What are the Mandatory Kayak Accessories/Equipment in Canada?
The Small Vessel Regulations enforced by the Canadian
Coast Guard establishes a minimum of safety equipment that you must carry with
you in your kayak (or any vessel under 6 meters in length):
- Personal flotation device (PFD). When
selecting your PFD you’ll want to make sure that it is certified by the
Canadian Coast Guard, that it is designed specifically for paddling, and that
it is [preferably] equipped with some kind of reflective device.
- Throw bag. You must have a throw bag
with at least 55 feet (15 meters) floating line. In an emergency situation it
can literally be a lifeline between you and your paddling partners. The
floating rope can also function as a tow-line between kayaks and around camp it
can serve as an excellent way to hang clothes up to dry.
- Bilge pump or bailing scoop. For
emptying water from your kayak while paddling, nothing beats the efficiency and
ease of a hand pump (especially double action models). If you don’t have a
pump, a bailing cup or scoop is required to help get rid of excess water. The
addition of a sponge lets yousoak up the last remaining drops of water, keeping
your kayak warm and dry.
- Signals. You are required to have an
easily accessible sound signaling device, such as a whistle or horn to alert
larger watercraft to your presence in low visibility conditions.
Signal/running light. Between sunset and sunrise, or during times of reduced
visibility such as fog, you must remain visible with the use of a running light
(or at least a waterproof flashlight).
- Spare paddle (optional). Usually
a 2 or 4 piece 'break-apart' design, every group should carry one. Oftentimes
it can be secured on the deck of your kayak via shock-cord deck rigging, easily
accessed in case of an emergency.
mandatory equipment see the Canadian Coast Guard Regulations: http://www.ccg-gcc.gc.ca
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