So, what is new in the paddling gadget world? One of the coolest things about any walk of life in this day and age is the stuff inventors and designers come up with to make your life easier. You will see everything from dry sacks and flashlights to signal mirrors and solar chargers.
Whether you want it or need it, chances are the gizmo or gadget of your dreams is out there, from the newest boats to the most technologically advanced paddles, life jackets, and essentials, in this blog we will list some items you may want to consider for your next river paddle adventure.
The Only Kayak Gear You Need is a Sharp Knife
No one will argue that gadgets are cool, but some contend that the only real tool that you need out there on the water or at a remote campsite is a good sharp knife. Whether you are talking about folding knives, leathermen, or swiss army knives, there is one over-arching rule: keep your knife razor sharp.
There is a sound reason for this advice, besides that is will make a better cutting tool. A sharp knife means more biting and less slipping. Plus, a sharp knife is a great multi-tasker, and it can be used as a digging tool, a cutting tool, a hunting tool, a fishing tool, and a gathering tool.
Moreover, if you do find yourself in a survival situation, you can use it to gather plants and maritime animal, firewood, shelter elements and more. You can also fashion patches and tunicates using a knife.
Blades come in a variety of lengths, steel types, and cutting types. We even suggest carrying more than one. Hideaway a couple folding knives in your gear on your kayak, and your waterproof pack. Also, consider taking along a bowie knife or a machete for lengthier stays.
According to one article, a common type of knife used at sea usually has a serrated edge, and one of the main advantages of it is that is can cut through fishing lines. So, it is important to note that one of the blades you carry is a serrated one. But Besides keeping your knife sharp, a light coating of oil should prevent freshwater or saltwater corroding, just be sure to wipe it off before preparing your campfire dinner.
Best Kayak Gear Accessories
Speaking of dinner, it is now time for the main course. We have tried to weed out the riff-raff and bring to you a list of the best, most useful paddling gadgets. We are looking for multi-taskers, gadgets that will hold up over time, and kayaking gear that you will use again and again and useful items. Of course, the cost is always a concern, so we want to balance coolness with value, too. The following items are listed in no particular order, so feel free to pick and choose what you like.
Black Canyon Boundary Dry Pack by Seal Line:
At a little over $100, this lightweight waterproof pack could very well make the difference between an excellent adventure and waterlogged waste of time. Having somewhere to keep electronics, keys, dry clothes, and matches safe while you paddling about streams and lakes can be a challenge.
But, SealLine is here to help. Their Black Canyon Boundary Dry Pack is made of sturdy “PVC-free” fabric come in three sizes – 35 liters, 70 liters, and 115 liters), and the small one weighs just a pound. Plus, the ventilated shoulder strap and suspension system makes it a breeze to carry around.
RAVPower Solar Charger:
The whole point of getting out on the water or setting up camp in a remote location is, let’s face it, in part to disconnect from the world and look inward. However, it is good to have a fallout plan, and sometimes that means bringing the cellphone.
But the deep water and the deep woods doesn’t exactly come with power receptacles. So, you pack your waterproof bag, you throw in your phone, and your head on your way. When you reach your campsite, you thrust a hand into the bag and pull out your cell to check in with loved ones only to find that the battery is dead. What to do?
Well, the 22W Solar Charger from RAVPower is foldable, flexible, waterproof, and weighs just over 17 oz. So as long as there is sunshine, you have power. Just plug in the adapter and charge your iPhone, GPS, and more. And at under $40 on Amazon it is also affordable.
Edge Life Jacket by Stohlquist:
There are lots of reasons to buy a life jacket, not least of which is that it may just save your life. But, up until now, it was difficult to find one that fits well. Well, the Edge Life Jacket comes with a low-profile front that won’t ride up thanks to its fitted torso technology and adjustable shoulder straps. There is a waist strap too for an extra tight fit.
Crafted with soft, molded foam, the vest is comfortable and buoyant and it is rated for whitewater, placid lakes, and unpredictable sea kayaking. It comes with a front-zippered pocket and costs under a $100.
Garmin Fenix 3 GPS Watch:
This waterproof watch is a great multitasker when you are out on the water. It can help you keep track of time, tell what direction you are going, tally waypoints, and keep an eye on the weather. Some will argue that their cell phone will do the same thing, but is your cell phone waterproof for up to 100 meters?
There is no doubt that this gadget is as cool as they come, but the merch is going to cost you anywhere from $300-500 online, so be forewarned.
Paddling Gadgets Wrap up
That pretty much rounds out our list, although other cool items included a paddle leash to attach your paddle to your boat and a kayak light that mounts to the stern of your boat for night travel.
Having the right gadget or tool can save your life and picking out multitaskers will save your wallet and your back when you throw on that dry pack. But remember, the number one tool you have as a paddler is your head. Stay cool, stay calm, and think while you are out on the water.