Kayaking Essentials: What You Need To Get Started?

Kayaking Essentials: What You Need To Get Started?

If you’re new to kayaking and have no idea what gear or equipment you’ll need to get started, don’t worry, we got you covered. The best part about kayaking is that it’s a simple activity and is relatively easy for a beginner to learn. With a few supplies and just a bit of planning, you’ll be fully prepared and ready to go in no time.

Here are a few essentials that you’ll need before you start paddling to the horizon:


We think this one is pretty self-explanatory, but without it, you won’t be able to go kayaking at all. If you haven’t purchased a kayak yet, it’s important to understand the different types of kayaks.

Touring kayaks are long and narrow and are typically made for ocean kayaking or long distance paddling.

Recreational kayaks are shorter and wider and are made for easy trips on ponds, lakes and rivers.

Fishing kayaks are wide and stable and designed to carry lots of gear.

Whitewater kayaks are small and short and made for fast strokes and quick decisions.

If you’re not sure what type of kayak you’ll need, it’s best to speak to a professional. Many times people purchase discount kayaks for cheap money and regret their decision in the future.



Here’s another obvious one, a paddle. You ever try kayaking without a paddle? It’s not easy.

When it comes to being on the water, having the right kayak paddle can also be the difference between a beautiful afternoon and a grueling chore. But how do you know which one is the best for you?

Check out our article called “How To Choose A Kayak Paddle” to learn what type of paddle is best for you.

We recommend the BEST Marine & Outdoors Carbon Fiber Paddle

Personal Flotation Device (PFD)

No matter how experienced you are, you should never go on kayaking without a personal flotation device (life jacket). There are many different styles made specifically for kayakers, that allow you to move freely while paddling, so there’s no excuse not to wear one. Better safe than sorry.

Here’s a few of the more popular PFD’s that we recommend:

Inflatable PFDMustang Survival Corp M.I.T. 100 Manual Activation PFD

Fishing PFDNRS Chinook Mesh Back Fishing PFD

Recreational PFDOnyx Curve MOVEVENT Paddle Sports PFD

Dry Bag

A dry bag is made of rubber like material and is designed to be completely watertight. Dry bags are often used in boating and other outdoor activities where important items could get wet.

When kayaking, you’ll need a place to store your phone, wallet, keys, clothes/towels and anything else you’ll want to keep dry, and a dry bag is the ideal way to keep all of these valuables safe.

We recommend the BEST Marine & Outdoors Dry Bag


This is one of those things you might rarely use, but it’s extremely nice to have when the need arises. Should you need a screwdriver or pliers to fix something on your kayak, or a knife to cut rope or other materials, a multi-tool is how you can do it. You’ll want this readily available in case of an emergency, so it’s best to attach this to your PFD for easy access.

We recommend the LEATHERMAN Wave Plus. It’s not cheap, but it has everything you’ll need!

Safety Equipment

While on the water kayaking, nothing is more important than safety. If you’re kayaking by yourself, do you have a whistle? If someone gets cut or injured, do you have a waterproof first aid kit? If someone is in danger of drowning, do you have a rescue rope to pull them to safety?

These are all simple things that don’t cost much money and can be the difference between life or death. It’s always best to be prepared.

Additional Items

We listed the essentials, but here are a few other things you should keep in mind:

Change of clothes, toilet paper, food and water, matches or lighter, a map, an umbrella…

Also, if kayaking alone, always tell at least one person where you’re going and what time you expect to be back.

We hope you found this article helpful. With these essentials, you’ll be kayaking like a pro in no time!

Do you have anything to add to our list? We’d love to hear it in the comments below!!


Spread The Word & Pin It 😊



Disclosure: BEST Marine and Outdoors is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This means if you click on the links above and purchase an item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Blog

Top 5 Tips: Getting Started With Kayaking
Top 5 Tips: Getting Started With Kayaking

Congratulations! You’ve taken your first step into an amazing, growing community of folks who know how to have fun while connecting with wild places outdoors, socializing safely, and getting great exercise.

The number of people who own a recreational kayak since the pandemic began is now about twice what it was before – and climbing.

View full article →

Paddling to Inner Peace, Paradise…and Better Health
Paddling to Inner Peace, Paradise…and Better Health

1 Comment

I was stunned to come across a couple of numbers the other day: Nearly 50% of all adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure. Of those, almost half are not being treated for it – and that’s if they even know there’s a problem!

View full article →

Pro Tip – How to Maximize Your Kayaking Experience Every Time
Pro Tip – How to Maximize Your Kayaking Experience Every Time

Psst! Want to quickly change your life for the better with one simple habit and max out of each adventure you have on the water? Here’s a creative tip: Keep a Kayaking Trip Journal.

View full article →