Group kit needed for river trips

OK for most of you this may seem like sucking eggs.. However, over the years I've seen a quite a few people turn up at sessions or trips ready and raring to go only to find... oh I don't have a helmet or woops I forgot my lunch... (hopefully they won't forget the car keys after the shuttle!!). So here's top tip number one when leading your first group of kayakers down the river...a sense of what you'll need as a group is as follows:

  • White water kayaks - full plate foot rests and a complete set of functioning air-bags (both bow and stern) are essential
  • Paddles
  • For more experienced groups a dry suit or wetsuit that will keep you warm throughout the day if available with additional thermal and windproof layers. Otherwise avoid items of clothing that are cotton based, and go for fleeces, tracksuit bottoms, old trainers (tucking the laces into your shoes) and a windproof layer such as a walking cagoule and over-trousers.
  • BA, helmet & spraydeck that fits the boat you intend to paddle
  • Throw lines - length appropriate for the river
  • A 4m piece of tape sling
  • Single anodized HMS style karabiner (HMS screw gate)
  • Rescue knife for anyone involved in potential throwline useage
  • Food and warm drink - enough for everyone in the group
  • Whistle
  • First aid kit
  • Group shelter
  • Set of split paddles
  • Boat repair kit
  • Mobile phone

All of the above can be split between the group to distribute the weight.

It's also important to remember as a group leader to ensure that if people do carry a throwline, they know how to use it. Otherwise a bad situation could turn even worse with multiple lines in the water. For group members, if you'd like an introduction to safety or would like a refresher then why not book onto one of my safety courses - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.