15 Must-Have Kayaking Items to Buy for Your Sweetheart

Thursday is Valentine’s Day! What do you get a sweetheart who loves kayaking? Assuming you already have the kayak and paddles, here are few ideas to help guide you in your shopping:

  1. Water bottle – Colorful, durable, bold—you’ll find many styles to choose from to match your loved one’s personality. (And of course, make sure it’s floatable, in case it falls overboard.)
  2. Waterproof phone carrier – Safely bring your phone along for SOS calls or simply to snap photos of the scenery and wildlife—and each other.
  3. Sunglasses – We kayaking girls like to look good and protect our eyes on the water; a strap is a good idea to prevent accidentally dropping sunglasses in the water. 
  4. Long-sleeved T-shirt – Layers are a rule of thumb when kayaking. It can be chilly when you first get on the water, but paddling warms you up quickly. For an extra special touch, get one with a kayaking motto: “Life is better when kayaking!”
  5. Moisture-wicking shorts – Water tends to splash into the kayak or drip on you from your paddles from time to time. It’s no fun having a wet bottom, so lightweight, fast-drying shorts are essential.
  6. Sunscreen – Sun will damage your skin quickly! Show you care, and encourage your fellow kayaker to keep sunscreen handy and apply frequently.  While we’re talking skin protection, throw in some lip balm, too. (For post kayaking, consider a heavy moisturizer as a gift to repair skin after hours spent in the sun.)
  7. Small cooler – It’s important to keep up your energy with healthy snacks! I almost always carry herbal tea, apples, nuts, and Kind or RX bars in my cooler.
  8. Water shoes – Waterproof shoes that strap on make the most sense. I’m still searching for the perfect pair of pretty, strap-on, athletic sandals. (Key word, pretty.)
  9. Baseball cap – More sun protection! My baseball cap has saved my nose from many burns. If it’s your sweetheart’s style, you may even consider a larger floppy hat to protect the sides of his/her face, too. Sun spots do NOT go away!
  10. Kayaking books – A great way to learn about new places to kayak. For my Madison area friends, consider 60 Paddling Adventures within 60 Miles of Madison by Timothy Bauer.
  11. Kayaking clings/stickers – Adhere them to your vehicle to show others that you love kayaking!
  12. Kayaking trip for two – I have my heart set on taking the Architectural Kayak Tour on the Chicago River! (Hint, hint.)
  13. Waterproof bag – Never leave home without it. It’s the only safe way to carry your belongings in a kayak. (And never say you won’t tip; it happens, but that’s a story for another time!)
  14. Plastic storage bin – Keep all your kayaking gear in one place. This makes it easy to grab everything when you’re on the go, and you won’t forget any necessities since they’re all in one place.
  15. Journal – To jot down notes and memories from your kayaking adventures.

In addition, remember, kayaking is a great way to spend quality time with your family and friends, and that time together is really the best gift of all. I hope you get everything you dream of this Valentine’s Day!

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