Recently fact-checked by our unbiased team of paddlers, we can confirm that there is no such thing as “too much gear.” Luckily for you, not every gear purchase needs to start in the triple digits. Oftentimes, the difference between a good day and great day out on the water can be as simple as bringing good snacks, warm gloves and a big ol’ flask of tea.
So, whether you are shopping for the paddler in your life, or just stuffing your own stocking (no judgement), these gifts will get the job done.
[This article is part of our Holiday Gift Guide series. For more great gift ideas, see 11 Gift Ideas For Cold Weather Paddlers.]
Natural Energy Drink Mix Powder
$18 | drinkeverly.com
These energizing, powdered drink mix pouches are made with organic caffeine, six B vitamins and are sweetened naturally with stevia leaf. They are the perfect addition to any paddler’s day sack, and serve as a great pick-me-up snack for long trips.
Prefer your energy to come from a coffee bean? Watch our video on How To Make Cowboy Coffee That Actually Tastes Good.
Bibimbap Dehydrated Camping Meal
$15 | goodto-go.com
Dehydrated meals are a great gift for any paddler planning a multiday trip. These meals are lightweight, take up little space and, best of all, they can still be delicious (just pick your flavors wisely).
Microlite 350 Flip Insulated Bottle
$25 | gsioutdoors.com
This super lightweight, vacuum-insulated bottle provides eight hours of heat and 16 hours of cold retention and is a third lighter than traditional designs. It features a push-button, flip top cap that locks closed for transport and locks open for easy drinking. A necessary compact companion for any kayaker or canoeist.
Go beyond the bottle on your backcountry trips and secure a safe drinking water supply with 4 Ways Of Treating Water In The Backcountry To Make It Safe To Drink.
Smiley’s Nose Plugs
Nose plugs are the perfect gift for beginner kayakers looking to spend more time upside down while they work on their roll. Looking a little dorky is a fair trade-off for keeping the sinuses clear of water. Harmony’s Nose Plugs are easy to use and can be attached directly to kayak helmets.
Ear Seals Dual Purpose Earplugs
$8 | macksearplugs.com
Wearing earplugs can help prevent paddlers from developing swimmer’s ear and surfer’s ear, making them the perfect accessory piece for those chilly, late-season days on the water. These one-size-fits-all earplugs feature soft-seal rings for comfort and a stiff inner core for easy insertion.
For more on the perils of surfer’s ear see Ear Bone Spurs: The Cold Water Kayaker’s Nightmare.
Neoprene 3MM Wetsuit Sock
Neoprene socks: a staple piece of gear for any kayaker. Their purpose extends beyond just keeping the appendages warm; adding a layer of neoprene under a drysuit or drypant is a great way to preserve the life of the technical garment too. In this rare instance, socks are a welcomed gift—and this pair fits the bill nicely.
Lightweight All-Purpose Dry Sack
$13 | seatosummitusa.com
Whether we’re talking day trips or overnight excursions, keeping certain items dry is paramount to a successful paddling trip. Nobody likes a soggy sandwich, or worse, a broken electrical device. These compression sacks are a great customizable gift for paddlers, as they come in a variety of colors and sizes.
Get more great gift ideas with the 9 Non-Essentials You Must Bring On Your Next Canoe Trip.
Adventure Camp Cook Set
$15 | stanley1913.com
A late-season day on the water would not be complete without a hot brew. Whether it’s coffee, tea, or soup, this camp cook set will keep fingers toasty, bellies fed and spirits high.
For a fine dining experience right at the your campsite, see our roundup of the 9 Camp Kitchen Essentials Every Paddler Needs.
Waterproof Phone Case
$14 | syncwire.com
With waterproof protection up to 30 feet, these pouches are great for phones, keys and other valuables. Though many newer phones may already be deemed waterproof, these convenient pouches add an extra layer of protection. Plus, the pouch can be secured inside a PFD pocket, rather than floating loose.
Find more options to keep your paddling gear safe and dry with the Best Waterproof Bags and Cases.
Women’s Mush II
Starting at $25 | teva.com
It’s in the name. The “mush” comfort top sole is pretty darn comfortable and is a great lazy day shoe for on and off the water. Perfect for your water-loving friend who gravitates toward lakes, rivers and beaches whether they are boating or not!
For more footwear choices on your next paddling trip, see our roundup of the Best Paddling Footwear and the Ultimate Guide To Choosing The Best Shoes For Canoeing.
Waterproof Oxford Cloth Kayak Cockpit Cover
Designed specifically for ocean kayaks, this double-stitched cockpit cover has an adjustable design to fit any kayak perfectly. It will protect the cockpit from dirt, dust, rain, hail, bird droppings and more. A cockpit cover is a great piece of kit for any kayaker who is on the road often and travels with their kayak on the roof of their vehicle.
Learn more about the best ways to store your boat with 7 Simple, Space-Saving Ways To Store Your Kayak.
Neoprene Kayak Paddle Mitts
Haven’t heard of pogies? These odd looking mitts serve a very specific purpose: they keep the hands warm without sacrificing finger dexterity or grip. If you have a paddler in your life who notoriously suffers from cold hands, stuff these pogies in their stocking.
$20 | paddlingmag.com
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