Woman looking out at the water with a backpack and a hat.

If you’re an avid boater, it may have been a while since you re-evaluated your boat kit (otherwise known as a sea bag). If that sounds like you, now’s the time to empty your equipment out, clean what you have, and double check that these personal items are accounted for. 

Packing Your Sea Bag 

Before you spend the day on the water, take time to get yourself and your fellow adventurers prepared for the journey ahead: 

Insulated water bottle. A steady water intake will keep you hydrated and alert on hot, sunny days. Fill this reusable bottle before you head out; steer clear of plastic bottles that pollute the water if accidentally tossed aside.

Waterproof phone case. Today, more boaters choose to travel with technology. If you’re taking your phone with you, ensure it’s protected from water damage. Choose a case you like using — it won’t do you much good to buy a case that you’re constantly taking off.

Hat. A lightweight hat shields your eyes and the top of your head, where you’re more likely to experience sunburn.

Polarized sunglasses. Polarized sunglasses block out the intensity of the sunlight and sharpen definition, so you don’t lose visibility.

Sunscreen with high SPF. Slathering sunscreen throughout the day is essential for a painless boating adventure. You do not want to be on the water without adequate protection.

Read: 5 Tips to Protect Yourself From the Sun While Boating

Change of clothes. Is there anything worse than enjoying a sunny day on the water only to have storm clouds unexpectedly roll in? Having dry clothes packed away in your sea bag will come in handy in the event of inclement weather.

Snacks. You’re going to get hungry along the way. Stay ahead of the game with filling snacks or a packed lunch ready to go.

Dry bag. Store these essentials in the proper bag to keep these items dry. Waterproof boating backpacks work well for this.

Boat Kit vs. Ditch Bag 

Keep in mind that a boat kit is not the same as a ditch bag. The main difference between the two is that your ditch bag is explicitly built for emergencies and should always stay on the boat. At a minimum, this brightly-colored, waterproof bag should include:

  • Whistle
  • Flares
  • Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB)
  • Waterproof flashlight with working batteries. (This can easily be forgotten over time. Check those batteries or pack spare ones).
  • Dehydrated food that doesn’t require cooking 
  • Bucket for collecting rainwater
  • Goggles
  • Compass, along with paper and pencils
  • First aid kit

Never leave the dock without this bag present and in a secure, easy-to-reach place. If you struggle to fit in all of these items, split them into two ditch bags. Do not skip these essentials. 

Have the proper lifejackets on board as determined by the U.S. Coast Guard

Keep Tabs on Boating Safety 

Hopefully, these tips will help you pack – or re-pack – your boat kit. At Smooth Moves, we want you to be safe and comfortable throughout your boating adventures. 

If you’re experiencing neck and joint pain on the water, it may be time to invest in our boat seat suspensions.  Smooth Moves’ Ultra and Air shock-mitigation systems protect your body from the incessant impact of waves and are trusted by anglers around the country. Plus, we make measuring and installing your seat suspension kit simple to do on your own before you head out for the day.

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