This post is going to be a quick breakdown of all the essential and non-essential equipment and gear you’ll need to go paddling.
Canoe: Obvious I know, but you cant go canoeing without one but dependent on the paddling condition your choice of canoe varies. A whitewater river requires a whitewater canoe, where a leisurely paddle along a lake with friends would ask upon a different kind of canoe entirely.
Paddle: Again obvious but necessary. However, what inst always obvious is to have more than one paddle. This way in an emergency you have a spare and can paddle to receive your primary paddle. Like canoes come in many forms, but all are designed to do the same things but with adjustments to improve aspects of a stroke, some paddles are spoon shaped to improve the power of a stroke but reduce the efficiency of ruddering strokes.
Buoyancy Aid: Sometimes called a PFD,short for Personal Flotation Device. This is a very important piece of kit. No matter how strong a swimmer you are you should wear a buoyancy aid. For one one you’re usually fully wearing clothes so you’re swimming ability is reduced. And secondly, if emergency should happen you are safe.
Helmet: An essential for me, it protect you’re head from anything submerge should you capsize and it protect you’re head when your paddling with others should a stray paddle head your way. Plus a lot a watersport helmets look cool,are warm and comfortable.
Footwear: for footwear your looking for something with a sole to protect your feet when you get out of the canoe, but also something comfortable. Old trainers are fine as well as special neoprene shoes. Wellies however are not advisable because they are like swimming with buckets on your feet if you fall in.
Appropriate Clothing: It goes without saying, if its cold wear more layers and if its raining wear a coat. The same is true in canoeing, unless you fill the need to get wet, you can quite easily stay in the canoe and in the dry. So, dress for the weather but don’t wear anything you don’t want to get wet because you don’t want to fall in a find your brand new coats ruined.
dry suits/cags/dry pants: Not always necessary but sometimes useful. They keep you dry and are designed to work well with the paddling style, made with pre-bent sleeves and other great ideas. Designed to all sorts of specifications, from completely dry whitewater, to keep you dry whatever, to touring to keep you warm, keep of the rain and keep you relatively dry.
Dry Bags Specialised bags designed to keep their contents dry even when they fall in the water. A must if your paddling an expedition or want to canoe and have something that doesn’t take we’ll to the wet.