What to Bring Kayaking: A Checklist of Essentials

Featured image by Surf Gear Ltd

Ready for a kayaking adventure ? Rent a kayak with 321Boat !

Want to know how you should prepare to start kayaking? No worries! We listed the essential equipment you can take when kayaking: a few useful items that will also make your kayaking experience more enjoyable!


Because you want this day on the river to be a fun day, don’t forget to to pack everything you need. 321Boat is here to help, down below some essential elements to have on your list.



Thanks to 321Boat , when you decide to go in kayaking trip, you don’t have to bother bringing your own kayak ! You can just rent it and when you are done, it is our job to wash it, do the maintenance, the storage, to fix it if needed. You don’t have to have a special equipment on your car roof or some space dedicated in your garage.

You can choose between our single or tandem kayaks depending on what you want to do.

Tandem characteristics

A great way to bond on a kayak

When you use a tandem kayak, you have two people paddling. You then have to keep in mind the movements of the other person as you paddle, so it can be quite difficult to get used to at first.

But going out in tandem is a great way to bond. Learning to work together while spending time is a great bonding experience.

Better for beginners

If you are both beginners, it may be best to take a tandem kayak. This will allow one of you to take a short break if you get tired of paddling. If you really want to stay afloat, tandem kayaks are stabler than single ones, so you won’t tip over easily.

Single kayak


Solo kayaking offers one thing above all else: freedom. On a kayak, you can paddle as you want, when you want and for as long as you want. You have total control of the kayak without having to coordinate with your partner. 

Drama free trip

There is a potential drama involved with a tandem kayak : if you and your partner have strong characters or some relationships issues, they will show up on the tandem kayak as you need to be as coordinated as possible. If you are not sure and absolutely want a quiet and easy ride, choose single kayak.

It is up to you now!


Here is a list of personal items that you will absolutely need for your trip.


With an average of 240 sunny days, Florida is well known for being “the sunshine state”. Think Heat, Sun and …Sunburn! Wear a pair of shorts to be comfortable, or a swimsuit if you plan on having a little swim.  A T-shirt will be even better if it has an anti-UV protection or bring a quick drying clothing. You will also need sun protection so don’t forget to bring  hat and sunscreen.

Having shoes like water sandals for walking in the water can be nice.

During our famous 3 weeks of winter, you can bring dry clothes in a dry bag, or a rain jacket, if there are weather conditions like cold conditions or wet weather conditions.


An essential gear even when kayaking

Even if a kayak trip is meant to discover nature, or to spend this day on an island sunbathing or reading, your teenagers might not agree with that : important personal items for them are cell phones . Bringing cell phones might be a necessary bait to content those wild creatures, but you will want them to stay dry…

How to protect your electronics

You can put everything in a waterproof case or a dry bag which is water resistant to protect the phone. The main advantage of the canister is the protection against shocks in addition to the protection against splashing or falling in the water.

If you have particularly sensitive equipment (tablet, camera), you can put it in a waterproof dry bag and then put it in the can to protect them even better . No more risk of shock or water ingress! Dry bags are flexible, slide easily inside the kayak and are easier to carry out of the water thanks to their lightness and the straps that make them up. 

Then, you can attach your phone to your life jacket via the cord so you don’t risk losing it. To you the beautiful photos and the publications on your social networks!

 You can also put them in a backpack or use the straps on the kayak or the hatches provided for this purpose. If your kayak does not have one, lock the canister or dry bags in the front or back of the boat… and have a good trip on the water!


For a short paddling trip

Bring drinking water (2 quarts/person). For a sporty outing, pack some fast food such as cereal bars or fruit pastes. For a leisurely trip, you can take a picnic, as the weight capacity of the kayak will not be a determining factor.

For longers trips

If you decide to on a picnic on one of the many islands we have on the river, you can pack :

– A gas stove 

– A kettle 

– A large fork and spoon

– multi-purpose knife with pliers 

– Food or canned goods that are water resistant so safe to eat if they fall into the water

Adding a few more items like snacks is always a good idea!


Tempting to go alone on your kayak. If the conditions are good and all the parameters are favorable, why not?

On the other hand, a trip with family or friends is more about making intense memories than about covering the miles!


If your goal is to go kayak fishing, here are some informations.

To fish in Florida,  you  should need fishing gear and a fishing permit, unless you benefit of an exemption, for example if you are less than 16, more than 65 or if you use live bait.

Wondering how to get a license?

Getting a license or permit to engage in outdoor activities in Florida is quick and easy. Licenses and permits are available:

·       Online at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com

·       In person at a license agent or tax collector’s office

·       By calling toll-free 888-FISH-FLORIDA (888-347-4356) or 888-HUNT-FLORIDA (888-486-8356)

·       Through the Fish|Hunt FL App on Apple and Android devices

The kayak will provide you with a great workout and time to relax in nature, but it is also important to remember safety is first!


Safety is the main focus for all kayakers. If you carry all the necessary safety gear with you, you’ll significantly reduce your risk of being in the water. The PFD is a personal flotation device that requires the use of several things that must also keep your body protected.


We will provide life jacket for every member of your party, but if you have your own stuff, feel free to bring it.

Some prefer a buoyancy aid than a life jacket. A buoyancy aid resembles a life jacket but allows greater mobility of your shoulders and arms. It will help you move your arms quite a bit during kayaking.

Even stronger swimmers should carry a buoyancy aid or a life jacket because the water is unpredictable.


In front of you, the blue sky, the sun and calm water. But what will it be like in a few hours? When kayaking, it is essential to know the weather, and not only to check if it will be sunny or cloudy. Remember, Florida is the lightning capital of the United States based on strikes per square kilometer.


 At 321Boat, we have an app that can track you and make you feel safe everywhere you go. You will see the distance you made, the closest public bathrooms on the river, points of interest and so on. But the most important thing is that we will know where you are and we will be able to get to you quickly if needed.


Kayaking is a great way to stay in shape and get some exercise, but it’s also a lot of fun. So don’t forget to bring your sporting spirit and enjoy your time on the water!


 Every well executed paddle stroke works the muscles in your arms and shoulders, which quickly gain strength and power.

But in the process, other parts of your body benefit from the exercise:      

– your abs get a special workout every time you heel and turn;     

– your abs, back, legs and glutes also work to maintain your posture as you paddle;     

– Your cardio and aerobic abilities develop: the continuous movement of the paddle challenges your heart and improves your heart health. 

You’re in shape, but want to get a little more out of your reserves? Work out in splits! Paddle vigorously for 1 minute, then resume a more moderate pace for 2 or 3 minutes. Then do it again!

Yes, kayaking is also a great way to burn calories and tone your core muscles.



Kayaking has other advantages if you want to tap into your reserves without putting your body through the trauma that jogging can cause, for example. This makes it a more suitable activity if you have weak knees or hips. 

On the other hand, kayaking is an excellent complementary activity if you are an all-terrain athlete, especially if you already do a lot of lower body work by running or cycling. 

With the return of the warm weather or after a convalescence, getting back into sports requires a good dose of motivation. Don’t feel like running between the exhaust pipes or pedaling in a gym? Come for a kayaking trip.


Kayaking can once again make the difference in your fitness.

And it is just more than just fitness in many ways:

– you do endurance sports without realizing it, along the water, your senses awake;

– you enjoy nature, take a breath of fresh air and fill up on vitamin D under the sun

– you relax in contact with inspiring landscapes, with a listening fauna;

And in just 2 strokes of the paddle, you’ll be smiling again, and in good shape!


Remember to always stay safe while kayaking by checking the weather and being aware of your surroundings. Thanks to 321Boat, you can rent a kayak and have all of the necessary safety equipment without having to worry about storage or maintenance. Short or extended trips, for fun or to exercice, solo or tandem, get out there and enjoy the water!

Ready to plan your next trip ? Call 321Boat for next adventure on the river .

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