When heading off on your watery paddles it’s very easy to miss some of those essential items you’ll need. And depending on the length/type of jaunt you’re considering a few other bits and bobs may need to thrown into the mix.

With the above in mind Sitons has put together a kit checklist to help your kayak adventure planning go a little smoother.

Short journeys

Short paddle sojourns could be anything from a few hours at your local put in to lengthier scoops. As sit on top kayaks are primed for stowing gear there’s no excuse to not have the correct kit with you.

Spare paddle – a lifeline if your regular ‘engine’ should break. Especially when far from shore or lacking means of assistance.

VHF/mobile phone – as with above this could prove a lifesaver in the event of emergency. If you’re going to carry a VHF then it’s wise to know how to operate it correctly. This may sound simple but it’s worth considering a VHF course. Courses provide essential info and certification as evidence you have relevant VHF knowledge.

Dry bag – a decent dry bag is a must for any aspiring touring paddler. Maybe multiple. An efficient means of keeping belongings dry and carrying a decent amount there are plenty on the market. Check out the versions we’ve reviewed in our kit section – https://www.sitons.com/gear/accessories/

Water bottle – as with dry bags there are loads of different water bottles available. Some are plastic while others are metallic. Some are proper ‘tech’ in design while others are simple liquid carriers. Whatever type you plump for it should be able to withstand abuse from the elements.

Sun screen, hat and sunnies – these items are fairly obvious. Especially if it’s a bright and/or hot day/period.

Extra warm, dry layers – there’s no accounting for Mother Nature who can change her mood in a heartbeat. Having spare, dry and warm clothes is a way to keep enjoyment levels high even in the event of adverse weather moving in.

Long journeys

If you’re considering a longer journey then it’d be wise to plan accordingly. The above will be needed for routes covering distance as well as shorter paddles, but you’ll need to add a bit more kit to yoru list. For overnight stops or multiple day excursions you’ll be looking to carry food, water and other supplies. Having the correct boat for loading up will be a good place to start planning. Too small a kayak with too low a weight carrying capacity might not be applicable for the job in hand.

Sleeping bag – a decent, hard wearing sleeping bag will be essential for longer tours. Being able to store this efficiently should also be given due consideration. A large dry bag could work. Or stowing inside the boat’s hull via hatch could be a winner.

Cooking apparatus – you’ll need something to cook food with. A campfire in certain places may work but not everywhere allows wild fires. You should therefore be looking at a camping stove that will store neatly in a dry bag or inside the hull of your kayak. Be careful if carrying camping gas though.

Food – it’s sounds obvious but heading off with a fresh T-Bone steak for din dins may not be the best course of action when kayak touring. Dried pasta, rice and cereals would be a better bet as they’ll be easier to manage and provide much needed fuel. It might also be worth taking a bunch of energy bars to keep you going between meals.

Water – essential whatever you’re going to be doing. Carting lots of water about might not be easy when kayaking though. Water can be weighty and increase the load on your boat considerably. You can buy water purifiers from most good camping shops which may be an easier and more efficient way of getting your H2O quota. Have a scan online to see what you can find and best prices.

The above list is in no way conclusive. Each individual kayak touring mission will require its own set of essentials. If you’re new to paddle journeying, however, then this list may serve as a good starting point for your ongoing adventures. Let us know what else you’d add.