Kayaking is not simply getting into your kayak and leaving. There is more to it than simple paddling. You will require a number of important items while kayaking.. Apart from the very essentials, such as food, water, life jackets and communication, there are some items that most kayakers forget to add into their gear.
Consider including these often forgotten items while packing for a kayaking day out with your mates.
Every survival enthusiast knows that duct tape is your best friend if you are outdoors and having adventures in the wilderness. When we think of duct tape, a massive heavy roll comes to mind. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can make your own bundle by wrapping the amount tape that you consider you may require while on the boat around any odd object such as a golf pencil, a wooden stick or even a straw. You never know when you may need a piece of duct tape, such as to close a crack or hole in your boat while in the middle of nowhere, so make it a habit of carrying some on board while you are kayaking.
When kayaking, you are going to be in the water, and water inherently carries the potential to make you and your surroundings really wet. If you are carrying sensitive electronic equipment, such as cameras and electronic navigation system, you definitely need small hand towels to dry your hands before using them or to dry equipment if they get wet with a sudden splash of water.
You may want to consider carrying super glue on you in almost all outdoor activities. Super glue will not only come in handy if you need to repair your boat or other equipment, but it can also save your life if you get wounded. You can close a gash using super glue, but be aware that while can be used reasonably safely on minor clean cuts, superglue can be toxic to deeper tissue layers. If there is no other medical option available, super glue can be your last and only option to stop blood loss until you reach your base.
First Aid Kit
Talking of mishaps and disasters, nothing helps you more than a good old first aid kit. Gone are the days when first aid kits used to be large bulking boxes, and the mere sight of which was enough to give you a minor migraine. However nowadays first aid kits come in small light weight zipper pouches with all the essential paraphernalia. You can easily add or take out items, or just create your own first aid kit from scratch. Check the contents expiry dates regularly.
Most kayaking trips end without any major mishap. However, once tragedy strikes, you will want to be ready to deal with it. Having a multi-tool kit on board, even a basic one, can save you a lot of time and hassle, as you will have all kinds of tools you need to carry out minor repairs on your boat in case of emergency.
Carrying a small mirror on you will help you signal to someone for help in case you are lost or in need of urgent help. Manufacturers now make mirrors specially designed for the purpose of shining light at rescue helicopters. These mirrors have a small hole in the middle to target the shine in the air or to a boat in the distance.
If you are in need of help while kayaking, a simple shout-out may not do the trick. Winds are unpredictable over water and could take your voice to a different location then you initially anticipated. Use special whistles made for kayakers and canoers and attach it to your jacket or PFD to attract attention easier.
Matches or lighters
Keep a set of lighters or matches in your gear bag for obvious reasons. If you are lost and end up on a small island, you won’t have to rub sticks for hours for fire. Apart from this obvious use, you can in fact cover cracks in your boats by melting pieces of the boat and covering the gashes with the melted plastic.
Keep car keys with you
Many kayakers and nature enthusiasts leave their car keys or hide them somewhere on their cars before leaving for the trip. They do this with an intention to not to lose the keys while out in the wilderness. However, it is wiser to carry your keys with you. In the case of kayaking, carry them in a dry bag. This way you will know for sure that when you get back to your car, you can get home and dry quickly and without any delays.
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