Prior to embarkation on any paddle check the weather for the area you are paddling in.
Go to the Bureau of Meterology website: www.bom.gov.au and check the predicted wind strength and direction
Under the Marine & Ocean tag on the BOM site you will also find a wind map for Australia (you can click on SA and it will show this state in detail, click on Adelaide for a closer look if paddling in the Adelaide environs) The map shows predicted wind strength and direction in a colour coded map
If you are not certain of the conditions in the area, speak to locals who may have experience, such as NP&WS Rangers, boaties or professional fishers
If weather systems are changing such as a frontal system is expected, take a conservative attitude including delaying your departure, postponing until more stable weather pattern or retiring to a convenient coffee shop.
Always leave a Float Plan with a responsible adult. CLICK HERE for a float plan. Ensure that when you arrive safely at your destination to contact the responsible adult.
Essential for all waters:
A well maintained sea kayak with at least 2 bulkheads and secondary (inflatable or fixed) buoyancy
fitted deck lines, paddle and paddle leash, spray deck and a hands free pump sponge or bailer
or a Sit on Top (at least 4 m length) and adequate storage cells
Personal Flotation Device (PFD)(Australian or NZ Standards approved) with a suitable whistle and knife attached
Mobile phone (carried in a dry bag)
Cag, spray-jacket or paddle jacket
suitable warm clothing (see below)
sun-protection, hat & sunglasses
sunscreen & insect repellant
Personal first aid kit and matches or lighter
Chart/map, tidal information & predicted swell
food or snacks
footwear suitable for paddling, swimming and walking on rocks
tow line (at least 15m) and suitable tow point
Clothes for paddling (multiple layers)
Dress for immersion
As in all outdoor activities dress for the predicted conditions with multiple layers (some may be removed as the temperature increases during the day or during strenuous activity.
A wind-proof paddle jacket (preferably with good seals at wrists and neck)
Carry spare clothing in a dry sack for when you arrive at your destination, or to cover contingencies
A wetsuit can be useful in cold weather (a full length wetsuit will restrict rotation of torso when paddling)
A beanie in cold weather can reduce the loss of heat through the head (wool is best as it still maitains warmth when wet)