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Kayaking: What To Wear and Bring

IMR Kayaking - What To Wear and Bring

Kayaking is a versatile outdoor activity that comes with a variety of experiences — looking for serenity? Go tread around in a tranquil body of water for a meditative affair; otherwise, if you’d prefer to have a little more adventure, there’s more than enough room on the ocean.

If you’ve been scouring the internet on what to bring and how to dress on a kayak trip, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled everything you need in an easy-to-read guide.

What To Wear on a Kayak Trip

During a kayak trip, it’s essential to know what to wear for kayaking to avoid getting temperature whiplash when the water gets too cold or the air gets too heated.

What To Wear in Mild Weather

  • Tops: A rash guard with a trustworthy Ultraviolet Protection Factor is sufficient protection from the sun. Moreover, they’re comfortable to wear thanks to their elasticity, so you can wear them underneath additional layers for added protection.
  • Bottoms: Quick-drying clothes, like board shorts and some pants, are recommended; however, avoid thick fabrics and cotton as they are strongly advised against due to their absorbent qualities.
  • Underwear: Anything comfortable is fine as long as it isn’t too thick or made of cotton. Many people prefer to wear swimsuits. Men can wear swimming trunks, and women can wear their sports bras.
  • Mid-Layer: If wet and dry suits aren’t necessary for the location, you can still consider bringing a jacket. A fleece jacket would suffice. If you do not have one, you can bring a synthetic mid-layer to keep you warm.
  • Outer Layer: Waterproof and breathable jackets, such as windbreakers, are beneficial in cases of unexpected rain. Paddling jackets are a great option because they are designed with gaskets on the wrists and neck to ensure that no water enters and reaches your mid-layer.
  • Footwear: When considering what shoes to wear during kayaking, those made of neoprene are recommended due to being lightweight, waterproof, and temperature-flexible.
  • Accessories: Headwear and sunglasses aren’t necessary, but they are nice to have. Life jackets and flotation devices, however, are essential in case you fall off your kayak. If you are wearing eyeglasses, you can bring an eyewear retainer to ensure they won’t get lost.

What To Wear in Cold Weather

Cold weather means cold water. Once the temperature goes below 70-degrees Fahrenheit, a wetsuit or a dry suit should be worn.

  • Wetsuit: Wetsuits are required once the water temperature drops to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. They are made of neoprene, allowing them to trap a thin layer of water that gets warmed by the body to prevent losing heat while submerged in cold waters.
  • Dry Suit: For colder temperatures, wearing a dry suit is the minimum requirement to protect you from hypothermia and other risk factors when submerged in freezing cold waters.
    It is essential to do preliminary research on the water temperature of your kayaking destination, so you know the appropriate clothing to wear.

What To Bring on a Kayak Trip

Besides wearing the appropriate clothing, you also need to consider what things to take for kayaking. Some of the essentials you need to have when kayaking are:

  • Personal Flotation Device: Personal flotation devices or buoyancy aids, such as life jackets, are required when doing activities in the water. You always run the risk of falling off your kayak, so it is advisable to always wear a life jacket.
  • First Aid Kit: Accidents sometimes happen. Bringing a first aid kit with you is one way to prepare for these unwanted scenarios.
  • Waterproof Bag: Because kayaks sometimes capsize, it is essential that you bring a waterproof bag where you can store your belongings, such as phones, extra clothes, food, etc.
  • Food and Potable Water: When kayaking, two of the last things you would want to happen are losing energy and getting dehydrated. Food and potable water can come in handy in cases where you unexpectedly need to stay outdoors longer than expected.
  • Throw Bag: Throw bags can be used during emergencies when you or someone with you needs to be pulled and rescued.
  • Sunscreen: To avoid getting sunburned, bring sunscreen with a sufficient SPF level to protect you from harmful UV rays.
  • Whistle and Flares: In case someone gets lost, you can use whistles and flares to communicate. These can come in handy, especially when there is no cell phone signal.
  • Other Essential Tools (e.g. Swiss Knife, GPS, Watch): You can also bring other essentials with you. If you think you’ll need them, there’s no harm in bringing them.

Now that you know what to bring for kayaking, all that’s left to do is prepare yourself for the adventure that awaits you.

Get Ready For an Adventure

Kayaking is one of the most fun activities you can do in the water, but you have to make sure you’re well-prepared. With our clothing guide and list of things to bring, you’ll be ready with everything you need for your trip!

If ever you need a kayak, you can rent them from us at Island Marine Rentals. We also offer paddle boards, bicycles, scooters, and boat rental services in Madeira Beach, FL. Contact us now if you have any inquiries or questions.

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