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I was going to had to REI and look at Kayaks but don't trust myself with just buying anything yet. 


What kind of gear would I need to lake kayak?  I am assuming the boat, paddle but I am sure there are other items.



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I would recommend a life vest specifically for kayaking, they allow for a different range of motion which is nice in your boat. Also a dry bag or case for your phone/Camera/GPS, anything you plan on taking with you on the water. If you are planning on getting in and out of your boat a lot along undeveloped shoreline, a set of water shoes or sandals is nice, especially if it is rocky as these will protect your feet. Can't think of anything else off the top of my head right now if you are just planning on spending time on some lakes, and keep in mind none of these things are necessary, but they do make for a more pleasant experience. Hope this was helpful, also please check out my Blog at BC Adventure Side, it is geared specifically towards beginning & novice Kayakers. I will try and find a more comprehensive list and post it on there tomorrow.
Other than pdf, I make sure I have a bottle of water to drink and a sponge to keep the boat semi- mud and sand free.

I'd carry a whistle just in case and a cheap pump to pump out water if you get swamped without overturning.  Make sure you have a hat and some sunscreen....sunburn happens!  Bug repellent is good if you are on a buggy lake.  I am a lake only person and have found these things useful.   The pump is good if you paddle on a lake that has waves generated either by PWC or wind.  Waves can swamp you pretty quickly and a pump is valuable to have in this situation.  Of course a life jacket is really necessary.

In Vermont it is mandatory.

If you use a sit in boat a spray skirt is great for keeping the water where it belongs.  

As mentioned dry storage for phone, camera, towels and hey ya might want a picky nick so throw that soft side cooler in the boat too.  

Water chap stick and sunscreen can be worth their weight in gold.  Its unbelievable how thirsty paddling can be.  I forgot my chap stick last time and after 3 days my lips were raw.

And the recommendation for a proper kayak PFD is spot on.  It needs to have a higher rear bottom to ride above the back band on your seat.  You can imagine how uncomfortable and frustrating a standard boat PFD can get after an hour or so.




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