Appalachian Mountain Club

Canoe & Kayak Equipment & Gear

Saturday, December 25th, 2021

Paddling Equipment

For information about renting equipment, please see the Equipment Rental section below. If you bring your own equipment (rather than renting from the club), your must have a boat, a paddle, a life vest (Coast Guard type III or V), spray skirt if appropriate, and a helmet if required. Except on QW trips, kayakers will need a spray skirt. If you have any questions about the suitability of your equipment, please contact the leader.

In addition to your paddling equipment, you should bring sunscreen, sunglasses (with strap to hold them on), insect repellent, and your lunch and water in a waterproof container (e.g. dry bag). All these items should be stored in waterproof hatches (e.g. on sea kayaks) or secured in your boat with carabiners or cord so that they won’t be lost in case of a swim. Make sure that securing these items will not interfere with your ability to wet exit! It’s also a good idea to keep a waterproof copy of your medical insurance ID card in your life vest in case of an accident.

Private Boat Liability:
The AMC accepts no liability for damage to boats paddled on its trips. We encourage exchanging partners, trying out new boats, and the lending of boats between private paddlers; but it is done solely at the discretion of, and with the permission of, the private boat owners, and any damage that may result is the owner’s responsibility.

Personal Clothing

The most important factor in deciding what to wear while paddling is the temperature of the water. In cold water, even on a warm day, paddlers without proper clothing face the risk of hypothermia—a potentially life threatening condition. A second important and obvious factor in dressing properly for a paddle is the weather. Even if the water is warm, improperly dressed paddlers will chill quickly if the temperature is cool and the wind is blowing. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that hypothermia is perhaps the most serious hazard that paddlers face. For this reason, trip leaders may refuse to allow participation by paddlers who show up without proper clothing.

Paddlers almost never wear cotton clothing because it produces an evaporative cooling effect that will chill you even on a warm day. Unless it’s one of those Summer afternoons when you can fry an egg on the sidewalk, you’ll need clothing that is designed for cold-weather paddling. A wide variety of paddling apparel is available at paddling shops and websites, including neoprene (used for wet suits), “fuzzy rubber,” and dry suits. Each has their own merits. During the after-dinner campfire discussion at your next paddling trip, ask some of your fellow paddlers for advice on what to get; you’ll have no shortage of opinions.

Wear something on your feet because all of the rivers we paddle are visited by others who have left their broken bottles for your bare feet to discover. Old sneakers are OK, but cold if the water is chilly. Best are wet-suit booties that are designed for paddlers.

Camping Gear

Many of our activities are day trips that require no camping gear. To participate in most weekend trips you’ll need some basic camping gear and clothing, including a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, flashlight and other personal gear.

CKC has cooking kits and various other camping accessoreis that may be used on the trip.

Equipment Rental

The CKC owns flatwater and whitewater canoes and kayaks, life jackets, first aid kits, safety and rescue equipment, and cooking and eating equipment. This equipment is available for the members to use on paddling trips at a nominal rental fee. The rental rates for our boats are a fraction of what one would pay to a commercial livery. If a boat is lost or damaged on a scheduled trip, the renter’s maximum liability is $50 per person for a tandem boat, or $100 per boat for solo boats. Boats rented from the CKC can be picked up from The Barn on Thursday or Friday of the weekend before the trip and must be returned Monday or Tuesday after. If a paddler is signed up on two trips on two consecutive weekends and has obtained prior approval from the Equipment Chair and both trip leaders, a boat may be kept at home in a secure location during the week between trips.

Picture of our whitewater kayaks

The Chapter’s kayaks may be rented on any Chapter trip. Canoes are available for rental on trips of up to and including Class 3 whitewater. For Class 4 trips, solo whitewater canoes may be rented on a case-by-case basis, subject to the approval of the Canoe & Kayak Committee Chair.
In rare cases, a scheduled AMC trip must be cancelled after the participants have met at the put-in, due to some reason that puts the trip in conflict with the CKC’s policies. The participants may choose to conduct the trip as a private activity (a “bootleg trip”), outside of the auspices of the AMC. In this case, any CKC boats rented for the trip may still be used without obtaining permission from the Chair.

Rental Rates

Solo Canoes Tandem Canoes Solo Kayaks Tandem Kayaks
Quietwater $20/$10 $20/$10 $20/$10 $20/$10
CL1 or above $20/$10 $20/$10 $20/$10 $20/$10

Our Rental Fleet can be found Here

To rent/reserve a club boat for a club trip (outside the paddling instructionals) contact the Equipment Scheduler at


How to Transport a Boat
The CKC has foam blocks and nylon straps in The Barn for use by those renting a boat.   Some blocks are designed to slip over the canoe gunwales or kayak coaming to stabilize a boat that is transported without a roof rack. Others are designed to cradle the hull of the boat. If you plan to paddle often, a better solution is to have a canoe or kayak carrier installed on your car. Thule and Yakima are two popular brands.

How to Cartop a Canoe
Canoes are always carried upside down (i.e. hull up). If you have a roof rack, nylon straps should loop under the crossbar on one side of the canoe, across the top of the upside-down canoe and under the crossbar on the other side. If you are using the foam block carriers without a roof rack, you should run the straps over the canoe and through the windows or doors of your car to secure the canoe firmly. In either case, rope or straps should be used to secure the bow and stern of the canoe to the car’s tow hooks or bumpers.

How to Cartop a Kayak
Most often, whitewater kayaks are carried upside down and sea kayaks are carried right side up. V-shaped foam blocks can be used on your roof rack or directly on the roof of vehicles without racks. When used directly on the vehicle roof, the foam blocks should first be tied in position on the boat with light cord and then boat and blocks together should be secured to the car by running ropes or straps through the door openings. The CKC’s canoe foam blocks from The Barn can be used on most closed boats as well; take four blocks and place one at each “corner” of the cockpit rim. If you have a roof rack, secure the kayak on the rack with nylon straps as you would a canoe. Use the grab loops at the front and rear of the kayak to secure the boat to the car’s tow hooks or bumper. Always point the front of the kayak towards the front of the car.

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