Gear list

Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site

Haida Gwaii Watchman Walter Russ and kayaker
Haida Gwaii Watchman Walter Russ and kayaker © Parks Canada / Neil Osborne

Checklist for Sea Kayaking in Gwaii Haanas

Use these checklists as a guide. Items and quantities taken will depend on your sail plan, experience and the length and type of trip. If you are renting a kayak, check to make sure it is equipped with the proper safety gear and take time to familiarize yourself with it and all equipment.

You can download a copy of our checklist to print (PDF, 29 Kb) or contact the office.

Clothing | Safety Gear | Boat Gear | Navigation | Accessible Personal Gear | Stowed Personal Gear | Repair Kit | Survival Kit | First Aid Kit | Shore Gear

Items in bold are the minimum safety equipment described in the Small Vessel Regulations.


Wear synthetic fabrics (e.g., polypropylene, polar fleece) that will keep you warm while "wicking" moisture away from your body and will dry relatively quickly. Dress in layers so that you can adjust for varying conditions. Keep a shell or windbreaker, and your rain gear handy.

  • Headgear: warm hat & sun hat
  • Rain gear with hood: heavy duty rubberized or vinyl gear is more effective on the water than breathable fabrics (e.g. Gore-tex)
  • Shorts: quick dry
  • Pants: wool or fleece
  • Jacket: fleece
  • Sweater: light wool
  • Shirt/T-shirt
  • Long underwear: polypropylene or other synthetic
  • Gloves: paddling gloves, pogies or rubber gloves, wear over fleece gloves
  • Footwear: camp shoes and paddling shoes (wetsuit booties, sport sandles with neoprene socks, quick dry runners)
  • Swimsuit

Safety Gear

  • Personal flotation device (PFD)
  • VHF radio: Will allow you to receive marine weather info or contact other vessels, Gwaii Haanas Wardens, Haida Gwaii Watchmen or the Coast Guard.
  • Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB)
  • Distress flares: Twin Star, Parachute or handheld carried by one member of group. Each member of the group min 3 pocket flares.
  • Self-rescue aids (Paddle float / rescue stirrup)
  • Head lamp
  • Waterproof flashlight

Boat Gear

  • Paddle
  • Spare paddle (carried on deck)
  • Spray skirt
  • Bailer or pump
  • Sponge
  • Flotation bags or bulkheads
  • Sound signaling device
  • Strobe Light
  • Min. 15 m buoyant heaving line
  • Hatch covers / lids


  • Marine charts & waterproof case
  • Tide tables 
  • Watch
  • Compass
  • Dividers
  • Binoculars
  • Pencils
  • Waterproof note book / logbook
  • Navigation lights if operated in periods of restricted visibility
  • Global Positioning system (GPS) (optional)

Accessible Personal Gear

  • Day pack
  • Water bottle
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses with buoyant band
  • Towel
  • Energy bars
  • Toilet paper
  • Toiletries/Medications

Stowed Personal Gear

  • Wallet/Cash
  • Contact phone numbers
  • Float plan copy
  • Fresh water storage containers

Repair Kit

  • Duct tape
  • Fibreglass resin and cloth
  • Sandpaper
  • Multihead screwdriver
  • Spare batteries & bulbs
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Stainless steel nuts & bolts for rudder
  • Stainless steel cable for rudder
  • Scissors
  • Silicone sealant (ex. shoe goo or Aquaseal) 
  • Heavy duty needle and thread
  • Ripstop nylon repair kit
  • Stove repair kit

Survival Kit (attach kit to a line with a clip which can be attached to PFD)

  • Mirror
  • Smoke canister
  • Waterproof matches & fire starter
  • Electrolyte replacement
  • High energy food
  • Bouillon cubes
  • Fishing line
  • Hooks
  • Stainless steel wire
  • Can for cooking
  • Pencil & paper
  • Small flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Knife
  • Reflective "space" blanket
  • Candle

First Aid Kit

  • Adhesive tape
  • Pain reliever
  • Antacid
  • Antihistamine
  • Antibacterial soap
  • Bandages: strips, butterfly, and steri-stips
  • Burn dressing
  • Cotton tip applicators
  • Disinfecting ointment
  • Drainage dressing
  • Gauze pads: sterile
  • Moleskin / blister kit
  • Motion sickness remedy
  • Needle
  • Pressure dressing
  • Razor blade: single edge
  • Roller gauze
  • Safety pins
  • Scissors
  • Telfa pads
  • Tensor bandage
  • Thermometer
  • Triangular bandage
  • Tweezers
  • Splints

Shore Gear

  • Tarp
  • Tent
  • Stove: white gas
  • Cooking pot
  • Sleeping bag
  • Bug repellent
  • Toilet paper
  • Stuff sacks
  • Camp saw
  • 15m rope / system for hanging food

Note: To read the PDF version you need Adobe Acrobat Reader on your system.

If the Adobe download site is not accessible to you, you can download Acrobat Reader from an accessible page.

If you choose not to use Acrobat Reader you can have the PDF file converted to HTML or ASCII text by using one of the conversion services offered by Adobe.

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