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    What to Wear Sea Kayaking in Scotland

    5 min read

    By Rupert Shanks
    More by Rupert

    Helpful Guide to Sea Kayaking Kit

    Sea Kayaking in Scotland is of the best in the world. But in order for it to be enjoyable, it’s essential that you feel 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 different 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!

    Our Essential Kayaking Gear List

    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.
    • Waterproof jacket for sea kayaking or cag.

    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.
    • Dry trousers or to stay extra dry and warm we recommend bibbed dry 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.

    Learn More

    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 on the water

    Essential Equipment Read More
    • 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
    Recommended Optional Equipment Read More
    • Sun hat
    • Personal blister kit
    • Personal wash kit
    • Comfortable clothes for evening wear (casual dress code)
    • Camera
    • Binoculars
    • Thermos flask
    • Lunchbox
    • Buff or Neck Gaiter
    • Head torch (if you’re on a wilderness camping expedition)

    Sea Kayaking Trips

    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!”

    View profileMore by Rupert

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