Different Pieces of Kayak Equipment to Buy

Kayaking has long been a favored outdoor water sport of many people. It is a truly amazing sport that affords its participants with such benefits as continuous exercise while paddling, exposure to the open waters and the great outdoors, and a healthy means of reducing the stress of our everyday hectic lives.

In order to completely appreciate the skillful art of kayaking, however, it is imperative that kayakers of all ages purchase the appropriate kayaking equipment. There are truly a number of items and accessories that are required when kayaking including:

1. Personal Floatation Device (PFD) - Also known as a life jacket, the PFD is the most important item that you should must purchase for kayaking. Adults must have a PFD in the boat at all times. In some states, wearing your PFD is required by law and if you are kayaking with your children, then be sure they have their life jackets on at all times. When purchasing your PFD you simply want to be certain to buy one that fits properly and is not too small or too large. There are no recommendations on the price to spend on your PFD. The prices are pretty standard.

2. Paddle - Obviously you have an immediate need to purchase a paddle. Besides the kayak itself, the paddle is the most important piece of equipment needed. When purchasing your paddle you typically want to look for a lightweight paddle with an efficient blade, and one that has a correct length apportioned appropriately to your size and the size of your kayak. An efficient blade is one that is slightly cup shaped so as to catch the water while you are paddling. You can purchase a paddle made of either plastic of fiberglass. However, if you plan on paddling for long periods of time and on rougher waters, then it would be more sensible to purchase a paddle with a fiberglass blade. Paddles come in a wide range of prices from $20 all the way up to $300. It is not necessary to spend large sums of money on a paddle unless you plan on kayaking multiple times throughout the week in rough waters, then surely a more expensive paddle would be your best bet.

3. Paddle Leashes and Floats - A paddle float will protect your kayak from sinking should you roll the kayak or run into any other dangerous conditions on the water. Paddle leashes are cords or cables that wrap around the cuff of your paddle on one end, and are attached to either yourself or your kayak on the other end, and are used to keep your paddle from getting away or falling out of the kayak. There is no need to purchase overly expensive leashes or paddles since they all perform the same acts at the same levels. Just be sure that the material is highly durable and reliable.

4. Dry Bags - Dry bags were designed and developed for the sole purpose of keeping all your other items and pieces of gear dry during your kayaking adventure. These bags are available in a variety of styles and sizes, and are made of a variety of materials as well. Created especially for such items as cameras, cell phones, and even food and drinks, these dry bags provide a secure place to store all your extra items and keep them from getting wet. In addition, larger dry bags can be used for bringing along an extra change of clothing, footwear and a towel should your kayak see rough waters and require a change of clothing. When you purchase your dry bags, depending on what items you want to store in them, purchasing the appropriate sized bags needs to be given consideration as well as bags that are sturdy enough and large enough to hold your items. It is not necessary at all to spend a lot of money on the bags and should you not be in a position to buy them at all, zip lock bags of all sizes will serve the same purpose.

5. Survival Kit - As is the case with any outdoor adventure, it makes perfect sense to carry a survival kit with you when kayaking. Your kit should include items that will insure your survival in the wild if need be. Since unsuspecting things happen in life all the time, and there is the dangerous possibility of drowning or hypothermia when kayaking, having a properly stocked survival kit on hand is the only way to go. Common items to include in your survival kit are a compass, an emergency whistle, a first aid kit, salt, throw rope, multi tool, extra water bottle, a bailing sponge, water purification pills, waterproof matches of a lighter to start a fire, a rain coat or poncho, a blanket, insect repellant, toilet paper, chemical handwarmers, and a a survival candle. When choosing your survival kit you want to be certain that the kit is strong and durable and will be able to accommodate all the necessary items. A good survival kit should cost you in the range of $50 to $100.

6. A Throw Rope - It's always good to have a throw rope on hand in case you need to throw the rope out to someone in an emergency situation. A rope that measures about 25 feet long and is strong enough to be able to pull someone out of the water to safety is all that is needed. Rope is very inexpensive, so your decision will be based on your individual needs and pocket book. Throw ropes are typically very inexpensive.

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