Kayaking Gear List: Everything You Need to Start Kayaking

Kayaking can be relaxing, adventurous, dry or wet depending on your interest. I've compiled a list of gear that you will need for kayaking and a list of gear that you may want.  Like all sports, there is equipment that you need to have when kayaking to keep you safe.

Kayaking Gear Photo by Michelle Eady

Mandatory Kayak Gear

PFD (life jacket)

Recreational Kayaking Gear

Kayak (sit on top kayaks are popular for recreational kayaking and getting a good tan)
PFD (life jacket)

Whitewater Kayaking Gear

Whitewater kayak: Creek Boats, River runners or Play Boats
PFD (whitewater specific life jacket)
Nose Plugs (optional)
Ear Plugs (optional)
Water Shoes
Throw Bag

Kayak Photo by Michelle Eady

Sea Kayaking Gear

Sea Kayak/Touring Kayak
PFD (life jacket)
Water Shoes

Kayak Fishing Gear

Fishing Kayak
PFD (life jacket)
Water shoes
Fishing Rod
Fishing license

river kayaking Photo by Michelle Eady

The type of clothing you will wear kayaking will depend on the type of kayaking you're doing.  If you are recreational kayaking on a hot sunny day than all you would need is a swim suit and some sunscreen.  But if you are kayaking before it's even Spring because you just can't wait to get out on the water than you need a whole different wardrobe.  Thus the hot and cold clothing lists...

Warm Weather Paddling                                                 

Splash top

Cold Weather Paddling

Under layers (I love Columbia's OmniHeat Underlayers)
Dry Suit
Dry Top
Dry Pants
Wet Suit
Skull Cap
Kayak Mittens

Now I like to call this the want list because there are things that you don't need but that you may want.

Kayaking Want List

Go Pro
Water proof camera
Dry Bag

Kayaking Gear List Photo by Yurii Kuzmin

It may seem expensive to get all the gear to start kayaking, but once you have the mandatory gear it's free. Some of the best things in life are free, like nature so go outside and get your feet wet.

For more help selecting kayaking gear, visit our Kayaking Buying Guide.
posted by
Michelle Eady
Blogger at Living on Life
Michelle is a Canadian girl who is addicted to whitewater, rock and s'mores. Her love for the outdoors involves a passion for extreme sports as well as trying to live an ecofriendly lifestyle. She loves to travel, climb and kayak. Check out her blog: Living on Life
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