By Karthika Gupta

One of the ways to beat the summer heat but still enjoy all that the season has to offer is to get out on the water! Kayaking, paddle boating, and stand-up paddle boarding are great ways to explore the beautiful lakes and rivers in our area. We have rounded up fifteen essentials to help you be safe AND have fun on the water.

Naperville Kayaks, Photo by Karthika Gupta

1. Kayaking rentals and trips at Naperville Kayaks

If you are new to kayaking and would like to try before you buy one, Naperville Kayaks is a wonderful place to start. They make it easy to get on the water with their rentals and/or guided river trips. They are open on the DuPage River every Saturday and Sunday, and at Whalon Lake from Friday through Sunday.

2. Paddle boating at Paddleboat Quarry

You can enjoy paddleboating, paddleboarding, or kayaking on the water at the Paddleboat Quarry, located along the Naperville Riverwalk from spring through fall. Boats can be reserved online via the Naperville Park District.

3. Tubing on DuPage River

A fun relaxing family outing is floating on the DuPage River with Plainfield River Tubing. Float start-times are Saturday and Sunday every half hour and start at West Electric Park (Countryman Dr., Plainfield IL; on the west side of the river).

4. Sailing at Montrose Harbor

Salt Life Womens Printed Sleeves

If you want to try something different and venture out into Lake Michigan, the Freedom Boat Club at Montrose Harbor has boating and sailing classes for every level. No boating experience is required as their Coast Guard Certified instructors give you the skills you need to enjoy the open waters.

5. Salt Life UPF Clothing

We love these long sleeve performance tops from Salt Life to keep you safe from the sun’s harsh rays. They include a front chest print, sublimation printed sleeves, neck binding, moisture-wicking fabric with antimicrobial properties, and UPF 50 sun protection.

6. Vessi Water shoes

A good thing to have when kayaking is a pair of excellent waterproof shoes. No matter how much you try, it is likely that you will get your feet wet. We love Vessi shoes because of their versatility – lightweight, breathable, waterproof, and 100% vegan.

Hillsound PackStack Waterproof Bags

7. Hillsound PackStack Waterproof bags

A good water-proof bag is worth its weight in gold because it keeps all your valuables safe and dry! PackStack Pro is a modular packing system designed to optimize pack storage, protection, and organization, and keep your gear dry and away from moisture.

8. Cotopaxi Kapai Hip Pack

Another stylish option to carry your essentials while padding is a hip pack. We love the kapai hip pack from Cotopaxi which is designed using 100% remnant materials, making each pack totally one of a kind.

9. Bajio sunglasses

Bajio sunglasses

Bajio is a super cool brand that uses state of the art UV and blue light protective performance lenses for their sunglasses. They are a carbon-neutral company from inception, and only use sustainable materials for everything.

10. BUFF sun protection

Sun protection is important when you are out on the water, especially for an extended period. We love BUFF products, especially the BUFF headwear products. Check out the assorted colors and patterns and a multitude of ways to wear them for a unique style.

11. Nuun Hydration

With any physical activity, it is important to stay hydrated and get the right nutrition. Nuun drink tablets are perfect for kayaking as they are fizzy, tasty, and loaded with electrolytes without all the extra sugar and additives.

CamelBak water bottle

12. CamelBak water bottles

Of course, you need the perfect water bottle to keep those Nuun beverages nice and cold. CamelBak has a great lineup of BPA-free plastic and stainless steel bottles. We love the Eddy+Filtered by Lifestraw, which has a built-in filtration system so you can fill up and keep adventuring.

13. GummiShot Energy Essentials for outdoor sports

Newly launched GummiShot is the buildable energy supplement perfect for boosting or fueling you through the last leg of that paddle. Each pouch of GummiShot contains three plant-based energy gummies that contain 75mg of natural caffeine each.

14. Ranger Ready bug spray

Another must-have for any time spent in the water is an effective bug spray, and Ranger Ready offers Picaridin-based insect repellents to keep bugs at bay for 12 hours of protection. Non-DEET based, it can be safely applied to your skin without any irritation or gross chemical odor.

Body Glove Performer 11 Inflatable Stand-up Paddleboard

15. Body Glove Performer 11 Inflatable SUP

An alternative to a kayak, is a SUP (stand-up paddleboard). These inflatable ones from Body Glove are easy-to-use, easy-to-transport, and easy-to-store when not in use. Whether you are a novice paddler or an expert, the Performer 11 inspires you to adventure.

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