Paddling Extras for Beginners

You’ve got your boat and your lifejacket fits perfectly—but you’re not quite ready to paddle. First, grab a few items to add a layer of comfort to the fun of being on the water.

By Lacey Thacker

For gear and guidance, visit your local outfitter.

Coleman 52-quart Xtreme Cooler

“This old standby never fails to keep my drinks—and sandwiches, nuts and crackers—cold.”



Attwood Utility Rope

“Cut a length to use for hauling your boat up a slope, sling a few feet over to a buddy, tie your boat to a tree to stay in one spot awhile or use it to tie down your cooler and other equipment. You can never have too much rope.”


NRS Coil Paddle Leash

“Formulating a plan to retrieve your paddle as you watch it flow downstream is never fun, so one of the first things I bought when I started paddling was a paddle leash.”


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Watershed Big Creek Dry Pack

“I usually keep a towel, a dry set of clothes and my cell phone tucked safely in this dry bag. If I flip, no worries.”


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The North Face
Venture 2 Rain Jacket

“There are plenty of specialty rain suits designed for paddling, but I prefer a basic rain jacket in all seasons but winter, when I need more clothing.”



Be sure to check out your local outfitter for these products.