Buying a kayak is just the first step. If you’re looking to plan a successful kayaking trip, you’ve also got to have the right equipment.
Just like you wouldn’t go out in a canoe without a paddle, you shouldn’t plan a kayak trip of any length without making sure you have the best equipment and accessories. It could be the difference between a trip full of positive memories and a very soggy, irritated drive home.
So what are the best kayak accessories to have? Read on to find out what every kayaker should take with them on their next trip.
1. Personal Floatation Device (PFD)
Safety should always be everyone’s number one concern. Whether you’re a veteran kayaker or just starting out, you should always take your personal safety seriously.
Having and wearing a personal floatation device (PFD) could quite literally save your life in a dangerous situation. Rough waters can get the best of even strong swimmers.
Buy a life vest or two that are breathable and adjustable, so that they both fit well and are comfortable. Then be sure to actually wear it!
2. Dry Bags
When you go on a kayaking trip, odds are you’re going to want to take several things that you’d prefer to keep dry. It doesn’t matter if it’s potato chips, a change of clothes, or a GPS watch — you probably don’t want it to get wet.
Instead of leaving it to chance, bring a dry bag with you to keep the important things safe. A grocery bag from your kitchen cabinet isn’t going to cut it.
A dry bag is specially engineered from the fabric to the seams to make sure it stays airtight. No matter how rough the rapids get, you can be confident that whatever you put in there will still be dry once you reach land.
3. Waterproof Phone Case
These days, leaving our phones behind on land doesn’t seem to make much sense. However, no one wants to accidentally drop their phone into the river.
If you want to keep your phone dry (or if you just want to have some additional peace of mind), you can also get a waterproof case just for your phone. There are cases specially made for water sports that include rubber liners, pressurized seals, and more.
4. Seat Backs
Comfort is an important factor during kayak trips that last for days or hours. It’s no secret that standard kayak seats can get uncomfortable after an extended amount of time.
If you know you’re planning on spending a lot of quality time in your new kayak, consider buying some seat backs. You’ll have a backrest to relax on still waters and additional cushioning to help make the seat more comfortable.
Seat backs that are made for kayaks will have heavy duty clips to keep them in place and ventilation to help keep you cool on warm days.
Planning on doing a lot of fishing in your kayak? It’s practically impossible to steer with a paddle while also paying attention to your fishing line. In that case, a rudder will be one of your kayak must-haves.
A rudder creates easy steering so that you can focus on reeling in some prize fish. If you’re not very confident when it comes to modifying your kayak, you can find one that comes with an easy mounting kit.
6. Kayak Anchor
Speaking of fishing, natural currents can slowly move your kayak away from where you want to be — even if the water looks still on the surface.
To stay still while using your kayak, you want to get a kayak anchor. This will keep your kayak in place while you’re fishing or jumping in for a quick swim.
Be sure to buy one that’s resistant to rust and corrosion. It’s also smart to find an anchor that’s heavy enough without taking up too much space in your kayak.
If you’re new to kayaking, you might be a little worried about tipping it over.
Kayak accessories like the dry bag and life vest will help to make sure that accidentally tipping your kayak is just a funny story and not a disaster. Getting an outrigger will help to stop you from tipping in the first place.
With an outrigger, you can stand and stretch your legs without worrying about tipping over. It stabilizes the kayak to prevent it from tipping too much to one side.
8. Throw Bag
Let’s say that you’re kayaking with someone else and the kayak tips over. Sure, they might be wearing a life vest, but what if the current is slowly taking them away from the kayak?
In that case, a throw bag comes in handy. You can secure it to your kayak and throw out long lengths of rope to help pull someone back to safety. Having this equipment with you is a safety precaution that everyone should take, regardless of skill.
9. Bilge Pump
Sometimes the worst happens no matter how prepared you are. If your kayak starts to take on water, you need to have a way to control the situation long enough to get yourself to safety.
A bilge pump will help remove water from your kayak quickly. Powerful bilge pumps can remove gallons of water in just one minute, while still being small and lightweight enough to throw in your bag.
10. Kayak Cart
Finally, you need a simple way to get your kayak to and from the water. Kayaks can be deceptively heavy, and you probably won’t be able to just drag it on your own.
Instead, get a kayak cart that can be easily assembled and broken down without any tools. It will let you roll your kayak in and out of the water so that transport is easier than ever.
Find More Of The Best Kayak Accessories
These are ten of the most important accessories you should have on a kayak trip. Both beginners and experienced kayakers should make sure to have these with them when they’re out on the water.
Looking for even more of the best kayak accessories? You’ve come to the right place. Check out some of our past reviews to find the gear that’s perfect for your needs.