As kayak paddling season approaches, paddlers need to take inventory of their gear. You want to ensure that you have the correct gear for your paddling adventure. Make a list, check off each item, and be sure you take and / or wear the gear while on the water. Odds are you will not need to utilize some of the items on any paddle... but if you don't carry the gear with you... you certainly will not be able to use it - especially safety gear in times of an emergency!
Here is a list of what I always pack for short 2-4 hour day paddles on flat water. Gear may vary slightly depending on water and weather conditions, but this list is what I consider essential gear to pack for any paddling adventure.
Mike's Gear List
PFD (wear it always)
Pump or bailing device
Throw rope or towing line
Spare paddle (strapped to deck)
Sun screen (apply before paddle and carry on boat)
Waterproof camera w/ spare battery (or camera in a dry bag)
Change of clothes (dry bag)
First aid kit
Water resistant paddling pants (or shorts) depending on temperature
Water resistant socks
2-3 water bottles