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The Essential Kayaking Gear

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Soft Sided Cooler:  A soft shell cooler allows you to squeeze the cooler inside the kayak's hatches where often hard shelled coolers don't fit. I have several smaller coolers. The night prior to leaving for a kayak outing I freeze water or herb tea in water bottles to use to keep the food in the cooler cold. There's nothing more refreshing than taking a swig of COLD water on a sizzling hot summer day!

Water Sandals  Wearing a hard sole footwear will protect the soles of your feet if you step on a fishing lure or broken piece of glass, when entering and exiting your kayak along the shore. The footwear needs to be secure on your foot, so if the lake has a soft muddy bottom, the suction does not pull your sandals/shoes off of your foot.

Water shoes and sandals need to fit snug and secure fit, and have a no-slip bottom grip. I like the water shoes that cover up the top of me feet which has the tendency to get sun burnt. You want to purchase water shoes that dry quickly.

Sun Hat Protect yourself from the sun and stay cool A chin strap will help prevent your hat from blowing away on windy days.

Kayaking Apparel  A swim suit could be worn underneath. Sturdy sandals are the footwear of choice when the temperatures rise. Sun hat, sunglasses, with a safety strap, sunscreen and a waterproof watch. A mid-weight synthetic top, such as polypropylene, Lycra or polyester. Avoid cotton as it takes forever to dry and offers little insulation.

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Splash Jacket  and Splash Pants: The clothing and equipment essential for kayaking can vary according to the type of kayaking you do. When kayaking on a hot day, wear quick dry shorts and a t-shirt. When kayaking on a cooler day where there is wind, (or you have had too much sun), put on a wind jacket and pants made of fast drying material. I made several wind suits made out of parachute material, that dries quickly and keeps me cool on hot days, and warm on cool, foggy, windy days.

Gloves offer protection from the cold and to help reduce blisters. Or you can use clothe athletic tape to tape your index and thumbs to prevent blisters. Make sure you purchase the clothe tape..

Waterproof Cell Phone Case & Cell Phone: Take the worry out of carrying that expensive smart phone when you're on, or in, the water.

Medical Kit Not every run is perfect, and things don't always go as planned. Being prepared for any situation while in the backcountry is essential. An Emergency Medical Kit is a great start to safety. Most car accidents happen within 10 miles of home, boating is no different. Accidents can happen on even the shortest of day outings so be prepared with the Ultra-Light Paddler Medical Kit.

Thigh Straps are an extra safety measure that you will help maintain your balance during gusty winds, or when launching into the surf. These are very helpful for kayak anglers who have expensive fishing gear, that they don't want to lose, if they capsize while launching from the beach into the surf. They will also help maintain your balance when reeling in a trophy size fish. Thigh Straps and clip on thigh straps for hard shell SOT kayaks, that need to have the eye loops to secure the straps to on your kayak.

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