As kayakers and coaches, we make choices about what kit we carry every time we paddle. We also choose whether the essentials should be in our PFD pockets where they are most accessible, in our day hatches where they are fairly accessible, or in other hatches where they can be accessed only when we aren’t on the water.
The PFD choices are particularly critical. We don’t want to weigh ourselves down completely with kit, but some essentials need to be immediately accessible at all times. Those are the things that go in our pockets.
We’ve organized them into categories, within which specific items vary according to the day’s plan:
The key is to evaluate what’s in our pockets each time we paddle, and move things to the day hatch that don’t have to be on our bodies on a given day. Our goal is to make our pockets as slim and our PFDs as light as possible while carrying everything we’re likely to need. The benefits of this strategy are that we have what we need, it’s all easy to find, and our PFD’s are minimally bulky and minimize stress on our bodies.
We evaluate what’s in our pockets each time we paddle and move things to our day hatches that don’t have to be on our bodies on a given day.