During lockdown Reg had more time than normal to get online, searching the world wide web for even more kayaking gear, and he sure did keep the postman busy! So what were his favourite kayaking accessories?
You won’t regret buying a Pelicase (as they’re fondly known) to keep essential items (phone, keys, knife, lighter) dry and handy. Remember to physically clip it onto your kayak if you are paddling with it on the deck or in the cockpit. I’m rarely seen without mine - Jen calls it my handbag!
As this is stored in my Pelicase it’s always close by and comes in handy in so many situations both on and off the water.
There are always other necessities needed during a day of kayaking that won’t fit in my Pelicase i.e., sunscreen, camera, pogies, snacks. A deck bag takes these and the stops the worry of them being washed away by a wave.
For those that know me, coffee in the morning is an essential part of life. The insulation keeps my coffee warm once on the water. I’ve taped some string and a carabiner to my mug to secure it safely to the kayak and never be far from my coffee! (Also works to pick up a coffee at the local barista on the way to the water and not use disposable cups).
There are so many different lights (solar and battery) on the market, but I find the Luci Inflatable solar lantern perfect. Works well handing on a branch around the camp table and also reading at night. Waterproof, tough and charges well.
Great to increase comfort. Can be used to sit on or as a back rest flat or rolled when kayaking. I like them because you can move them during the day to a different position if needed, you can inflate or deflate depending on what you feel like you need. There are many different brands of seat pads, all pretty similar, but I currently use Thermarest.
Can you see a bit of a theme here? I do like a bit of camping comfort and a comfortable chair makes all the difference, especially as I am getting older! It obviously needs to be light and compact to fit in the kayak and you can choose from kits that turn your sleeping mat into a chair (I seriously love my Xped Chair Kit) or a separate chair kit (we use Helinox Ground Chairs on expeditions which are also great).
I think a lightweight tarp is almost essential for any overnight kayak camping trips. They keep the rain and sun off when off the water. They come in many sizes to suit small and large groups.
Not so essential in Northern Australia but one of the best pieces of kit you can have in our cooler southern climates. Look for breathability, wrist gaskets to keep your arms dry and a hood to keep your head dry. Make sure it is generously sized so you can fit those all-important layers comfortably underneath it. We recommend Kokotat or PALM brands.
Pogies can make all the difference in cold weather paddling. Pogies don’t hold the heat as well as paddling gloves but drain easily and allow direct contact between your hand and the paddle. They’re also simple to put on as they attach to the paddle shaft.
OK, you can get all sorts of great water shoes which will provide you with good support and grip, but my favourite are still Crocs. The water runs straight out the holes – along with any sense of fashion!
Of course, while the above are all great to make your kayaking and camping experience more enjoyable, don’t forget the below kayaking essentials you can’t leave home without: