Find out what pro paddler Tyler Curtis carries with him and why

When expert creeker and expedition paddler Tyler Curtis prepares to paddle a new run, he’s ready for everything. Besides the expected accessories—a knife, throw bag and whistle—here’s what he carries in his boat and why:

Elbow pads: It’s easy to bump an elbow creeking or playboating. “Some paddlers can’t sit at a table and rest their elbows on it without being in pain,” Curtis says. He himself shattered his left elbow a couple of years ago.

Proper footwear: Something with a good sole for both walking on wet rocks and dry land, because you never know when you’re going to have to walk around something or back to the car because you forgot the shuttle key.

First-aid kit: Curtis brings three things in his personal stash: matches or a lighter in case he gets stuck out; Krazy Glue for sealing cuts; Saran Wrap for waterproofing cuts or to make an emergency cast.

Part of the pin kit: The kit is split between the group so the entire thing is never in the pinned boat.

Mouthguard: “I can’t afford another set of teeth,” Curtis says laughing. Besides, he thinks that biting down allows a person to exert more power and energy. “I bite down and grrrr. It’s a good way to get the adrenaline pumping.”