Kayak Safety Gear

When you are kayaking, it is important to have the proper safety gear. This will help keep you safe while you are on the water. There are many different pieces of safety gear that you may need, depending on the type of kayaking that you are doing. In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of kayak safety gear and what each one is used for. Stay safe out there!

Safe Kayaking

There are a few things to keep in mind when kayaking to ensure a safe and fun trip. First, be sure to check the weather forecast before heading out. If thunderstorms are expected, it’s best to stay off the water.

Second, always wear a life jacket while kayaking. Even if you’re a strong swimmer, life jackets provide critical flotation and protection in the event of an accident.

Third, be aware of your surroundings at all times. This means paying attention to other boats and paddlers around you, as well as any obstacles in the water.

And finally, always let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to return before setting out on a kayaking trip. By following these simple safety tips, you can ensure a fun and safe kayaking experience for everyone involved.

List of kayak safety equipment

Life jacket

One of the most important pieces of gear for kayaking is a life jacket. PFDs (personal floatation devices) come in many shapes and sizes, but they all have one purpose: to keep you afloat if you capsize. There are many different types of life jackets on the market, but not all of them are ideal for kayaking. Some life jackets are too bulky and can make it difficult to paddle, while others don’t provide enough flotation.

When choosing a life jacket for kayaking, look for one that is comfortable to wear, allows full range of motion, and provides ample flotation. Many kayakers prefer inflatable life jackets because they are relatively lightweight and can be packed down small.


A helmet is an essential piece of safety gear for kayakers. It protects your head from impact in the event of a collision or fall, and can also help keep you warm in cold weather. There are many different types and styles of helmets available, so it’s important to choose one that fits well and is comfortable to wear. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a kayaking helmet:

  • Fit: Make sure the helmet fits snugly on your head without being too tight. It should sit level on your head, and the straps should be adjusted so that the helmet doesn’t move around when you’re paddling.
  • Ventilation: Kayaking can be strenuous, so it’s important to choose a helmet that has good ventilation to keep you cool.
  • Visibility: Choose a helmet that is bright and visible in order to be seen by other kayakers and boaters.
  • Straps: The straps on your helmet should be adjustable so that you can get a snug, comfortable fit.
  • Materials: Helmets are usually made from plastic, foam, or composite materials. Some helmets have a hard outer shell with a softer inner liner for impact protection.

Spray skirt

A spray skirt is a piece of fabric that attaches to the cockpit of your kayak and helps keep water from getting inside. Spray skirts come in many different sizes and styles, so it is important to find one that fits your kayak properly. Sit-in kayaks need spray skirts because they have a cockpit that you sit in. Sit-on-top kayaks usually do not need spray skirts because they do not have a cockpit. Inflatable kayaks also usually do not need spray skirts because they are made of inflatable material.

But finding a good kayaking skirt can be a challenge. They’re often expensive, and they can be difficult to find in the right size.

But there’s an easy solution: make your own spray-on skirt! With a little bit of elastic and some spray adhesive, you can make your own spray-on skirt that will fit any kayak. And best of all, it’s easy to do and doesn’t require any sewing!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Elastic (1/2 inch wide)
  • Spray adhesive
  • Scissors

To make your skirt, start by measuring the circumference of your kayak. Then, cut a piece of elastic that is twice as long as the circumference of your kayak. Next, spray adhesive on one side of the elastic, and then attach it to the kayak. Start at the front of the kayak and work your way around, making sure to smooth out any wrinkles as you go. Once you’ve attached the entire piece of elastic, trim off any excess.

Now you have a custom-fit spray-on skirt for your kayak! This skirt will keep you dry and comfortable while you’re out on the water, and it’s easy to make and doesn’t require any sewing.


A paddle for kayaking is a device used to propel a kayak. It is usually a pole with a blade at one end and is operated with two hands, one on each side of the kayak.

There are many different types of paddles for kayaking, but they all serve the same purpose: to move the kayak through the water. The most common type of paddle is the straight shaft paddle, which has a blade at each end. Other types of paddles include the bent shaft paddle, which has a blade at only one end, and the double-bladed paddle, which has two blades, one on each side of the shaft.

Paddles are made from a variety of materials, including wood, plastic, aluminum, and fiberglass. Some paddles are also made with a combination of two or more materials.

The length of a paddle depends on the height of the kayaker and the width of the kayak. Paddles range in length from 2 feet (0.6 meters) to 6 feet (1.8 meters). The most common lengths are 4 feet (1.2 meters) and 5 feet (1.5 meters).

The blade of a paddle is usually about 9 inches (23 centimeters) wide and 18 inches (46 centimeters) long. The shape of the blade varies depending on the type of paddle, but all blades have a curved leading edge to help reduce drag as the paddle moves through the water.

When paddling, the arms should be kept close to the body and the hands should grip the paddle in such a way that the blades are perpendicular to the water. The blade should enter the water at a slight angle so that it doesn’t dive straight down and create a splash.

Paddle leash

This is a device that helps to keep your kayak paddle from getting lost in the event that you capsize or fall out of your kayak.

There are many different designs and styles of kayaking paddle leashes available on the market, so it is important to choose one that is comfortable and easy to use. Some leashes are designed to be worn around your wrist, while others are designed to be attached to your paddle.

If you are going to be paddling in rough waters, it is important to choose a leash that is durable and can withstand the elements. There are also some leashes that come with a built-in whistle, which can be helpful if you need to attract attention in an emergency situation.

Bilge pump

A bilge pump is a crucial piece of kayaking gear. It helps to remove water from the kayak’s hull, keeping it dry and preventing it from capsizing. There are two main types of bilge pumps: manual and electric.

Manual bilge pumps are operated by hand, using a handle or a crank. They are less expensive than electric bilge pumps but require more effort to use. Electric bilge pumps are powered by batteries and are therefore more expensive. However, they are much easier to use and can be operated with the push of a button.

Bilge pumps are an essential piece of kayaking gear, and can help to keep you safe on the water. Be sure to choose the right type of pump for your needs, and practice using it before heading out on your next kayaking adventure.


A whistle is a small, handheld device that makes a loud noise when you blow into it. Whistles are an important piece of safety gear for kayakers because they can help you signal for help if you get in trouble on the water.

First aid kit

A first aid kit is an essential piece of gear for any kayaker. Here are some tips on what to include in your kit:

  • Bandages and wound dressings: For minor cuts and scrapes, bandages and wound dressings will suffice. Make sure to pack a variety of sizes and types, including adhesive bandages, gauze pads, and medical tape.
  • Pain relief medication: For pain relief, pack over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. You may also want to pack prescription pain medication if you have it.
  • Antihistamines: If you’re allergic to bees or other insects, make sure to pack antihistamines in your kit.
  • Epinephrine: If you’re allergic to bees or other insects and don’t have access to an EpiPen, make sure to pack epinephrine in your kit.
  • Antiseptic wipes: To clean minor cuts and scrapes, antiseptic wipes are a must.
  • Tweezers: Tweezers can be used to remove splinters or ticks.
  • Safety pins: Safety pins can be used to secure bandages.
  • Scissors: A small pair of scissors can be used to cut bandages or tape.
  • Flashlight: A flashlight can be used to signal for help or to illuminate a dark area.
  • First aid manual: A first aid manual can be a helpful reference in case of an emergency.
  • Personal items: Don’t forget to pack any personal items you may need, such as glasses or contact lenses, special medications, and identification.

Towing rope/tow strap

If you enjoy kayaking, then you know how important it is to have the right equipment. A tow rope or tow strap can be a lifesaver if you find yourself in a difficult situation. It is always best to be prepared and have a tow rope or tow strap with you when you go kayaking.

A tow rope or tow strap can be used for many different things. If you are stuck in a slow-moving river, a tow rope can help you get to shore. If your kayak flips over, a tow rope can help you get back into your kayak. If you are separated from your group, a tow rope can help you reunite. There are many uses for a tow rope or tow strap, so it is important to have one with you when you go kayaking.

When choosing a tow rope or tow strap, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

  1. The first is the length of the rope. You want to make sure the rope is long enough to reach from your kayak to shore or to another kayak.
  2. The second thing to consider is the weight limit of the rope. You want to make sure the rope can support the weight of your kayak and any gear you have with you.
  3. The third thing to consider is the type of material the rope is made from. Nylon ropes are strong and durable, but they can be difficult to untie when wet. Polypropylene ropes are easier to untie when wet, but they are not as strong as nylon ropes.

No matter what type of tow rope or tow strap you choose, make sure you have one with you when you go kayaking. A tow rope or tow strap can be a lifesaver in many different situations.

Lighting devices

There are a few factors to consider when choosing lighting devices for kayaking. The first is the type of kayaking you will be doing. If you are only going to be paddling during the daytime, then you won’t need any special lighting devices. However, if you plan on kayaking at night or in low-light conditions, then you will need some kind of lighting to help you see where you are going.

The second factor to consider is the size of your kayak. If you have a small kayak, then you won’t need as powerful of lights as someone with a larger kayak. The third factor is the type of water you will be kayaking in. If you are only going to be in calm waters, then you won’t need as bright of lights as someone who is going to be kayaking in whitewater.

The fourth and final factor to consider is your budget. There are a wide variety of lighting devices available, and the price can range from very affordable to quite expensive. Once you have considered all of these factors, you should be able to narrow down your choices and find the best lighting devices for your needs.

Backup paddle

If you’re an avid kayaker, then you know that having a backup paddle is essential. Whether you’re out on the water for recreation or competition, a paddle failure can mean disaster. That’s why it’s important to have a reliable backup paddle on hand at all times.

There are many different types of backup paddles available on the market, so it’s important to choose one that suits your needs. For instance, some paddles are designed for use in whitewater conditions, while others are better suited for flatwater kayaking. You’ll also want to consider the weight and size of the paddle, as well as its overall durability.

When choosing a backup paddle, it’s important to select one from a reputable brand. This will ensure that you’re getting a quality product that will stand up to the rigors of kayaking. Additionally, it’s a good idea to read online reviews before making your purchase. This way, you can get an idea of what other kayakers think of the paddle you’re considering.

Water and snacks

  1. Water is essential for any kayaking trip, especially in hot weather. Make sure to bring plenty of water for everyone in your group.
  2. Snacks are also important, especially if you’re planning on being out all day. Bring some easy-to-eat snacks that will give you energy and keep you going.
  3. Finally, don’t forget the sunscreen! It’s easy to get sunburned when you’re out on the water, so make sure to apply sunscreen liberally and often.

How to signal for help while kayaking

If you find yourself in trouble while kayaking, it is important to know how to signal for help. There are a few different ways that you can do this:

  1. Use a whistle: A loud whistle can be heard from far away and can be a great way to get someone’s attention.
  2. Wave your arms: Waving your arms is another way to get someone’s attention from a distance.
  3. Send up a flare: If you have a flare gun, firing off a flare is a very effective way to signal for help.
  4. Use a mirror: A bright sunny day can reflect light well off of a mirror, and grab attention from afar.
  5. Safety Lights and strobes: At night or in low-light conditions, these can be used to signal for help. Be sure to practice these methods before you go kayaking so that you are prepared in case of an emergency.

Final words

Kayaking is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise. However, it’s important to be prepared before heading out on the water. Make sure you have all the essential kayaking gear with you before setting off. And remember, safety comes first! So always paddle with a partner and let someone know where you’re going. Have fun and stay safe! Happy kayaking!