This is a selection of items that changes constantly and every individuals kit is a personal choice made up from items that are relative to their days afloat but a few of the ‘regulars’ that I take out include;
If your gear is not secured to the kayak you can expect to lose it at some stage. There are all sorts of leashes that are commercially available or, if you are feeling inventive, they are easy to make.
A couple of knives are very useful to have. Keep at least one of them on your person. Leashes and anchor ropes can get caught in places where you don’t want them to and if you become ensnared the only quick method of release is to cut the lines. Better to lose a bit of gear than lose your life.
You are in a whole world of trouble if your paddle breaks and you don’t have a spare.
A very good idea to carry one just in case your kayak starts taking on water. The small handheld ones will suffice but I am considering rigging an electric bilge pump to the inside of my hull. More on that later.
It is important for anybody who spends a lot of the time on the water to wear sunscreen. Especially me, being blessed with typically pale, Irish skin. I have been known to suffer from the effects of the sun as early in the year as March! Everybody that partakes in water sports should apply sunscreen liberally. The reflection of the sun on the water can intensify the effects of the sun’s rays and double its effect, even on duller days. In the short term, sunburn is extremely uncomfortable, in the long term it can be literally life threatening – don’t take risks. Wear sunscreen and a wide brimmed hat is also a sensible idea. Sometimes I add sunglasses and a Buff style face mask, just to be sure.
Water and Food
I always carry water and some high energy release foods. Kayak fishing is quite a labour intensive activity and being properly hydrated and fed keeps the energy levels up and makes for a more enjoyable time. I just bring plain water and Fig Rolls are a good source of quick, on the go energy.
A small petrol stove is a great addition to your kit, especially during the cooler months. There is a lot to be said for being able to pull up the kayak to brew a hot drink. It can be the difference between staying out all day or going home early, cold and miserable. The stove I use is a small Coleman Dual Fuel Sportster. It runs on petrol and operates well all year round, unlike the stoves that run on butane/propane mixes where very cold temperatures affect the flow of gas, exactly when you need the heat the most! A stove is useless without a brew kit and mine contains a small cup, a few tea bags, a bit of powdered milk and a small camping kettle.