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Equipment List for Whitewater Kayaking

The below lists should serve as a guide for potential personal and paddling gear for club White Water kayaking trips. Changes may need to be made depending on the duration, distance and difficulty of an individual trip.

Please keep in mind the temperature at the time of the year the trip is being held, the weather conditions and your comfort level. As a rule of thumb, gear should be light, compact and small as white water kayaks have limited space (around 50-60L in the stern). Make sure any items you bring are robust and unlikely to break or be damaged during paddling.

This suggested Equipment list can also be adapted for use on a club Surf Trip.


Personal/On-Water Items

  • 1L Water Bottle (Bladder is acceptable but not advised)
    • Water purification tablets or drops
  • Snacks and or lunch/meals depending on the duration of the trip
  • Dry bags for on-water gear (there are no dry hatches in the WW boats)
    • Substitute dry bags with thick garbage bags
  • Personal First Aid Kit
  • Car Keys & ID (Stored in a waterproof container)
  • Waterproof camera and mounts
  • Sunscreen (& Bug repellent)
Personal Paddling Clothing (On-Water)
  • Water shoes, wetsuit boots, or similar shoes. Must be closed soled and fit well. (Check you fit in your boat when wearing them)
  • Cag or spray jacket (something synthetic / nylon that will stop wind.)
  • Warm top, preferably thermal or woollen - that you can paddle in / get wet.
  • Paddling shorts eg wetsuit shorts or boardshorts
  • Swimming togs
  • waterproof watch
  • Sunglasses (with strap if possible) & maybe a spare pair
  • Sun shirt - with long sleeves (for warm conditions when Cag or Spray Jacket is too hot) (e.g. a rashie) Avoid cotton if you can.
  • Paddle gloves
Personal/Off-Water Items
  • Phone
  • PLB/Spot or similar device
  • Dry sandals or shoes
  • Hat
  • Socks - warm
  • Beanie
  • Dry thermal top and bottom (not the one you got wet during the day!) or something to keep warm
  • Long Pants - track, cotton, or synthetic pants - (jeans or slacks aren't great - they are heavy & not that warm)
  • Undies
  • T-shirt
  • Long sleeved (sun) shirt
  • Jumper/jacket (Fleece or pullover)
  • Shorts (dry - not the wet paddling ones)
  • Rain jacket / spray jacket if it rains or there is very heavy dew (it can happen)
On Shore Equipment
  • Personal medication
  • Glasses (if needed)
  • Small amount of money (you never know...)
  • Small notebook and pencil
  • Personal identification etc
  • Car keys...
  • Contact phone numbers including emergency numbers
Cooking Equipment
  • Fuel Stove & Fuel Bottle (filled) - think about forming small food groups of 2-4 people.
  • Pot for cooking
  • Plate and cutlery
  • Mug
Club gear
  • White Water kayak
  • Paddle
  • Whistle
  • PFD (with pockets)
  • Spray deck/Skirt (that fits the boat and you)
  • Pin-kit
  • Throw-bags
  • Tow-lines
  • Break-down paddle
  • Stern float bags
  • Helmet
  • Repair Kits
Extra club gear for group
  • Paperwork
  • Camping permits
  • Weather reports
Food (suggestions - use your imagination and common sense)
Forming small food groups to share food responsibilities, transport, & organisation can help.
  • Breakfasts
    • Powdered milk
    • Cereal/Muesli/porridge/etc
  • Lunch (use your imagination!)
    • Tuna
    • Bread
    • Fruit
  • Dinner - food must not go off before you get to eat it
    • Tinned food / frozen meal/takeaway (first night) / pasta sauce / long life packet food (eg some indian foods)
    • Instant mash / pasta / par cooked rice / cous cous
  • Snacks
    • Fruit (eg bananas, mandarins, apples, avocados, etc)
    • Trail food (nuts, sultanas, etc)
    • Chocolate
    • Tea/coffee/sugar/hot chocolate/soup/cordial concentrate
    • Salt/pepper
    • Emergency chocolate bar
    • Sundowner snaks - something to share while the sun goes down
  • On water snacks - to keep your energy levels up or give you a boost
    • Nuts, sultanas etc
    • Muesli bars