attachments to the boat?)
  • Tow rope or throw rope (Can double for drying gear or beer bag rope)
  • Rescue stirrup
  • Whistle (required in USA by Coast Guard)
  • Night paddling gear – Waterproof light, reflector tape, whistle
  • Waterproof laser pointer or laser flare
  • Hand-held rocket flares in waterproof bag or box (but accessible)
  • Bail-out kit – See Doug Alderson’s book the Saavy Paddler for contents.
  • Reflector (Cheap plastic reflectors work great, keep in PFD on string)
  • Knife (Paddler’s knives are blunt tipped and can attach on PFD or in PFD pocket. If in PFD pocket attach to tether.
  • First Aid Kit. Make your own or get a paddler’s first aid kit from NRS.
Paddling Clothing
  • Dry suit (are your gaskets intact and zipper running smoothly?)
  • Wetsuit (or paddling pants, jacket, Farmer John/Jane)
  • Paddling jacket
  • Warm hat or skull cap
  • Wide brimmed or baseball hat
  • Paddling or neoprene gloves
  • Booties or paddling shoes
  • Sun glasses
  • Retention strap
  • Sun block
  • Energy bar or gels
  • Hydration bladder, bottle and electrolytes
  • Drinking and/or gear cleaning water
  • Cloth or towel for cleaning gear
Vehicle Accessories
  • Car rack straps and/or tie-downs for stern and bow.
  • Red flag for tying on back of boat while driving
  • Keep a ‘most forgotten’ items box in your car. Include things like booties, gloves, sunblock, sun glasses retention straps, water.
Phone & Accessories
  • Fully charged phone
  • Phone charger. Consider both solar and plug-in options if you take a break at a marina.
  • Phone waterproof case and tether. Soft or hard cases work fine depending on the brand.
  • Map or chart of your destination. Put in large zip-lock or map case.
  • Fully charged phone, GPS unit and/or compass or chart tools.
Day Trip Tips
  • Is your rack secure to your car? Do a shake test to confirm prior to loading.
  • Check the above list to make sure you got everything!
  • Gather your gear and do a shake down paddle to make sure you can comfortably fit everything in or on your boat. Then on your trip day you’ll feel more pro about your trip ahead.
  • Cable and lock system for securing your kayak and paddle to your car and/or a public location whether it be a dock or rental house/hotel.
Before You Launch
  • Leave a Float Plan with a friend. Tell them where you’re going, what your route is, the color/type of your kayak, when you expect to be back. Then upon coming back, confirm that you’re back on land. Friends have set a Float Plan on FB Messenger which we use daily.
  • Do you have your parking pass, cash for a parking fee and/or park/rec permit ready to display?
  • Car locked? Do you have a good hide-a-way spot for your keys? I don’t bring my keys on the water thus leaving them hidden under my car.
Brands I prefer for my kayaking gear and accessories

NRS, Seattle Sports Company, NW Outdoor Center, MTI Adventure Gear, Werner, NorthWater (rescue gear), NSI (North Shore Inc) for tie-down products.

Books and Resources
Related Posts from Bigfoot Travel

Wetsuit Drying Tips for Hotels and Camping

Hawaii Travel Tips for Paddlers

Happy Paddling!

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