Choosing Your Gear

The gear you choose to include in your paddle adventure is dependent on when and where you will be paddling and any specific needs based on the waterway.  It is important to learn about the waterway you plan to paddle.  You can ask local paddling enthusiasts or your local outfitter for specific information about your chosen trip if neessary . Once you gain an understanding of the area you will be paddling you can then determine the appropriate gear you need to bring along.

Your Paddle Vessel

Do you have the right vessel for the water trail you plan to paddle? You might think kayaks, canoes and Stand Up Paddleboards are pretty straightforward, but there are dozens of different types on the market. From sea to whitewater to calm water, all are made differently to effectively handle each water type. If you are buying for the first time be sure to do some research and speak with your local outfitter. Some outfitters allow you to try before you buy. Before you shop ask yourself a few basic questions:

  1. Where will you use your vessel?
  2. Calm waters, fast moving waters, or open water? Lakes, rivers, coast, etc.
  3. What’s most important, speed or stability?
Gear Check List
  • Vessel
  • Paddle (s), for longer trips it’s never a bad idea to bring a spare paddle
  • PFD – Personal Flotation Device
  • Bilge pump or sponge
  • Spray skirt (for cold weather/water)
  • Dry Bag
  • Paddle float
  • Lights or headlamps
  • Safety whistle
  • Towline(if paddling with others)
  • Floating rope
  • First aid
  • Float plan or water trail map
  • Give your float plan to someone that is not paddling with you
Personal Items to Consider
  • Water canteen
  • Cellphone with waterproof case
  • Energy food
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Hat