Canoeing and Kayaking
The hardest part is done in choosing the right kayak, but a few important
items are still needed for paddling. Most touring kayaks will come outfitted
with a rudder, deck rigging, bulkheads, seat, etc.
A paddle is the next necessary item. There are many makes and models
that are used for different applications. Contact a paddle manufacturer
and they will describe a paddle best suited for your size and the type
of paddling you are doing.
Kayaks are classified under the small craft laws and are subject to
Coast Guard regulations (see Canadian Coast Guard or U.S. Coast Guard regulations for small boat safety). Generally,
you must have the following on board a kayak: a life jacket (or Personal
Floatation Device), a spare paddle, a throw line (15m of 9mm floating
rope), a pump or bailing device, and a whistle or signaling device.
These items are for your safety and are required by law. In addition,
a paddle float/self rescue system (and the knowledge and practice to
use it) can be a lifesaver.
Other accessories to make paddling more comfortable may include some
of the following: dry bags for gear storage, compass, sails, and all
kinds of paddling clothing from wetsuits and dry suits, sun/rain hats
to paddling footwear, etc. Good paddling!
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