Your fav kayak accessories/ essentials?

Hi friends :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:
Newbie here :wave:t3: I’m still trying to slowly get all the gear to go along with my kayak.
I have so far: the kayak lol :sweat_smile:… sorta need that. Paddles, pfd, whistle, 2 dry bags, anchor, and a waterproof bag for my phone. I also have a track on my kayak and a slot to secure my paddle when I’m not using it on the boats side.

What kind of things do you have and swear by?! :thinking: Fav accessories, items you won’t paddle without? I’m slowly buying them to allocate the cost. I’m purchasing a kayak cart for portaging this week.

I’m more of a recreational kayaker but plan to do trips that require multiple days and camping. So a solid quick set up pop up tent is on my list too.

Please help, you guys always have the best advice :blue_heart::ocean:

Spare paddle. Hard for me to tell if your list includes a spare.

Paddle float because there are all kinds of ways to use the thing beyond self rescue.

Jacket w hood big enough to go over my PFD, keep in the day hatch to pull on in case of a weather change and to wear in a break on land if I need an additional layer.

Good VHF w weather alert - though granted this is more effective on big water

GPS, white light, foghorn, rescue stirrup, neoprene hood (I just wear it around my neck to pull it up if needed), hat w wide brim, rigging gloves, wrist paddle leash, float bags, charts, tow belt, compasses (strap on for the boat w/o a deck mounted one, always one in a PFD pocket), 3 person emergency bivy plus a rolled up emergency blanket, lots of dry bags various sizes, and if camping a big canvas bag to use to carry all the dry bags from boat to camping site. And camping stuff like a compact stove, R factor ground cover for under the tent, lightweight cookware etc.

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Water bottle - something that won’t roll around. Also a folding saw if I’m on the river.

Your outings must be very different from mine if you use an anchor.

What type or make and model kayak do you have? Is it a sit on top? Are you outfitting it for fishing? That sounds like it could be the case, since you already include an anchor…

Where do you plan to be kayaking? Those will help determine what you should have.

I have sit inside, and I like to explore by paddling, have not camped from my kayak so far. So my thoughts may not fit well with you and your plans, but here goes:

Safety and rescue gear that Celia already mentioned

A sponge comes in handy for sopping up relatively small amounts of water and cleaning the kayak at the end of the trip.

Hand operated water pump for bailing larger amounts of water

A spray skirt, if your kayak is a sit inside that is suitable for one.

Chairs for shore picnics

A small, quick dry towel

Small cooler for carrying food

My Carhartt Men’s Rugged Flex Ripstop Boonie Hat and my sunglasses always come with me

While not necessarily essential - I love my

(1) magnetic closure dry bag that I use for my cell phone. I’ve tried all manner of dry bags and boxes for my phone but this is far and away the best (compact, clear, just takes a second to open and close, foolproof in terms of getting the seal right). And I use my phone a lot: as a camera, to record notes, to use various apps but especially my iSailGPS app.

(2) my iSailGPS app. I love this app. Basically you can download high quality nautical charts for wherever you are. It’s easy to add waypoints. Overall very simple to use. It will tell you distance and bearing to your next destination. Basically it does what any full featured hand held GPS unit does and it does it easier in most instances. The only down side is that if your eyes aren’t great, the print may be too small (I carry reading glasses in a deck bag), but the graphics (charts) can be read just fine without glasses.

(3) insulated “water” bottle filled with coffee. My favorite thing while kayaking is, after a few hours…maybe half- or two-thirds through my trip…to just stop, be still, rest and observe nature while sipping coffee. Usually takes an hour or so to empty the bottle. Not only do I enjoy that time as sort of a meditative (kinda) tranquil experience, but I am usually completely rejuvenated for the rest of the trip where otherwise, my energy and enthusiasm would be flagging.

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I use a storm cagoule for this. It also fits around the coaming. I use it infrequently, but it can be crucial.

Some of the various items mentioned need to be accessible from the cockpit while out on the water or even on your pfd.

Second these questions, as it will impact the gear.

Given you talk about having a spot to strap your paddle on the side, it sounds like you are using a sit on top kayak. If so, things like a paddle float will be less useful (pretty much required for sit inside kayaks. If the kayak is a lower end and doesn’t have hatches or other access to the hollow inside of the kayak, a bilge pump also would be of less value.

If you are paddling away from places with larger boats, commercial boats, coast guard, etc., a VHF radio may also be of limited value.

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Post your credit card here and wait for the packages to arrive we know everything you need.

I’ve been buying for 12 years.

#1 VHF RADIO if you have service where you kayak

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I actually carry a storm cagoule. But the good ones cost a lot and I made do with an oversized jacket for some years.

Certainly either works. In my case, I was paddling in the rain on Prince William Sound and was definitely getting chilled. I put on my cag, warmed up, was happy, and no longer in danger. Hypothermia sucks … the heat out of your body.

Proper cag is better IMO. But for someone just getting their gear together, pricey as well. I have both my husband’s and mine, neither are leaving my possession for what they cost.

Paddle float, small knife, tow line, water bladder with hose conveniently located for drinking while sitting in cockpit. Flashlight if there is any chance of darkness while paddling (preferably head mounted).

If you have a sit-inside kayak, deck pack that you can strap in front of the cockpit to allow easy access to the items mentioned above and by others.

In case no one’s mentioned it: sunscreen. And if you’re going out where it rocks and rolls take some ginger or ginger candy to snack on. It prevents seasickness. For real. Sunburnt and seasick is no way to go through life, son. You go out to have fun and there you are miserable.

And some antacids like TUMS! When you put your torso into your stroke it can really stir up the juices. No joke.

Ok, maybe some ibuprofen for aches and pains.

And this ash tray.

And that’s all you need.