Extra paddle, bilge pump, sling, dry bags, maps, water, food, sponge, hat, eyeglass strap, whistle, foot protections, bug spray, sunscreen, first aid kit and location of equipment.

This is a grab bag list of other niceties, some important - some less so.  Let's look at each one individually:

  • Extra Paddle - On creeking trips, I highly recomnmend a breakdown paddle.  The four part variety can fit in any kayak - even play boats. 
  • Bilge Pump - If you are paddling in a coastal environment and have fore and aft flotation, a bildge pump is a very wise precaution
  • Sling - These days. I prefer a rescue vest along with a guide belt. 
  • Dry Bags - Come in very handy for carrying lunch and other insundries.
  • Maps - May be quite vital on long coastal trips.
  • Water - Always essential.
  • Food - Always essential as well.  On day trips, I go the Clif Bar route.
  • Sponge - Nice to have but not really essential, especially on river trips.
  • Hat - My helmet suffices as a substitute.
  • Eyeglass Strap - I prefer contact lenses.  If you wear glasses, use Croakies.
  • Whistle - A very essential safety item.
  • Foot Protections - Wear proper footwear, don't paddle barefoot.
  • Bug Spray - Comes in handy on extended trips up North or in some coastal environments.
  • Sunscreen - Quite valuable year round.
  • First Aid Kit - Vital piece of group safety gear.

Packing a kayak takes some thought.  Make certain you secure your gear, prepare for a swim.  Don't use excess cord though as that may snag a limb should you come out of your boat.  I also inflate my floatation to help ensure the load doesn't shift.  Regarding dry bags, I prefer Pelican Boxes as they provide crush protection and really are dry (the nick name for dry bags is damp bags).