Gear Tips

Paddlers should be capable of immediate self-sufficiency in the event a situation occurs that requires race safety crew/safety personnel support. Given the length and span of the race, all paddlers must be prepared and understand that safety personnel may not be able to reach a distressed paddler in a timely fashion, therefore, every paddler assumes the responsibility for their well-being. Fatigue and hypothermia are the main reasons for racers to withdraw from the race. Weather conditions can also be unpredictable with most racers reporting the first 100km of the race route as the most difficult to complete.  

This checklist is the recommended standard to ensure the safety of all participants in the Kingston to Ottawa (K2O) Paddling Race. Created by race organizers, its purpose is to ensure that the appropriate steps have been taken to prepare for conditions that may arise during this type of adventure race.


Mandatory Equipment:
All Transport Canada requirements for mandatory safety equipment must be followed. The list below is given as guidance, the official list is available at Transport Canada’s website. Due to the nature of this event, rules concerning alternate equipment for boats involved in competitions do not apply.

-One lifejacket or PFD for each racer which must be worn at all times when on the water (inflatable PFDs are NOT permitted)
-One buoyant heaving line at least 15m long
-One bailer or manual bilge pump or bilge-pumping arrangements
-One watertight flashlight (even if boat is less than 6 m long)
-One sound-signaling device or appliance
-Navigation lights


Additional Mandatory Equipment:
-Maps covering the race course (see Race Route and Portage Maps)
-One headlamp for each racer
-Working cell phone in waterproof container with emergency race number
-Boat number (supplied by race officials)
-Race bibs which must be attached to life jackets (supplied by race officials)
-Fluorescent light attached to life jacket (supplied by race officials)
-Tracking device (supplied by race officials)


Suggested Clothing:
-Rain gear, pants, and jacket (preferably gortex)
-Hat or sun visor
-Bandanas or sweat wicking head band
-Sunglasses (polarized)
-Bug spray
-Water shoes, flip flops, sneakers
-Daytime clothing: Dry weave/wet wicking shirt, breathable shorts or pants
-Nighttime clothing: Warm waterproof jacket and pants, extra pair of socks
-Suggested extra changes of clothing due to changes in weather/rain conditions