Kayaking Safety

So, now that you’ve bought that perfect Kayak for your needs, what next? It is now time to take that bad boy out on the water of course! But remember, while I’m not your mother and I can’t make you take anything with you, there are some helpful items to carry along for a safe and enjoyable kayaking experience. These are only suggestions, I promise, I won’t ground you when you get home!


What to take:

A comfortable life jacket.

Comfort is that keyword. While some life jackets are big and bulky so you don’t want to wear them all day long… there are those life jackets built and designed especially for all-day wear. They are designed to the point you won’t even know they are on. And even experienced paddlers should wear a life jacket. Safety is the key here.


It might seem a little ironic that you carry water on your kayak that is “on the water,” but think of it this way… the sun can and will dehydrate you if you aren’t careful. So, having that water will keep you hydrated all day long. Always bring enough water, more than you think you’ll need, so you don’t get dehydrated.

Simple signs of dehydration are short tempers and confusion. Closely followed by not sweating or going to the bathroom. Should this happen, immediately start drinking straight water. I’m not a doctor and I don’t play one on tv, these are just handy suggestions and signs to look for. If you feel it is too bad, seek medical help.


You do not want a sunburn. They hurt! And being on the water keep in mind water magnifies the sun. Think back to the song from the ’90s (am I showing my age here?) “Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen,” by Baz Luhrmann. Also, keep in mind, you’ll need to reapply sunscreen from time to time as the package directs.

A Dry Bag.

In said dry bag you can keep your phone, wallet, keys, a change of dry clothing and a towel all as suggestions. You never know when any of these items might come in handy. Plus, should you tip the kayak and want that change of clothes. You are prepared. Learn from the Boy Scouts and be prepared.


Whether you are planning on making a day on the water or just a short trip, food is a must. It can be simple snacky items to replenish you to continue your trip or lunch. But if you’re planning on the lunch portion, I’d also have the snacks. You can burn quite a few calories on a trip, especially if you are going against current or wind. It’s always good to replenish your strength.

First-aid Kit.

Again, be prepared. You just never know.

And finally a Sponge.

Did that leave you scratching your head? I recently read a great way to clean up a spill in the bottom of your kayak is to have a sponge. It soaks up the water, pop, etc and allows for you to easily get it out of your boat. Voila. Plus, if it is something sugary, it helps keep away the flies and pesky bugs that are attracted to sweet.

What you need to Kayak:

Well isn’t this fun… don’t you think you should know? But it’s always handy to double check your list so you don’t get to the water and thoroughly disappointed you don’t have your equipment.


I would say this is a must! You can’t go kayaking without it.


This is that handy stick that allows you to navigate the water with your kayak.

Wow, now that needs the Staples button because “That was easy.”

Final thoughts:

When and if you plan on going kayaking, keep an eye on the forecast. Know the current water conditions of where you plan on kayaking. And above all, be safe. Enjoy!

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