Kayaking Essentials: What Do You Need?

Kayaking Essentials: What Do You Need?

If it’s your first time going out on the water and you have no idea what you need to bring, don’t worry. Kayaking is an activity that is simple to do for a beginner, but requires a few supplies and just a bit of planning. You’ll only need a few items to make your first kayaking trip a success.

Here are 12 kayaking essentials that you’ll need before paddling to the horizon:


We think that this one is pretty self explanatory, but without it, you won’t be able to go kayaking at all. (Which would honestly be a bummer).


A paddle is the next most essential piece of equipment to bring. You’ll want to make sure you have a paddle designed specifically for kayaking; one easy way to make sure it’s a kayak paddle is to check to see if it has a blade on each side.

Personal flotation device (PFD)

No matter how experienced you are, you should never go on the water without wearing a flotation device. There are buoyancy aids developed specifically for kayakers that allow you to move freely while paddling, so there’s no excuse not to wear one.


If you’re going into an area where you’ll be traveling at high speeds or through rocky stretches of river, a helmet is essential. Most beginners won’t be in areas that require a helmet, but be sure to do your research on the area you’ll be kayaking in just to make sure you won’t need one.

Water shoes

When you climb in and out of your kayak, you may end up stepping on rocks that are sharp and can hurt your feet. Even if you’re entering your boat via a deck or sand, you don’t want your bare feet touching anything that may be lurking below if you happen to fall out. Water shoes give your feet much needed protection.


Should you need to cut anything attached to your kayak for any reason, this is how you’ll be able to do it. Keep this outside of your PFD for easy access.

Rope bag

This is the equivalent of a life preserver for kayakers. If a friend is in danger, throw over the rope bag to pull them over to safety.

Dry bag

Keeping phones, wallets, and keys dry is not something you want to worry about while on the water. The dry bag will keep all of your valuables safe.

Sprayskirt (AKA spray deck)

The sprayskirt will tie to the inside of your kayak and keep everything in your boat dry. This item isn’t necessary, but it’s a matter of preference. These are used among more experienced kayakers rather than beginners.

Float bag

These attach to your boat and will keep your kayak from sinking if you need to abandon it on the water and have to get it later.


If you’re going fishing or just want to stop and take in the views, you’ll want a kayak anchor to keep you safely in place.

BEST Marine & Outdoors has a fantastic kayak anchor that is small enough to take with you, yet sturdy enough to keep you stable against any current.

Kayak cockpit cover

When you’re done on the water for the day, you’ll want to store your kayak properly to keep it in tip top shape for your next outing.

Getting a kayak cockpit cover from BEST Marine & Outdoors is one way to protect the inside of your kayak from dirt and debris, increasing the longevity of your boat.

These items are just a sampling of the many kayaking accessories that you’ll find on the market, but with these 12 essentials, you’ll be kayaking like a pro in no time.

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