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When it comes to setting out on your first kayaking trip, you might find yourself giddy and overwhelmed. A big chunk of time soaring through a magnificent lake, breathing in the fresh air, tasting the natural earthy taste that comes with wilderness untouched by humans is a pretty special thing. Of course, if you’re not prepared for your trip, things can become a lot less fun very quickly. The following will explore a few useful tips that can help you prepare for your first kayaking trip.
Choose Your Route With Skill And Stamina In Mind
When selecting your route and how long you’ll be kayaking for, you need to be realistic. Ideally, you won’t be planning a trip for a distance greater than you’ve kayaked before. You also need to be speaking to any trip companions about what they’re comfortable with. No one wants to find out that one person in the group is completely new to kayaking once you’re two hours in and still have a long way to go. Plan your route based on the least-experienced member’s abilities. If everyone is new to kayaking, choose a route that offers the option to stop and rest whenever you need it.
Figure Out How You’re Bringing The Kayak
If you’re participating in a tour kayaking experience, you likely will be able to rent a kayak on the location. This being said, if you’re planning a trip yourself, you will have to figure out how to get a kayak where you need one. Part of this process will involve thinking about moving the kayak from one location to another if needed. Depending on the vehicle you have access to, this might require some extra steps or planning. If you have a small space available in your vehicle, know that inflatable kayaks can be robust and safe; just be sure to bring the inflation device with you. If more than one person is going on the trip, make sure everyone has this conversation before the day you plan to leave. Sometimes it looks like something will fit in the car, but it doesn’t.
Have A Safety Kit
Accidents can happen anywhere, anytime. They’re particularly inconvenient when you’re far from the shore or any other people. Make sure that you’ve packed a first-aid kit that has all the necessities in a waterproof container; bandages are no good to anyone if they’re soaking wet. You also want to have a flare and a whistle handy in case you need to catch the attention of people nearby.
Different states and counties have different regulations regarding what safety equipment is required. Look up the rules and ensure that you have the appropriate safety gear with you to not only meet the standards but also to keep you and those you’re traveling with safe. Again, accidents can happen, and you don’t want to be stuck somewhere without a life jacket when you really need one. Take the time to make sure that your personal flotation devices are fitted properly and are well-maintained. This is critical for everyone, especially children.
Dress For The Weather
Foremost, when picking your dates, be sure to look up the weather. If the weather suddenly takes a bad turn, postpone the trip—it can be dangerous to be out on the water with no visibility. Even if you think you can handle it, someone driving a speed boat might not see you until it’s too late. Obviously, if it’s storming, there’s a chance for lightning, which is extremely dangerous if you’re in the water.
Beyond being aware of the weather, kayaking is one of those rare activities where you can be sweating one moment and chilly the next. Water tends to be cooler than land, but also the sun reflects off the water, which increases the amount of light you’re facing. One of the best approaches to dealing with this is to dress with light layers. You want to be able to easily remove or add layers depending on what you need at the moment. The day might start off hot, but cool down dramatically as it gets closer to sunset. Likewise, while dry, you might find the temperature warm, but if you get wet and stay wet for a while, you might start to feel chilly. Light layers ensure that you have what you need to deal with whatever temperature you’re experiencing.
Everyone knows they need to be drinking more water, but few people put in the time and effort. You might feel like you don’t need water when you’re surrounded by it, but kayaking can be a real workout. Make sure you have plenty of water on hand. If you’re someone who’s confident in water purification, you can also bring along the tools you need for that. Regardless, it is critical that you make sure you’re getting enough water.
Likewise, having sustenance is important, especially if the trip is on the longer side. Bring along snacks and meals, but be wary of products packaged for outdoor activities as often these have a ton of hidden sugars which can lead to an energy crash. You don’t want to feel depleted when you still have several hours of kayaking left to go. It’s important to note that you also need a plan for removing your own waste. You don’t want to be leaving wrappers or other human garbage anywhere in the wilderness. Animals can get into it and choke or suffer other harm.
One of the ways that longer kayaking excursions can sting is in the form of blisters in that fleshy space between your thumb and forefinger. If you switch up your hold once that part of your hands starts to blister, you often are slowing down your progress; you might even be hurting your back unnecessarily. To mitigate this, consider a pair of gloves designed to protect your skin from blistering too badly.
The above information should help you in the preparation process. Remember that it is vitally important to tell someone where you’re going and when you plan on coming back. This way, if something does happen, people will be on the lookout for you sooner rather than later. There are countless stories of people’s lives being saved because they let a friend know where they were going.
About This SIte
Hi! I’m Stephen Schreck! A travel addict, wordsmith, and shutterbug.
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