Kayak Safety Kit

I’d like some guidance, please, as to what people feel is the best safety kit for a kayak.Brand and/or contents please.

what type of kayak
The safety gear you need for a kayak depends on the type of kayak - whitewater kayak, touring/sea kayak, recreational kayak, sit on top kayak, etc.

Here in Quebec
(and probably in Canada I guess) we are required to carry with us at all times:

bouyant rope (at least 15 metres long)

Light signaling device (e.g.,waterproof flashlight)

Sound signalling device (e.g.,whistle)

Bailing device (e.g., plastic container).

Stores will sell you such a kit for ~$20, but you can assemble the same items yourself for less.

I would add a sharp knife and basic first aid kit

Obviously this is pretty much the minimum.

The best kit
is the kit with gear you know how to use and practice with on a regular basis.

Gear is good, but Knowledge and Practice with your Gear is what will save your butt (or someone else’s) one day.

Every type of kayaking has it’s own needs and it also depends on the types of trips and weather conditions you get out in. You probably need some gear for weather and water temps, some for self rescue, some for navigation, some for first aid, and some for the that worst case scenario.

But, I’d rather have the guy with minimal gear who knows how to use all of it than the guy who bought a kit and has no idea how to employ it.

Depends on your environment
You don’t say what sort of paddling you’ll be doing, but judging by your other post regarding fishing kayaks, I’ll assume that.

As already mentioned, basics like a bailer, signal devices, etc. are considered crucial, but there are probably some additional items you’ll want to consider.

A first-aid kit is foremost, as is the knowledge to use it. Here’s an article on how to assemble your own:


For field repairs of your kayak and other gear, you’ll want to collect a few tools and other supplies listed under “KAYAK REPAIR KIT” here:


If there’s a chance you may get stranded somewhere by weather, injury, or mechanical breakdown, a good bailout bag/survival kit–suitable to your particular environment–may save your skin:


Good luck!



If you are kayaking with a 40 lb anchor
I’d buy a really good sharp serrated blade knife and wear it on your chest where you can get to it fast.

your own abilities
If a touring or fishing yak, learn basics like self-rescue and buy what helps you do that. Add emergency clothing and shelter and medical kit. If whitewater, learn to roll and paddle with others.

get a safety anchor
never leave home without one

Safety kits are specific
I have one designed to repair my kayak.

I have one designed for an unexpected overnight stay.

I have one designed to attract attention if I get into trouble.

I have one designed to help other people who are introuble.

So first, decide on what it will be used for, then build up!

“bailing device”???
I’ve never had one and have difficulty envisioning its use. Oh but wait, I do have a bilge pump (but only in my sea kayak, not in my WW boat)! :o)