If you’re gearing up for a kayaking trip, it’s important to have the gear needed for the occasion. While a kayak and a paddle are basic requirements, you can bolster your trip and feel like a pro with these kayaking essentials.

Polarized Sunglasses

Regular sunglasses are great, but to make the most out of your trip, get a pair of polarized sunglasses. They will make the reflection of the bright sun on the water much more bearable. They will also allow you to fully appreciate your surroundings with minimal eye strain, both above and below the water’s surface.

Water Resistant Sunscreen

While it should be common knowledge that sunscreen is important to have any time you are in the sun, having water resistant sunscreen will make your trip that much nicer. Regular sunscreen easily comes off just by entering and exiting the kayak – especially on the feet and ankles. Make sure you take it with you on your trip as well. You will more often than not need to reapply while you’re on the water.

Water Shoes

When entering and exiting the water barefoot, it is easy to hurt yourself on a variety of objects that can be found at launch and exit locations (think broken glass, clam shells, coral, just to name a few). Ease your mind and keep your feet safe with a pair of water shoes. It will also make it much easier on slippery surfaces when entering and exiting your kayak.

Dry Bag

If you have items that you want to keep dry, like extra clothes or your lunch, a dry bag is a must-have. In addition to keeping your items dry, they also float.  They come in a variety of sizes and are fairly cheap.

Waterproof Case

Going along with a dry bag, a waterproof case is great for items like your keys and cellphone to clip to your kayak. While some kayaks have waterproof compartments specifically for these items, many do not. A waterproof case will not only keep your items safe from the water, but you also won’t lose them in the event that your kayak flips over.

Paddling Gloves

This is an item you may not think of having for a kayaking trip, but it can make your time on the water so much more enjoyable. A combination of heavy force and resistance from the water can cause blisters to easily form on your hands. They are especially beneficial for trips that are more than 2 hours.