Be AdventureSmart: The right gear’s a good idea!

With the wind in your face there’s no finer place
Than messin’ about on the river’   Josh MacRae

So the song lyrics go, and it’s true getting out onto the water is a fine way to spend a day.  However, before you grab your paddle and launch yourself off onto lake, river or sea, we’ve put together a guide to the essentials for a comfortable and safe day paddling.

Be adventure smart: Plan for a great day with our essential kit guide for a good day paddling!

Clothing
  • Lifejacket or buoyancy aid (must be well-fitting and well maintained)
  • Windproof jacket (can always be kept in the rucksack until needed, don’t leave home without it)

  • Insulating layer (a thin fleece or gillet depending on the time of year)

  • Breathable base layer if paddling in summer (avoid cotton t-shirts)

  • Wetsuit or drysuit (depending on the time of year a wetsuit long john or full suit can be great)

  • Safety bag / dry bag (with a method of securing to/in your craft)

  • Footwear (sandals, trainers, wet shoes anything that helps you walk across rough banks, beaches)

  • Watch (or any reliable method of telling the time)

Safety sack essentials (dry bag)
  • First aid kit
  • Mobile phone in a dry bag (a ziplock freezer bag works as a cheap option.  It’s best to carry it on your person, just in case you become separated from your canoe)
  • Emergency whistle
  • Map & compass (even if you use GPS)
  • Torch or head torch
  • Suncream
  • Sunglasses
  • Bottled water (keep yourself hydrated)
  • Flask of hot drink (depending on time of year)
  • High energy snacks (to give an energy boost when tired)
  • Any necessary medication (with spares)
  • Spare warm clothing
  • Survival bag (just in case)
  • Emergency contact details
Boat essentials
  • Bailer/sponge (especially useful in an open canoe)

For lots more tips and information on a safe and enjoyable day out paddling, including Getting Started guides, visit gopaddling.info