Gearing Up for Sea Kayaking

Your gear list will vary based on whether or not you are hiring an outfitter or taking a trip on your own. This isn't an exhaustive list, but it's enough to get you started. For more information, local guides, outfitters and outdoor stores are likely your best bet.

What Outfitters Provide

  • Kayak Rental Agreements typically include: kayak, PFD (lifejacket), spray skirt, bilge pump, sponge, paddle float, rubber boots, paddle, and spare paddles as needed
  • There is typically an additional charge for dry bags (a few dollars each)
  • Guide services provide kayaks and all associated kayak gear as part of trip cost.
  • Many guide services also rent kayaks, kayaking equipment, dry-suits, and VHF radios
  • A signed credit card imprint is often required for kayak rentals
  • Renting kayaks and/or gear establishes a relationship with guide services and/or outfitter that may include pre-trip information about campsites, currents, tides, glacier ice, prevailing winds, and other invaluable information. You can also file a paddle plan with them.

What You'll Need to Bring

Things you’ll need to provide includes proper gear and clothing to keep warm and dry on the water and in camp. This is what we recommend that you bring along at a minimum:

  • High-quality raingear (rain proof) and synthetic layers recommended for Prince William Sound any time of year. Locally attributed quote: “If you don’t have your own rain jacket, you don’t belong out there.”
  • Dry bags essential in keeping camp clothes and gear dry, even when packed inside kayak
  • Rubber boots, several pairs of warm socks
  • Non-cotton layers (polypropeline) & fleece for on the water
  • One set of comfortable clothes specifically worn in camp, including shoes
  • Sunglasses, winter hat, suntan lotion, 2-pairs of gloves/liners
  • 3 or 4 season tent with a ‘foot-print’ for underneath floor
  • Tarp for additional protection of tents and/or for establishing a dry kitchen area
  • Compass for using in fog

If buying your own kayak, seek a vendor who will help with gear selection and training schools.


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