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    What to Wear Sea Kayaking in Scotland

    5 min read

    By Rupert Shanks, Chief Storyteller
    More by Rupert

    Shimmering sheltered bays, dreamy white sandy beaches and never-ending coastlines.

    Sea Kayaking in Scotland must be some of the best in the world! But only if you’re warm and comfortable. For that reason we’re sharing our complete guide to What to Wear Sea Kayaking in Scotland.

    We have been running guided sea kayaking adventures in Scotland for over 15 years. It really is a magical way to explore the islands and coastline, soaking up all the differing landscapes and wildlife. However, the weather plays a part! It can be hard to enjoy anything when you re cold and wet. So we’d like to share our complete guide to what to wear sea kayaking in Scotland. This list will ensure you’re kept warm, dry and happy while out on the water for the day. If you’re coming on a trip with us we will provide some of this gear as standard. This will be made clear below.

    Video: we produced a short summary video kindly presented by Tom from our office Operations team. Thanks Tom!

    Upper Body

    What to wear sea kayaking in Scotland

    Base layer of merino wool is ideal for warmth and dryness.

    • Moisture wicking base layer – synthetic or Merino wool.
    • Heavier weight fleece/jumper which is lightweight but warm and breathable.
    • Jacket for sea kayaking. This is provided to all our guests on our kayaking trips.

    Lower Body

    What to wear sea kayaking in Scotland-1

    Lightweight trousers or shorts with waterproofs over the top/

    • Lightweight trousers which are tough but comfortable, breathable and quick-drying.
    • Shorts. Simple lightweight shorts.
    • Swimming costume/trunks.
    • Waterproof trousers.


    • Neoprene shoes, trainers or wellies that are comfortable for you and have a good sole for rough ground.

    Read on: for our in-depth guide to Sea Kayaking footwear.

    Head and hands

    What to wear sea kayaking in Scotland-1

    Pogies – mitts that fit over your hands and paddle

    • Warm wool hat and sunhat/baseball cap.
    • Buff/neck gaiter.
    • Gloves (we do provide Pogies which are neoprene mitts that go over both your hands and the paddle shaft).

    Essential equipment to take with you out on the water

    • Water bottle. (Ideally 2 litres capacity in total)
    • Full change of clothes in the event of a capsize.
    • Sunglasses with buoyant strap.
    • Sunscreen and lip balm.

    Happy paddling!


    Meet the Author: Rupert Shanks

    “After a spell in the corporate world in London Rupert decided to find a more rewarding way of life involving a closer connection to the outdoors and to his camera! Rupert produces a lot of the photography and video for Wilderness Scotland and works within the Marketing team.”

    View profileMore by Rupert

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