Packing for your first overnight kayaking trip in the winter can be tricky. You want to make sure you have everything you need, but you also don’t want to pack too much and end up weighed down. So, here is a list of must-have items to bring to have a safe and enjoyable trip.
A few kayaking accessories are especially useful in winter. A PFD (personal flotation device) or life jacket is a must, as is a whistle for signaling for help. It’s also important to bring a bilge pump to remove water that gets into the kayak, and a paddle leash to keep your paddle from floating away.
One accessory that isn’t necessarily essential but can be beneficial is a flashlight. If you’re out on the water at night, a flashlight helps you see where you’re going and avoid obstacles. A good tactical flashlight is perfect for this purpose; it’s bright enough to see by and has other features like water and impact resistance that make it durable.
Tactical flashlights also usually have a strobe mode, which can be helpful if you need to signal for help. Some useful features to look for in the best tactical flashlights include:
- A water-resistant design
- Tough construction that withstands bumps and drops
- A long battery life
- A bright beam that can penetrate the darkness
Of course, you’ll also need to pack some gear to keep warm. A good wetsuit is essential; it will help you stay warm even if you get wet. Consider bringing a drysuit, which will keep you completely dry and even warmer.
When choosing winter gear, consider the water conditions you’ll be kayaking in. For instance, research whether the current or winds are strong and prepare accordingly.
A Change of Clothes
Even if you’re not planning on getting wet, it’s always a good idea to bring a change of clothes. Then, if you get wet, you’ll be glad to have something dry to change into. And if the weather changes unexpectedly, it’s always good to have an extra layer or two.
Just remember to pack light; you don’t want to be weighed down with too much gear. If you’re unsure what to bring, focus on the functionality of each item.
Dry bags are essential for keeping your things dry, whether you’re kayaking in the summer or winter.
When choosing a dry bag, consider the material it is made from. A good dry bag is waterproof and made from durable materials, like Cordura or PVC. It’s also important to consider the bag’s size; you’ll want one big enough to fit all your belongings.
Finally, check the seal on the bag. A good dry bag will have a watertight seal that keeps your belongings safe and dry.
Besides the kayaking accessories and winter gear mentioned above, there are a few other safety items it’s good to have on hand. A first-aid kit is always a good idea, as is a flare gun or distress signal. You should also bring a map and compass that you know how to use.
Other helpful safety gear items to pack include a backup paddle, float bags, a multipurpose tool, and a tow belt. In case your kayak is lost, it’s useful to attach an “If found” waterproof sticker to it.
With these items, you’ll be prepared for anything on your overnight kayaking trip in the winter. Just remember to pack light and only bring what you really need. With a bit of planning, you can have a safe and enjoyable trip.