Glow sticks and best practice

So we are interested in finding out from those of you that use glow sticks for night time paddling how do you use them? What color? Where do you attach them (paddle or PFD, or hat)? Do you use multiple sticks at the same time?

We are going to do a moon rise paddle Tuesday the 8th and they want us to bring glow sticks. We are also going to bring our C-Lights.

gloooooow stikz
the best use is for inter-group communication. they aren’t very visible, big picture-wise. they are good to keep in contect with each other.

top of your head/hat is best. there are some halo-style ones you can wear as a hat. the second best is on your back of PFD.

RED is not desireable, any other color is OK, I think it’s because it looks like a red running lite, tho I’ve heard green is OK. ??

keep a bright flashlight accessable on-deck to shine at any other boats (required)

have fun


Got it and thx!
Great information on the stikz! We thought we would also wear our headlamps which we can turn on and off as needed.

night time
Yup, what Steve said. We use one on our helmet, helmets are a good idea at night. If things get crazy with swimmers, boats, paddles thrashing around, it’s nice to protect the noggin. We then attach a second one to the stern toggle. By having everyone outfit the same way, it makes group contact easier, seeing their head and stern. For the required white light, we use head lamps (spelunkers lights) that can easily be turned on and pointed at other boat traffic.

What we do is similar
Tie one stick to the bow toggle with enough string so it hangs over the front out of the paddlers line of sight. As mentioned we tie one to the back of the PFD(or front for front seat in a tandem.) This way boats are visible from front or back. Use a unique color or two stick combination for the lead and sweep paddlers so everyone can tell who they are.

If this is your first night float enjoy, it’s a different world out there. Look up the Perseid Meteor shower is supposed to start but I think it’s not till Friday.



Red isnt a good color at all, it doesnt travel that well in the dark. Red light at night is really used for things like reading maps w/o being seen easily (mil application) We’ve used green when we kayaked on the Ohoopee river at night. Green is bright and its seen pretty far. Blue and yellow would be fine also I believe.

I use a green LED glowstick I picked up at walmart for the same price as a reg glowstick. It has an on/off switch.

Another Idea
Frequently, in warm weather, my wife and I pack a picnic supper, go out onto Round Valley Reservoir (in New Jersey) in the late afternoon in our touring kayaks, find a place to land and have supper while watching the sunset and the moonrise, and then paddle in the moonlight for a few hours. However, we use lights on our boats. The following is from my post of September 18 (with a couple of alterations).

My wife and I have been using Guardian lights from We use a red and a green on the bow (or a red on the bow and a green on the stern) and two white lights, one on each side behind the cockpit (where they won’t interfere with night vision). I paid approximately $12 each for these lights. People on fishing boats have told us that they had no difficulty seeing us at 500 yards on a moonlit night (on a really dark night we probably would be visible at a greater distance). These are really small lights that we clip onto our perimeter lines.

For a light that can be aimed, we use a Matrix II (if I remember correctly). Although it isn’t mentioned strongly, a red lens cap is available for this headlamp. That should help the night vision problem.

Hope this information is useful.

lots of them.
I hang a red & green over the bow from the carry-loop and a white one from the stren to duplicate stink-pots.

I alos hang one or two from my PFD in cvase of a roll.

But here are some things I found uesful.

I ignore the chem-sticks and bought some battery-operated ones. One I found at a war-surplus/camping store had a strobe switch and multiple colors. They cost the same but a) you can turn them off when you are done, b) batteries are cheaper and more ecological freindly than chem-sticks.

But kayaks are so low they are almost invisible in day, night even with lights is dangerous.

Went night paddling with some friends and they removed their glo-sticks from the boat and tied them to their terrier collars. Then when the dogs went swimming in the dark, they were easy to find.

I also drilled a hole in the stern deck over some foam block, took a metal tube from a broken tent pole, covered one end with tape, filled the drilled hole with hot-melt glue and shoved the pole-sleeve in flush.

Then i slid a bicycle flag-pole into the sleeve and taped a white glo-stick to the pole near the flag.

THAT is high enough to be seen at a distance (day or night) and keeps the group together.

And finally, I shoved a really bright Mag-light (the 3-D-Cell one) in my boat pointing to the bow and it lit the entire front of the boat up. Made it impossible to miss.

I’ll bet your mates just love looking…
over at you in the middle of the night! ; )