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Four Things a Kayaker Should Have On Board

By Michael W Gibson

Kayaking is a fun and simple activity that can keep you close to nature. It is also a great way to get a workout. Like other forms of wilderness travel, kayaking requires a certain amount of preparedness.

Part of this preparedness is knowing what to take with you.

Aside from water, food and your life jacket (state law), four items you might want to consider carrying along on your kayak excursion include:

GPS

If you’re paddling down rivers or on small lakes, you may not need a GPS. However, if you’re on a large body of water and planning on paddling over the visible horizon, GPS is a requirement. GPS units are also great for swampy areas where you’re buried under a canopy of cypress and tupelo.

Waterproof Containers

There’s always a need to keep the dry stuff dry when you’re out on the water. Cell phones, cameras and many other items don’t mix well with water. Waterproof containers are a must when kayaking. They come in all shapes and sizes, from flexible rubber deck bags to hard plastic cases sealed with o-rings.

Anchor

Although it may sound absurd, they do make tiny anchors specifically for kayaks, and they can come in really handy. When you’ve paddled hard for hours against the current or wind, it’s nice to be able to drop anchor and take a break without worrying about drifting back the way you came.

Towel

Just because you don’t capsize doesn’t mean you won’t get wet. On a windy day, the spray alone is enough to leave you damp at best and drenched at worst. Don’t forget to bring a towel along. You can store it in one of your waterproof containers.

A kayak trip is so much better when you know what to bring along. Anticipate what you want to do, what could happen, and pack accordingly. Having the right gear can mean the difference between an exhilarating experience and pure misery.

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