What to bring on a sea trip

If you're going sea kayaking for the day, there are some things that you really can't do without. The list below is intended as a minimum kit list for those taking part in BCC led trips on the sea. You need to make sure that you either bring it yourself, or arrange for someone else to bring it for you. Members can borrow a sea kayak, paddle, deck, buoyancy aid and helmet from the club. See arrangements for borrowing kit below.

  • Sea kayak
  • Sea paddle
  • Spray deck
  • Kayaking helmet
  • Buoyancy aid
  • Kayaking cagoule (even on a hot day)
  • Wetsuit (or drysuit and thermal undergarments)
  • Footwear - comfortable in the kayak, but suitable for walking on shore (over rocks) too
  • Warm hat / sun hut (as appropriate)
  • Sun screen (even in early spring and autumn)
  • Sunglasses with retaining strap
  • Snack to eat on the move (eg. flapjack, chocolate bar, banana)
  • Lunch and hot drink (for longer meets, especially over lunchtime)
  • Personal medication, if required
  • Small waterproof box or bag for keys / wallet etc.
  • Full, dry change of clothes and footwear

For one-way paddles (shuttles) particularly, it's advisable to bring a dry bag large enough to take your dry clothes and to put them in the kayak with you. Otherwise it might be a long wait in wet kit to get back to your car! There are many other items that it's good to carry too, depending on your level, ability and the type of trip that you're undertaking, however the above is a good starting point.

If you're paddling in cold weather, especially in winter, you should bring an extra layer (even if you don't wear it), and gloves or pogies. You must ensure that you have sufficient warm clothing with you both for use whilst paddling, but also in the event that you are stopped for lunch or a more extended period. Do not rely on other people to provide you with clothing, lunch or other equipment without making a prior arrangement with them.

To book club equipment please write details of the kit, date required, and your name, on the white board in the basement store.  As a minimum include the boat number on the board.  Do check that the boat fits you and if fully sea-worthy by checking thoroughly.  The best check is to paddle on the river but failing that visual inspection of the hull, check grab handles (toggles either end), deck lines, hatch covers (fit them to ensure they look water tight), and skeg (check it functions correctly).  Ensure the spray deck you want to use fits the cockpit.

When returning kit after use to the club please ensure that it is washed down with freshwater from the hose outside the club.  Also ensure that hatch covers are removed and stored in the boats.  Hang other kits in their correct locations in the store so that others can quickly find the correct sizes etc.

Final word on trip etiquette.  If someone has offered to take your kayak for you, please try to bring securing straps for your boat.  These straps are easily purchased at any hardware store.  A short bit of pipe lagging over the roof rack helps to protect the boat if no more formal harness is available.

Please note that if you do not have suitable and complete equipment you will not be permitted to paddle with the club group.

Updated 9 Sep 22
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