Planning a long journey in a kayak needs to be carefully thought out. You may think that your trip will be a leisurely paddle along a sedate river and therefore may not consider taking along some essential kayak accessories.
From experience I can tell you that you should always plan for the unexpected and just because the river you are intending to paddle does not look like it could cause you any hardship, any river is potentially a dangerous place especially if you fail to pack the necessary kayak accessories that could save your life.
The most important items you will need are a life jacket or buoyancy aid, a light or torch, a good quality rope, a paddle leash, a mobile phone and last but not least a fellow paddler.
Even if you believe you are an accomplished swimmer you should never go kayaking without a life jacket or buoyancy aid as part of your kayak accessories. There are many unexpected events and obstacles that can be found on any river and being a strong swimmer will not help you if you accidentally knock yourself out by tipping over and hitting a rock or over hanging tree, but a life jacket will.
A good quality rope that floats should also be an essential item in your kayak accessories as you never know when you will need to throw a life line if you get stranded and need to be towed or pulled out of the river.
More than once I have found I have not planned my journey time correctly or have been faced with unexpected obstacles that have caused delays and as a sunny day turned quickly into night I have been glad I have brought a torch as part of my kayak accessories. Secondly a knife is an essential part of your kit bag in case you ever need to cut yourself free from falling in and getting tangled in weeds.
It is very easy to become lost on a river or estuary despite careful planning as rivers and especially tidal estuaries are forever changing. Being able to use a mobile phone to get you out of trouble is vital.
If at all possible you should always go kayaking with a friend in case of an emergency or accident. If there is someone there on the spot ready to help, it could save your life.
If you are considering camping overnight then there are many other essential kayak accessories you should consider taking with you. You must always pack your kayak carefully making sure the weight is evenly spread and your kayak accessories are not overloading the boat. Make sure you also pack a change of warm clothes and plenty of food and water.
These things are some of the essential kayak accessories you will need before you even think about items such as cameras, fishing rods, books and other non essential items.
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