10 Cheap “Dad” Hacks for Kayakers

little girl kayaking(photo courtesy of Dan Arbuckle)

Our good friend, Dan Arbuckle of Headwaters Kayak, along with pal, Ethan, heads into a local retailer to check out their supply of their list of 10 cheap “dad” hacks to bring along on all your kayak trips with your family.

Follow Dan’s trip through the store as he tells us his suggestions to stock up on a budget:

Cheap Dad Hack #1: Inexpensive PFD (Life Jacket)

A life jacket isn’t just smart, it’s a legal necessity for each person in a boat. But don’t buy just any PFD, buy one made for paddlers. It’ll give you a lot more room in your shoulders for the constant movement, and likely a shorter back that helps fit into a kayak seat. Cost: under $35.

Cheap Dad Hack #2: Umbrella

Bet you never thought of this one! Ethan likes to have an umbrella along, even if it doesn’t look like rain. The kids can use it to build a fort under, keep under shade in the hot sun…and, of course, out of the rain if the weather turns on you. Great entertainment for the kids if they get bored, too! Cost: under $10.

Cheap Dad Hack #3: Rope & Ratcheting Tie-Downs

Instead of using more expensive ratchet straps, consider picking up a simple length of rope. Learn how to tie a trucker’s knot and you’ll be set. (Here’s one suggested source…there are many more!) Then pick up a set of tie-downs attach to your bumpers. Cost: $13 for both.

Cheap Dad Hack #4: Boating Sponge

You’ll find boating sponges in the automotive section. These are great to keep within reach to soak up those puddles of water that inevitably gets into your kayak from paddle drip. Cost: $2.

Cheap Dad Hack #5: Simple Green

This biodegradable spray is super for cleaning up your boats once you’re done paddling—grime, bugs and invasive aquatic plants. It’s also found in the automotive section. Cost: $4.

cheap dad hacks for kayaking

Cheap Dad Hack #6: Plastic Whistle

This important safety item can either hang around your neck or be tied to your life jacket. Much more efficient than yelling! Cost: $2.

Cheap Dad Hack #7: Plastic Tub or Laundry Basket

When you and your family have been out on the water and are now back with loads of wet gear and clothing, a plastic tub or laundry basket is the way to keep all that wet stuff in one place. You can even stand in it while taking your wet things off so it doesn’t drip on undesirable places. Cost: around $5.

Cheap Dad Hack #8: Foam Pad

An inexpensive foam pad is awesome inside your kayak for your heels, to place on your seat for more comfort, or for your child to sit on for a little more height in their seat. Cost: $5.

Cheap Dad Hack #9: Reflective Tape

Put a strip of reflective tape on each of your paddle blades for better visibility from other boaters, especially if you like to paddle late into the evening. Cost: under $2.

cheap dad hacks for kayaking

Cheap Dad Hack #10: Cap Lights for Everyone

You can spend all kinds of money on a nice headlamp, but for your little ones, a cap light is perfect. If you need the light they’re super handy, and you don’t have to worry about losing them since they’re so cheap. Cost: $1.

There you have it, Dan and Ethan’s 10 Cheap Dad Hacks. Have fun on the water with your family!

Let our friendly Customer Service team help you choose your new kayak or SUP paddle today: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]

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