Personal Gear Checklist

By Tom Burden, Last updated: 6/12/2018

This list is designed as a guide to aid you in fine tuning your own personal gear checklist for a boating excursion or outing, and ensure your comfort and safety while enjoying time on the water.


Many pro sailors, anglers, paddlers, ballplayers and other athletes wear Kaenon sunglasses.


  • Foul weather jacket
  • Foul weather bibs or pants
  • Synthetic fleece or wool insulating layers
  • Quick drying base layer clothing
  • Gloves
  • Hat
  • Sea boots or boat shoes
  • Warm socks
  • Waterproof watch
  • Polarized sunglasses
  • Sunglasses retainer


  • Personal Flotation Device — USCG approved
  • Signal mirror and whistle — Both are small and easy to carry
  • Sunscreen
  • First aid kit
  • Hand bearing compass
  • Rigging knife
  • West Marine Offshore Automatic Inflatable Life Jacket with Harness

    Offshore life jackets for sailing include an integrated harness that attaches to your safety tether.

  • Headlamp
  • Bright flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • Handheld GPS
  • Handheld VHF
  • Weather radio


  • Safety harness
  • Tether
  • Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Garmin inReach or SPOT Satellite Personal Tracker
  • Personal flares (Skyblazer-4)