Skills & Safety


The Gulf of Maine Expedition carries a broad range of gear that enables them to paddle safe and comfortably. We carry the following items to minimize the risk of encountering an emergency on the water, and to be prepared should one occur. This list of safety gear adheres to the standards promoted by the Maine Association of Sea Kayak Guides and Instructors. MASKGI is a sponsor of the Gulf of Maine Expedition.

Paddling Related Equipment
Kayak with adequate flotation
Spray skirt
Personal flotation device (life jacket)
Two paddles (one for personal use plus one spare )

Clothing and Accessories
Proper attire for the conditions (dry-suits for cold conditions)
Spare warm clothing stored in a waterproof container
Protection against the sun including sunscreen, hat, lip protection, and sunglasses as needed

Several days of water (1 gal. per person per day)
Snacks and meals

Communication Equipment
Sound device - whistles on all PFDs and at least one fog horn per kayak
Signaling devices on each PFD include at least 3 flares, a mirror, die marker, a strobe light
VHF marine radio able to receive weather reports, 2 way radios for each team member, and a cell phone
Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB)

Navigation Equipment
United States Coast Guard Approved chart(s) in a waterproof chart case
Tide chart and current information
Two compasses per kayak (A deck-mount compass and a spare card compass)

Emergency Equipment
Emergency phone numbers
Float plan filed with another individual
Kayak repair kit containing supplies as required (Kit includes duct tape, a screwdriver, locking pliers, cables, fasteners, waterproof matches, plastic to melt, a lighter, spare nuts and bolts, spare batteries, fiberglass repair kit)
Knife, which is readily accessible
Medical kit in a waterproof container
Paddle float
Portable bilge pump and sponge for each kayak
Radar reflector
Space blanket or hypothermia bag
Safety stirrup, rescue sling, or loop
Thermos with hot drink and a means of making a hot drink when necessary
Tow belt or tow line

Waterproof headlamp
Waterproof matches
Writing supplies such as paper, a notebook, pen, pencil, grease pencil

For more information about kayak safety and how to use the safety gear above, join us at one of our Gulf of Maine Days, or contact Maine Association of Sea Kayak Guides and Instructors ( to find a professional near you.

Gulf of Maine Expedition's Leave No Trace Policy

The Gulf of Maine Expedition's mission includes promoting sea kayak safety and stewardship. To that end, for the entire length of the journey and beyond, we are dedicated to adhering to principles of Leave No Trace. We will also be teaching these principles to as many people as possible during the course of the journey, including giving LNT-for-sea-kayakers workshops in many of the communities we visit.

The six principles below have been approved and is being promoted by both the Maine Island Trail Association and the Maine Association of Sea Kayak Guides and Instructors. Both Associations are sponsors of the Gulf of Maine Expedition.