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Paddler’s Packing List

Paddler’s Packing List

Use this paddlers packing list to prepare for day trips, surf trips and to get an idea of essential equipment to keep in your car.

Always File a Float Plan

Leave a friend your paddling start time, launch location, route and planned return time. Apps such as the US Coast Guard Float Plan App and Glympse can allow friends to track you on-water.

Or start a Facebook group for your paddling friends to monitor every time each paddler goes on a solo or group paddle.

Paddling Clothing

Warm weather and water –

  • UV protected clothing
  • Wide brimmed hat
  • Rash guard or thin neoprene top
  • Shorts or swim wear
  • Booties or water shoes for reef or rocky beaches
Cold weather and Water
  • 4/3mm or 5/4mm full wetsuit
  • Farmer John / Jane armless wetsuit
  • Neoprene jacket or other paddling jacket
  • Neoprene bottoms
  • Dry suit. Rash guard or thin polyester or similar synthetic thermal top to wear under wet or dry suit.
  • Booties or water shoes for reef or rocky beaches as well as warmth.
  • Neoprene paddling gloves or mitts
  • Neoprene or similar material hat or hood with chin strap recommended for surf and high wind
  • Sunblock, UV rated lip balm, and/or wide brimmed hat for sunny off-season days.
Post Paddling Clothing and Gear
  • Warm jacket, hat and gloves
  • Gallon of hot water or Rinse Kit for cleaning gear and to warm up.
  • Foam camping pad to stand on when removing wetsuit and/or putting on dry clothes
  • Changing cloak for changing clothes in public. These are armless robes. Surf Fur robes are insulated and protected from weather.
  • Thermal house shoes or similar furry boot to slide on post paddling.
  • Hot non-alcoholic drink in thermos.
  • Sun block to re-apply post paddle.
Safety Gear
  • Vest style lifejacket
  • Waist C02 PFD with C02 cartridge (know how to deploy)
  • Leash (straight or coiled)
  • Leash string attached to leash plug or handle on inflatable board.
  • Tow or throw rope
  • Signal mirror on string
  • Whistle
  • Rocket flares or laser flare on string.
  • Waterproof clip-on non-blinking white light for night paddling
  • VHF radio fully charged on string to attach to your PFD. (Know how to use it )
Paddling Equipment – Kayaking
  • Spray skirt
  • Paddle (and paddle leash)
  • Pogies
  • Dry bags
  • Navigation gear – compass, map/chart in waterproof case.
  • Pump, sponge or bailing device
  • Women – FUD (female urinary device)
Paddling Equipment – Stand Up Paddling
  • Paddle
  • Leash and leash string
  • Surf wax (if going surfing)
  • Dry bags
  • Navigation gear – compass, map/chart in waterproof case.
Repair Kit
  • Ding repair solutions (ie: foil tape, Solarez, 5-minute epoxy, packing tape, sticker)
  • Parachute cord for extra leash string and PFD repairs and/or outfitting repairs.
  • Extra fin screws and plates
  • Multi-tool
  • Sunscreen (Water resistant SPF 30+)
First Aid Kit
  • Sunglasses with retainer strap
  • Prescription eye glasses with retainer strap
  • Lip Balm (SPF 15+)
  • Energy bar or gels or similar snacks
  • Band aids, sports tape, gauze
  • Benadryl
  • Advil, Tylenol
  • Baby Aspirin (for heart trouble)
  • Band-aids
  • Prescription drugs and/or Epi-pen or in-haler in easy accessed waterproof container (know local regs about Epi-pens)
  • Insect repellent
  • Chemical hand warmer packets
Communication On-Water
  • Mobile phone fully charged and extra battery device in waterproof bag or case – on tether.
Camera / GoPro
  • Waterproof camera with strap
  • GoPro or other small mountable camera with full batteries (and empty data card).
Essential Gear to Store in the Car
  • Large plastic bin to keep wet gear after paddle.
  • Water for cleaning and hydration
  • Screwdrivers and Allen wrenches for fin screws
  • Surf wax
  • Changing cloak or beach towel
  • Old foam camping pad to stand on when changing.

See my packing guide15 Paddle Board Essentials for your Car (works for any type of paddlers and surfers).

Where to Put your Keys

Read this post from my Salmon Bay Paddle blog for key hiding tips

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