Kayaking Gear List

Tips and Gear to Stay Safe While Kayaking

April 15, 2021

Observe the weather before departing

There are many weather factors that can make a kayaking excursion almost impossible and this includes aggressive storms, exceedingly cold weather, or even simply an aggressive wind. It might be a wonderful temperature but if it's too windy then you might have an unexpected surprise and tip over. Not only that, but it makes it more taxing to paddle against it. If you decide to go when there is cold water then it's important to implement a wet suit to discourage hypothermia from occurring. One should also consider paddling closer to shore just in case there is an emergency. Water isn't the only element that poses a risk to health during this fun activity. The sun can also burn the skin on a hot day so long sleeves or sunscreen may be necessary.

Pack the proper safety gear

There are many important elements to consider regarding your safety when kayaking and a life jacket should be the first thing on your list. In the event you find yourself in water with a flooded Kayak it will be much safer to have a vest to keep you focused and safe. Having a whistle will come in handy during this emergency because it can draw the attention of people on the shore to assist you. A waterproof and floating mobile phone is also an excellent option for those engaged in the sport because it's easy to call those who you already informed about the trip to provide the needed aid. Many other tools should be implemented to increase the overall safety of your journey. These include compasses, a bilge pump for removing excess water, a comprehensive first aid kit, dry bags, or even a compass to keep you from getting lost. When you take the extra steps to prepare for the worst then it will pay off when accidents happen.

Choose a wise paddling location

Sometimes certain locations aren't the most ideal places to be taking your hard-earned kayak. Certainly, many people challenge themselves with more aggressive waters but you should generally be looking for calm and controlled environments such as small ponds and lakes that are close to the shore. You should always avoid motorboats and other people on the water that could potentially pose a hazard to your activity. A great idea is to search for a popular area where there are other experienced enthusiasts who congregate and are ready to help you at a moment's notice. Hands-on learning is very effective with such a vigorous and exciting sport! Find a location with friendly people who share your passion for kayaking or kayaking. They can give you helpful insight into properly managing the day and give you advice on what methods to avoid. This is especially useful if you're a novice in the sport and are looking to take notes for the long term. The calmer the water, the better your experience because it gives you far more control and eases the nerves.

Learn the essentials of Kayaking

Before you even set foot in the kayak you should know the basic elements so you can have a good first time. Practice getting into your particular model of Kayak so it feels familiar to you when finally treading water. The worst-case scenario is when the kayak flips which can happen to even the most experienced person. A bilge pump can help you retain stability by removing excess water after you get back in. It can be a frightening experience to lose control and flip over, but it's not the end of the world. And you won't have to worry about any scary fish attacking you like you would in an ocean sport. Remaining calm under pressure is a skill that you should master and rehearse the scenario before it happens. That way your mind is already adapted and can act quicker under stress. You should climb back in immediately and get back to shore for removing any excess water that may be weighing you down. Maintaining balance while entering a kayak is another challenge you'll face, but with consistent practice, it will become second nature.

Always remain sober and well-rested

It's common for fishermen to drink alcohol while they wait for that anticipated big catch. With kayaking, it's a different story because you must be vigilant and exercise more critical thought to maintain an adequate level of safety. Avoiding these substances the night before or during kayaking is a wise decision. It requires your undivided attention to fully operate the boat and if you're intoxicated it can endanger yourself and other people in the area. Getting adequate sleep can also be advantageous for your kayaking endeavors because staying well-rested means that you are more alert during strenuous yet exciting activities on the water. It's important to continually get a good diet if you're an avid enthusiast of kayaking and practice the motions of rowing outside the water. This will help your muscles to adapt quicker and reduce immediate fatigue that can damper your day. Beginners often will underestimate how much mental and physical energy it takes to maintain the hobby over a few hours, so utilize proper conditioning and breathing methods.

Double-check your belongings and find the right weight

Kayaking is far different than camping when it comes to the packing procedure because you need to be cognizant of how much weight you're bringing or it increases the risk of things tipping in the water's favor. During the transit of your kayak, it's always possible that it sustained some measure of damage such as scrapes or even a sneaky hole in one of the air chambers. You should always be mindful of these factors because we don't live in a perfect world. If your kayak is older then it is especially susceptible to sustaining damage. Even elements such as fish bumping against the base can cause some unexpected problems. The upkeep of your kayak is just as important as the technique itself because they go hand in hand. If you have a broken kayak and never bother to check it then the damage will continue to increase and poses a safety risk. There are certain products on the market that can fortify and patch any problem areas on your kayak instead of buying a brand new one. Still, one should always invest in a quality choice for the optimal experience.

Pack food to stay energized during kayaking cardio

One element that people often overlook is how difficult and strenuous kayaking or canoeing can be. Magazines often depict people effortlessly traversing across the water but this is a dream world where they simply pose to make it look more enjoyable. This isn't to say the sport isn't great because it is fantastic, but it's also a skill and requires a certain level of fitness. If you're overweight then it's wise to consider dropping some before going on a kayaking excursion, but one can also have trouble on the water if you don't have the right nutrition. Taking a multivitamin helps to ensure you have more energy over the course of your trip. Hydration is also immensely important so pack enough water because much of it will be lost in sweat. Caffeine can also be a nice option if you're looking for an extra boost when fatigued on the water. Get the balance of nutrition right outside the water in conjunction with a simulated kayaking experience where you practice rowing continually. This will make the environment feel more familiar and manageable!