Essentials for a Touring Kayak

Essentials for a Touring KayakWhen preparing for a kayaking trip, it is important to have the essential gear and equipment. While some items, like a kayak and paddle, may seem obvious, there are other items that are specific to touring kayaks. Touring kayaks are designed for longer trips and require additional storage and safety considerations. It is important to have the necessary gear to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience on the water.

Safety Equipment for a Touring Kayak

When embarking on a touring kayak trip, having the appropriate safety equipment is crucial for a safe and enjoyable experience on the water. Here are the essential safety gear items you should have:

1. Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)

A PFD is a must-have item for any kayaker, especially for touring trips. PFDs are designed to keep you afloat in case of an accident or emergency. Make sure to choose a PFD that fits well, is comfortable to wear, and is approved by the appropriate authorities. It’s also important to wear your PFD at all times while on the water.

2. Bilge Pump

A bilge pump is used to remove water from the cockpit of your kayak. This is particularly important for touring kayaks, as they often have larger cockpit areas and are more likely to take on water. A bilge pump can help you stay dry and maintain stability while paddling.

3. Whistle

A whistle is an essential signaling device that can alert others to your presence on the water. It’s important to have a loud whistle that can be easily heard and recognized by other boaters. In case of an emergency or if you need assistance, a whistle can be a valuable tool for attracting attention.

Remember, safety should always be a top priority when kayaking. Having the right safety equipment, such as PFDs, bilge pumps, and whistles, can help ensure a safe and secure kayaking trip.

Safety Equipment Importance
Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) Essential for staying afloat in case of an emergency.
Bilge Pump Used to remove water from the cockpit, ensuring a dry and stable kayak.
Whistle A signaling device to attract attention and alert others to your presence on the water.

Having these safety items on board will provide you with peace of mind and help you navigate any potential challenges that may arise during your touring kayak adventure.

Gear for Keeping Dry in a Touring Kayak

When embarking on a touring kayak trip, it is crucial to have the right gear to keep yourself and your belongings dry. This section will cover the essential items you need to ensure a dry and comfortable experience on the water.

Dry Bags

Dry bags are a must-have for any touring kayaker. These waterproof bags are designed to keep your belongings safe and dry, even in the wettest conditions. They come in various sizes and styles, allowing you to choose the best one to suit your needs. Whether you need to store clothing, gear, or food, dry bags provide an extra layer of protection against water.

Kayak Hatches

Kayak hatches are another important feature for keeping your gear dry. These compartments are built into the kayak and are designed to be water-resistant. However, it’s worth noting that they are not entirely waterproof. To provide additional protection, it is recommended to use dry bags inside the hatches. This will ensure that even if water does make its way into the kayak, your belongings will remain dry and secure.

Paddle-Specific Gear

In addition to dry bags and kayak hatches, there are other paddle-specific gear items that can help keep you dry. A spray skirt is one such item. It is a flexible cover that fits around the cockpit of the kayak, preventing water from entering the cockpit and keeping you dry. Another important gear item is durable footwear. When launching and landing your kayak, you may encounter different terrains, including wet and slippery surfaces. Having proper footwear will not only keep your feet dry but also provide traction and stability.

Essential Gear for Keeping Dry in a Touring Kayak
Dry Bags Waterproof bags to keep belongings dry.
Kayak Hatches Water-resistant compartments built into the kayak.
Paddle-Specific Gear Includes spray skirt and durable footwear.

Clothing and Accessories for Touring Kayak

When embarking on a touring kayak trip, it is crucial to have the right clothing and accessories for a comfortable and safe experience. The clothing you choose should be suitable for the weather and water conditions you will be encountering. In warm conditions, lightweight layers with UPF ratings can provide protection from the sun, while in colder conditions, wetsuits or drysuits are recommended to keep you warm and dry. It’s important to have appropriate footwear that is durable and provides good traction for walking on different terrains and launching and landing your kayak.

Having the right gear for your hands can also enhance your kayaking experience. Gloves can provide both comfort and protection, especially in cool conditions or when handling rough paddle strokes. Additionally, consider using a spray skirt to prevent water from entering the cockpit and to offer additional storage options. A spray skirt can help keep you dry in rough water conditions and protect your gear from splashes and waves.

To summarize, when selecting clothing and accessories for touring kayak trips, consider the weather and water conditions you will encounter. Choose appropriate clothing that provides protection from the elements, such as lightweight layers with UPF ratings for sun protection and wetsuits or drysuits for colder conditions. Durable footwear with good traction is essential for different terrains. Gloves can enhance comfort and protection, while a spray skirt can keep you dry and provide additional storage options. By having the right clothing and accessories, you can ensure a comfortable and safe kayaking experience.

Tips and Techniques for Touring Kayak

When embarking on a touring kayak adventure, there are several important tips and techniques to keep in mind to enhance your experience. From proper kayak maintenance to selecting the right paddle, these tips will ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip.

Kayak Maintenance

Maintaining your kayak is essential for its longevity and performance. Regularly inspect the hull for any cracks or damage, and repair them promptly. To protect your kayak from the sun’s harmful UV rays, apply a protectant spray. This will also make it easier to access the kayak hatches. Additionally, check the fittings and fastenings to ensure they are secure before each trip.

Paddle Selection

Choosing the right paddle is crucial for efficient paddling and reducing strain on your arms and shoulders. Consider factors such as your height, paddling style, and the type of water you’ll be kayaking in. The paddle should be the correct length, have an appropriate blade design, and be made from lightweight materials. Trying out different paddles before making a decision can help you find the most comfortable and efficient option.

Load Balance

Properly balancing the load in your kayak is crucial for stability and efficient tracking. Distribute the weight evenly between the front and back of the kayak, ensuring that heavier items are placed closer to the kayak’s center. Pack your gear in dry bags to keep them organized and secure. Experiment with different load configurations to find the best balance for your kayak.

Spray Skirts, Gloves, and Footwear

Using a spray skirt can help keep you dry and offer additional storage options. Choose a spray skirt that fits your kayak’s cockpit size and provides a secure seal. Gloves are important for protecting your hands from blisters and cold water, especially in cooler conditions. Opt for gloves that provide a good grip while still allowing dexterity. Finally, choose durable footwear that offers traction and protection when launching and landing your kayak on various terrains.

Tips and Techniques Description
Kayak Maintenance Maintain your kayak by regularly inspecting for damage, applying protectant spray, and checking fittings and fastenings.
Paddle Selection Choose the right paddle based on your height, paddling style, and the type of water you’ll be kayaking in.
Load Balance Distribute the weight evenly in your kayak and pack gear in dry bags for proper load balance.
Spray Skirts, Gloves, and Footwear Use a spray skirt to keep dry, wear gloves for hand protection, and choose durable footwear for launching and landing.

Camping Gear for Touring Kayak

When planning a touring kayak adventure, it’s essential to have the right camping gear to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable overnight experience. Proper equipment will provide shelter, warmth, and the ability to prepare meals. Here is a checklist of essential camping gear for touring kayaking trips:


A high-quality tent is crucial for providing shelter and protection from the elements. Look for a tent with a tent fly, built-in flooring, and bug screens to ensure maximum comfort and safety during your camping experience.

Sleeping Bag

A suitable sleeping bag is essential for a good night’s sleep. Choose a three-season sleeping bag that is rated for colder temperatures, ensuring that you stay warm and comfortable throughout the night. Additionally, consider using a sleeping pad for insulation and added comfort.

Camping Stove

A camping stove allows you to prepare meals and enjoy hot drinks while on your touring kayak trip. Look for a lightweight and portable stove that is easy to use and fuel-efficient. Don’t forget to bring cookware and utensils for cooking and eating your meals.

Essential Camping Gear for Touring Kayak Description
Tent A high-quality tent with a tent fly, built-in flooring, and bug screens for shelter and protection.
Sleeping Bag A three-season sleeping bag rated for colder temperatures to ensure a comfortable night’s sleep.
Camping Stove A lightweight and portable stove for meal preparation and enjoying hot drinks.

With this camping gear checklist, you’ll be well-prepared for your touring kayak trip. Remember to pack all the necessary equipment to ensure a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience.


In conclusion, when planning a touring kayak trip, it is essential to have the right gear and equipment to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Remember to include the necessary safety equipment, such as personal flotation devices, bilge pumps, and whistles. These items are crucial for your protection on the water.

Additionally, gear for keeping dry, such as dry bags and spray skirts, will help protect your belongings from water damage. Don’t forget to select appropriate clothing and accessories, like wetsuits or drysuits, gloves, and durable footwear, to stay comfortable and protected during your trip.

Furthermore, for overnight trips, having the appropriate camping gear is vital. Consider packing a suitable tent, sleeping bag, and camping stove to ensure a comfortable camping experience. With the right essentials in place, you can embark on a successful touring kayak adventure.

Touring Kayak Gear Checklist

  • Personal flotation device (PFD)
  • Bilge pump
  • Whistle
  • Dry bags
  • Spray skirt
  • Wetsuit or drysuit
  • Durable footwear
  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Camping stove

By following this gear checklist and ensuring you have all the essentials, you can have a successful touring kayak trip with peace of mind and be prepared for any situation that may arise.

Richard Dodds
Latest posts by Richard Dodds (see all)

Leave a Comment