other stuff needed to get started

I do not mean to sound stupid but i am new and just trying to learn a little about this. Other than a paddle, life vest and a kayak or canoe what do you need to look at having when you plan on going for a short paddle on a pond or lake? Might sound funny that you do not know but if you have not done this before then you might forget simple little things.

…paddle w/retaining strap /boat/ life vest( thats rated for your weight),hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, whistle ( so u dont’ get run over by power boaters or u get in trouble ie: boat flipping over !), a pr. of lite gloves maybe to avoid blisters, water, compass if the water is big enuf, dress to get wet, appropiate non-binding clothing, maybe bug juice if needed. water can be the worst place for insects. pretty basic stuff.

Flask of Tea… : )

Check to see
what your state requires. Usually just the things you already listed, something to bail with and something to signal with (like a whistle). It’s also good have something for hydration purposes (water, Gatorade etc.).

Seems like it’s pretty well covered , so
… I’ll just add , something to eat , a snack , a sandwich etc. …

Oh yeah , if you like fishin , don’t forget the rod and reel , ha !!!

When you’re paddling in small bodies of water, in warm water, with warm air, and calm weather; all you need is the basic required equipment. The need for gear in big water, possibly large waves, strong currents, and cold water and air calls for appropriate gear and paddler skills. Start by reading some books on kayaking and take some courses taught by certified instructors.

If you’ll be paddling a canoe, get a comfortable kneeling pad. The best contol of the canoe will be from a kneeling stance and a good kneeling pad will mean the diference between comfort and agony.

Marc Ornstein

Dogpaddle Canoe Works

Custom paddles and cedar strip canoes

Or get one with a seat and be really

Something simple but

– Last Updated: Aug-27-08 9:42 PM EST –

...very useful is a sponge.

I "never" go without one. You will find this simple item can make a wonderful item to carry and use to remove water and mud. On trips I always take extras and still only end up going home with one.

Cheapest ones are the 4 x 7 sold in grocery stores.

If you are anywhere aroung Atlanta/Cumming area give me a call at 404-545-6633 and I'll be happy to paddle with you.

Paddlin' on

My 2 cents
Ronny: The wonderful thing about paddling is that you have the opportunity to spend vast sums of money on boats and gear especially if you are a gear nut like me. I like Storm whistles because they are LOUD. Keep it on your life jacket where I can be easily reached and put in your mouth. Buy a nice dry bag to put the stuff in. Attach the bag to the boat. A good quality headlight is also a good thing to have. Not every trip ends before it gets dark, even it that wasn’t the plan to start with.

This is a list I posted elsewhere…
for some paddlers going on a group paddle. As you begin in the sport, you will not have everything listed. Add items as you go further afield, paddle longer, and expose yourself to more adverse conditions.


I use a Goretex suit (bib overalls & parka) when the weather requires it

Otherwise Nylon jacket and pants (quick dry)

Mukluks (waterproof neoprene boots - knee high)

Sealskin Gloves or Neoprene Gloves (waterproof)

Synthetic fiber Toque (quick dry) a Toque is a highly versatile soft hat which can be folded up to skull cap size or extended and pulled down to cover ears - adjustable for weather/body heat conditions.

Shirt and other garments should be quick drying type like Hydrophobic Polyester (quick dry)

Stay clear of cotton as much as possible.

Safety equipment:

Emergency Kit(s) in dry bag(s) w/ extra clothes and shoes, first aid kit, tarp for shelter, space blanket, waterproof matches, rain poncho, kindling or fire starter, towel, water purification, etc.

Signal Whistle


Bilge Pump and Bilge Sponge

Paddle Float and Rescue Sling

Light Source (I keep hand crank flashlight and deck mount light in deck bag)

Utility Knife or Multi Tool

Paddle Leash

Throw Bag

Spare Paddle

Cell Phone for emergency communication in a Waterproof Case

Other Things To Consider:

When in doubt - wear your PFD even on the “little waters” where things like current, rocks and strainers are quick to change and come up on you fast - especially if you don’t know the area

Always bring extra food in a dry bag - my trips often go longer than planned and you don’t want to run out of energy when you still have a long way to paddle - if all my food is gone when I take-out, something went wrong

Always bring extra water or Gatorade - ditto as above

(Note on extra food/water: in mountain biking I learned to eat before I was hungry and drink before I was thirsty. If you are exercising heavily while dehydrated and hungry your body will start to shut down certain processes to save energy. Mt bikers call this Bonking. If you bonk, you will have to rest, eat and rehydrate before you can exert yourself again. You will be “out of commission” for quite awhile.)

Most of these items see little use but any kayaker should have this equipment (at a minimum) if he/she ever solo paddles anything larger than a duck pond.

I second the idea from above posts about reading books/watching videos to learn more about kayaking, gear and techniques.

Ask the people at your local paddle shop (staff and customers) what they use.

When I was starting out I found this book to be very helpful and clearly written:

“The Complete Sea Kayaker’s Handbook” by Shelly Johnson.

A good place to start.

My humble opinion,


Tilley Hat
is required in some states now. :wink:

For a short trip, just need a few basics:

Paddle, drink, hat, sunscreen/bug spray.

Dry clothes and towel in vehicle.

No need to carry a suitcase full of crap.


If your going to get a kayak…
add to your list a pump.

If it’s a canoe, add a sponge.

Let us know what boat you are thinking of getting and welcome to the club!



A knife
that will attach to your pfd. If you ever get tangled in ropes or roots or weeds you could die! I never paddle without a knife.

A trailer to put all that crap in !

For a quick day paddle, pfd boat and paddle are all you really need.

A hat and/or sunglasses are a good idea. Typically I have binoculares and a tiny anchor I made. The anchor is for when I find something interesting to look at through the binoculares.

I keep a whistle and sharp serrated knife in the pocket of all my pfd’s so anyone who uses them is equipped.

Better to have it and not need it…

– Last Updated: Aug-28-08 10:09 AM EST –

than to need it and not have it.

Hopefully every outing goes as planned and the weather is filled with calm breezes, warm sunshine and twittering birds.

That has not been my experience. But then again, that is why I love kayaking. The chance to be adventurous.

Build your experience AND gear up in stages that match.

P.S.: All that crap is fit into one rolltop bag which stays in rear hatch and one deck bag. Spare paddle on rear deck.

P.P.S: many of these items are Coast Guard requirements. Don't get caught on the open water with only a Tilly's hat, a knife and a smile. I imagine the fines and penalties are very prohibitive.

It’s a short paddle on a pond or lake. Go have fun and bring water if it’s hot.

An audible signaling device
(whistle) is required in most states.A PFD in all of them.

I found a duffel bag…
(about 20"x10") with a bunch of side pockets, bungee webbing on the top, & water bottle on the side that I keep all the little doodads secure in. Just grab it and go. Clip it to the canoe thwart in case you flip so you don’t loose all that junk. I picked up a plastic clip type fish stringer that I clip all sorts of gear to. Easier to retrieve if/when you dump. Don’t forget a good length of rope and sunscreen.


Short paddle on pond or lake…
is a GATEWAY DRUG that sucks you ever deeper into the seedy world of paddle sports.