Equipment Checklist for Sea Kayaking

A suggested list of gear for Sea Kayak trips. Some is optional, some is essential, and some is a good idea. Some will depend on the kind of trip you are doing (eg how many days, how remote, how exposed, etc). This is not a complete list, and there may be other things needed that are not listed. This list is not a substitute for you thinking about your own trip needs.

Please keep in mind that it may get very cold or very hot at certain times of the year. Weather conditions can change, and you need to be prepared. On some trips we may be very much on our own.

When thinking of gear, think small, light, and compact. Think dual use – especially if you have to buy stuff. Some outdoor stores have big sales every year where 60% off and 3 for the price of one are common.



  • Water bottle or bladder for day use
  • map(s)
  • Dry Bags for keeping essential gear dry (as many as needed to stow dry gear – hatches are likely to leak/get wet.)
  • Thick plastic garbage bags (new) for storing stuff that doesn’t hugely
    matter if it does get a little wet (eg tents) if you don’t have enough sleeping bags
  • dry change of warm clothes to leave in car for when you get back
  • Large cheap checked plastic bags (in the “bargain” shops)

Personal Paddling clothing

  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm with sunscreen
  • Cag or spray jacket (something synthetic / nylon that will stop wind.)
  • Warm top, preferably thermal or woollen – that you can paddle in / get wet.
  • Paddling shorts eg wetsuit shorts or boardshorts
  • Swimming togs
  • waterproof watch
  • Water shoes, wetsuit boots, or similar shoes. Check you fit in your boat when wearing them.
  • Hat (eg with Strap – it needs to stay on in wind)
  • Sunglasses (with strap if possible) & maybe a spare pair
  • Sun shirt – with long sleeves (for warm conditions when Cag or Spray Jacket is too hot) (e.g. a rashie) Avoid cotton if you can.
  • Paddle gloves

On Shore Clothing

  • Dry sandals or shoes
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Socks – warm
  • Beanie
  • Woollen gloves
  • Dry thermal top and bottom (not the one you got wet during the day!) or something to keep warm
  • Long Pants – track, cotton, or synthetic pants – (jeans or slacks aren’t great – they are heavy & not that warm)
  • Undies
  • T-shirt
  • Long sleeved (sun) shirt
  • Jumper/jacket (Fleece or pullover)
  • Shorts (dry – not the wet paddling ones)
  • Rain jacket / spray jacket if it rains or there is very heavy dew (it
    can happen)

On Shore Equipment

  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping mat (you will freeze if sleeping on the ground!)
  • Camping pillow (depending on size and space). Alternatively stuff an empty dry bag with towel & clothes.
  • Tent (you can reduce this if you share a tent)
  • Tent mat/mesh (eg tarp) (for under the tent)
  • Extra tent fly (optional – useful for wet weather) (tarp may do)
  • Fuel Stove & Fuel Bottle (filled) – think about forming small food groups of 2-4 people. (?extra stove?)
  • Pot for cooking
  • Plate and cutlery
  • Mug
  • Sleep Sheet
  • Torch or head torch (and spare batteries)
  • Toilet paper and Trowel (it’s all natural out there…)
  • Camera (optional – make sure it’s sand/water proof)
  • Towel
  • Pocketknife or Leatherman
  • Lighter/Matches/flint
  • Rag/tea towel
  • Toothbrush and paste
  • Insect Repellent
  • Can opener (if you have cans)
  • Rubber bands and/or bag clips (to reseal food / rubbish bags)
  • Spare snaplock bags to reseal food.
  • Small plastic tarp.
  • Basic repair gear – start with Duct tape, a bit of shock cord, and zip ties.
  • Compass (deck and/or handheld)
  • Plastic rubbish bag – all junk comes back with us. Maybe put this in an *old* dry bag to reduce mess.
  • Sand pegs (optional)
  • Personal medication
  • glasses (if needed)
  • Small fold up stool (optional)
  • Small amount of money (you never know…)
  • Small notebook and pencil
  • Personal identification etc
  • Car keys…
  • contact phone numbers including emergency numbers
  • Water containers – 4L per day – combination of 2 & 3 L fruit juice containers and collapsable bladders if you have them. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket). Some of this can often be stored in the kayak behind your pedals.

Club gear

  • Sea kayak
  • Whistle
  • PFD (with pockets)
  • Spray deck/Skirt (that fits the boat and you)
  • Paddle tie
  • Bailer (made out of plastic milk container)
  • Sponge (new ones can be made from sponge in the shed).
  • Sail
  • Helmet (if surf involved)

Extra club gear for group

  • First aid kit (in drybag)
  • Vinegar (first aid)
  • Tow rope(s) – long
  • Tow rope(s) – short
  • Hand pumps
  • Spare paddle(s)
  • V sheet
  • Flares
  • Rescue stirrup
  • Paddle floats
  • Buoyancy bags
  • Paperwork
  • Camping permits
  • Weather reports

Food (suggestions – use your imagination and common sense)
Forming small food groups to share food responsibilities, transport, &
organisation can help.

  • Breakfasts
    • Long life milk cartons – sharing helps
    • Cereal/Muesli/porridge/etc
  • Lunch (use your imagination!)
    • Tuna
    • bread
    • fruit
  • Dinner – food must not go off before you get to eat it
    • Tinned food / frozen meal/takeaway (first night) / pasta sauce / long life packet food (eg some indian foods)
    • Instant mash / pasta / par cooked rice / cous cous
  • Snacks
    • fruit (eg bananas, mandarins, apples, avocados, etc)
    • trail food (nuts, sultanas, etc)
    • chocolate
    • tea/coffee/sugar/hot chocolate/soup/cordial concentrate
    • salt/pepper
    • Emergency chocolate bar
    • Sundowner snaks – something to share while the sun goes down
  • On water snacks – to keep your energy levels up or give you a boost
    • Nuts, sultanas etc
    • Muesli bars

Option extras (if you have, want, & can fit them)

  • fire-in-a-can
  • Fire lighters (if needed by cook stove)
  • cards
  • book(s)
  • personal first aid kit
  • binoculars
  • small compact hammock
  • Bottle of wine
  • camping table
  • Camera – GoPro
  • Camera mount
  • Mask (useful for some skills practice)
  • Snorkel (if option of snorkelling)
  • Small flippers (if option of snorkelling)
  • Fishing gear (bait – plastic or dried)
  • Small bait trap if more serious…
  • Glo-stick (e.g. if a bit of night paddling)

If you have them

  • Electronic equipment
    • VHF radio
    • Waterproof case (VHF radio)
    • Mobile phone
    • Waterproof case (mobile phone)
    • PLB / EPIRB
    • GPS
    • battery for bilge pump
    • Solar panel
    • USB cables (camera / Go Pro / )
    • Charger cable for VHF radio
    • 12V to USB adaptor
  • Signal mirror
  • Deckbag
  • Fishing gear
  • Water purification (eg Steripen / Lifestraw)
  • Wilderness wash
  • Small backpack

Other items that can be useful for expedition preparation (not required!)

  • Food dryer for drying food
  • Vacuum sealer – for food and also keeping things together, compressed, and/or dry
  • Permanent Marker – for labelling everything (removing packaging saves space).

Please email the webadmin if you think something else should be on here.