Miscellaneous Gear Items
Super Bright LED Headlamp
I really liked this headlamp. The high mode of the LED is as bright as the high beams of car, if not more, and looking straight into the light is like staring into the eyes of Zeus. While paddling at night, this lamp essentially illuminated everything within 300 feet, and if the focusing feature was used, the reflective signs from channel markers some 2000 feet away were clearly visible. My only grievance with this light is that it is only IPX4 rating which means that it is splash and rain proof, but not underwater waterproof, so using it in conditions where capsizing is a possibility will ruin it. Also, the instructions say that the lamp should be charged once a month even if not in use to preserve the battery. I don’t like that, but then again, it’s only $25 so if it breaks, I would just by a new one for the next expedition. Also, I don’t know how the battery life would fare in very cold conditions.
Safe Vision Sunglasses
Given that I need to wear prescription sun glasses, I think it is good to have a very robust set with me. I really like the safe vision goggles which have a very hardy frame. You can get a pair with several upgrades like polaroid lenses and anti scratching coating which I think is well worth the money. The goggles also come with a back head band, which can be tightened. It has kept the glasses on my head even when I roll the kayak.
Chamois Butt'r Coconut Anti-Chafe Cream
This is an extremely important item to have in hand. When paddling for days with the same salt water soaked wetsuit without bathing, any chaffing in the skin is not only supper extremely uncomfortable, it will slow your paddling and can develop into sores that will turn into open wounds. I applied this anti chaffing cream almost every day before paddling under my armpits, my shoulders, and the sides around my waste. The days I forgot I felt the chaffing sores starting to form under my arms around near the ribs. If you have a cycling buddy it also makes for a great birthday present.
Rope Pack-50 FT Reflective Cord
I used this cord primarily to tie pull strings to my dry bags that were shoved deep into the bow and stern so that I could easily retrieve them without having to shakedown my kayak. The reflectiveness of the cord is very bright in white light and will help to find things in the dark.
Outlet Splitter USB Wall Tap
One item I found useful to have in hand is a plug outlet extender. Not that I was ever going to find a place to plug in my electrical equipment on a deserted beach at the base of a coconut tree, but during the times I stayed in a hotel this plug extender was useful to avoid having to look for several different outlets and ensure that everything could charge up quickly at the same time. I had a total of 4 things to charge which where the battery pack, the GPS, the phone, and the headlamp.
CVS med case
I packed all my medical supplies inside a small med case that fit inside one of my 5-liter dry bags. I had most of the standard medical emergency essentials there; large waterproof Band-Aids pads for wounds, small waterproof Band-Aids for finger blisters, roller bandages, disinfection wipes, antibiotic cream, diarrhea medicine, constipation medicine (because you never know which one will hit you), Tylenol, ibuprofen, and Bengay gel for muscle soreness. Knock on wood I didn’t need any of it saved for the Bengay gel. Its one of those murphy’s law things.
7-Select Extra Strength Energy Shot
I carried two bottles of these energy drinks in case I got into a situation where I needed to paddle through the night. These are small and are some of the better tasting ones I tried. But be warned; don’t drink this stuff if you don’t need to. I swear it must be like doing cocaine. Once you take a full shot you can’t sleep no matter what. Only use it if you’re in a bind.
Sunscreen Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 100
Good sunscreen is essential to avoid sunburns. I don’t know if the 100 SPF is real as some states don’t allow for any sunscreen to claim protection above 50, But I found that I never got sunburned with this one. I also prefer the spay type rather than the cream as it is less likely that it will come off in the sweat and over my eyes.
Jelly Belly Sport Beans
I really liked these Jelly beans. They tasted well, and they gave me a quick boost of energy when I needed. I would keep at least two of them in my front day hatch. Unlike the sardines, I never got tiered of these, and even ordered an extra batch while for pick up along the journey.
Renogy 72000mAh Laptop Power Bank
I have heard that some kayakers like to carry solar panels to charge up their equipment during an expedition. I find that to be too cumbersome as it takes up deck space and the sun doesn’t always shine. Instead I preferred to carry a battery pack with sufficient juice to charge up my devices for any long stretches between rest stops. In the journey I used this battery pack to charge up my phone, GPS, and headlamps. After two weeks of charging things nearly everyday the power indicator showed that it still had 75% of battery life. My one complaint about this pack is that the soft case it comes with covers up a powerful LED light it has on the base. The light will turn on when pressing the power button more than once; that means it is possible to accidentally turn on the LED light without noticing and ending up with a discharged battery. I always made sure to remove the battery from the case when using it.
Some of the tastier fish products for sale on various delis, gas stations and supermarkets always seemed to come in cans that required a can opener which I didn’t have with me, and therefore could not buy. This was very frustrating at times. Would probably buy something like the one on the link below.