You’re frantic. Panicked even. In exactly one hour, your troop is heading out the door on a paddling outing — and you’re struggling to pack. What clothes do you need to bring? How about extra gear?

No worries.

Just take a deep breath and use this handy checklist. In addition to your basic outdoor gear, you’ll also need:

  • PFD (a.k.a. life jacket)
  • Paddle
  • Lightweight rain gear
  • Sunglasses with strap
  • Sunscreen, nonoily cream
  • Water bottle with clip
  • Swim trunks
  • Wide-brimmed hat
  • Towel
  • Baby powder or Gold Bond powder (to reduce chafing)
  • Insect repellent, DEET based
  • Flip flops (or other appropriate footwear)
  • Fishing license

From Paul Beal, general manager, Florida Sea Base, Islamorada, Fla.

Dry bag. “Whether you’re in a kayak or a canoe or one of our war canoes, they get water in them. And the last thing you want is for all your gear to get wet. So you need a good dry bag that’s big enough to hold all your stuff.”
Dry box. “They are indestructible, float and don’t leak. Every time I get on a boat, I bring mine to carry my wallet, digital camera and anything that I don’t want to get wet.”
Fishing hat. “Wear a hat with a long brim and apron in the back or a big straw hat—just something to protect your face, head and neck from the sun.”
Polarized sunglasses. “Not the 10-dollar drugstore sunglasses. Polarized glasses cut the glare off the water so you can see the bottom better, and they protect your eyes from the harmful UVA and UVB rays.”

Lightweight long-sleeve shirt and long pants. “Something people don’t think of when they’re going some place like the tropics is to bring long pants and a long-sleeve shirt. They give you sun protection plus help keep away insects.”
Dive booties. “When you get out of the boat and wade onto shore, dive booties protect your feet from whatever is on the bottom and give you some traction.”

Lesson's Learned:

May 2017: Bring two pairs of shoes.  One to get wet while on/in the water; the other for on-land activities.

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