How to Outfit a Kayak

How to Outfit a Kayak
Kayaking allows for the exploration of many types of marine environments. With a kayak you can tour the coast, explore lakes and rivers, and camp for a few days or weeks depending on your boat and ability. Or, you can spend the afternoon paddling around the lake down the street in the park. Properly equipping your kayak for your trips will add both to your pleasure and safety.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Deck Bag
  • Paddle leash
  • Paddle float
  • Hand pump
  • Sponge
  • PFD
Step 1
Choose a deck bag that will allow you to easily access items that you will need for both comfort and safety. A good deck bag is water proof, and will attach easily but firmly to the deck. Some deck bags also have external pockets for further storage.
Step 2
Attach the paddle leash to the paddle. Paddle leashes keep the paddle attached to the kayak, and in case of an upset it will keep your paddle from being lost.
Step 3
Store the paddle float where it is easily, and rapidly accessible. Paddle floats slide on the blade of a paddle and provide stability for re-entering the kayak.
Step 4
Secure a hand pump (or bilge pump) to either the deck straps, or in the cockpit. This pump will fairly rapidly pump excess water out of the interior of the boat.
Step 5
Wear your PFD, (personal flotation device). While some states merely require that it be carried on board, they are of no use at all if not worn. Many different styles are available, and this is an item that is best tried on before purchasing.

Tips & Warnings

These are basics for paddling, there are many other items that can be added depending on the type and duration of trips.
Always wear a PFD.
Always have a float plan.


Article Written By Andy McVeigh

Andy McVeigh lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is an avid outdoors enthusiast who enjoys paddling, biking, hiking, backpacking, camping, scuba diving and photography. McVeigh is a graduate of Northern Arizona University and is currently working on his MBA.

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