Kayaking is indeed an activity filled with fun and excitement. Outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers will surely enjoy doing it. But let’s not forget that there can be risks involved and injuries associated with this activity. Ensure safety at all times to make any trip an enjoyable one. In this section, get familiar with several factors that can make Kayaking risky and know the different injuries that you may encounter in doing this activity:
Too much sun exposure can cause sunburn and skin damage. Take note that sun’s rays reflected on the water can increase the risks of getting sunburn. Apply sunscreen before heading out and reapply as needed. Excessive sun exposure can also lead to Hyperthermia, also known as heat stroke. In this medical condition, the body is no longer able to control the body’s temperature which can rise to dangerous levels.
Dehydration is one of the health risks that you may encounter in Kayaking, especially during summer when you can be exposed to the sun for a longer period of time. Make sure to bring enough drinking water to keep yourself well-hydrated.
A drop in body temperature can result to Hypothermia which is dangerous, even fatal. Falling into cold water and an extreme change in water are factors which can lead to this condition. It is also important to wear the appropriate pieces of Kayaking Apparel to keep you warm and protected even when wet.
Drowning is a possibility when doing a water activity. Know how to swim and make sure to wear a buoyancy aid before heading out. Also, go Kayaking with a friend or group so he/she or members of the group can give assistance when necessary.
Good Physical Condition
The repetitive actions in Paddling can cause strain, sprain, or injuries to wrist joints. Maintain a good physical condition. Do some stretching and warm-up exercises to prepare your body for the paddling job.
Minimize the risks by observing safety precautions, preparing your mind and body, and using the right pieces of Kayaking Gear and safety equipment. Do not go beyond your own abilities and be aware of the Kayaking area. With these in mind, you can look forward to a trip that’s safe and enjoyable for everybody.
Have a Better Understanding
Knowing at least the basics of Kayaking will somewhat keep you on your guard. Be mentally ready by understanding the dangers involved and knowing what to do and how to react to different situations.
Be Physically Ready
Develop physical strength and endurance. If you are beginner, you may be surprised at how tiring Paddling can be even though you are just doing it in a short distance.
Make sure that your body is up for the activity. Fuel up with the right kind of food. In addition, bring enough drinking water to keep yourself well-hydrated.
Plan & Prepare for The Trip
If traveling with the group, make sure that everyone knows what the plan is, as well as the designated tasks. Carry out a briefing before heading out. Prepare all the necessary pieces of Kayaking Gear.
Wear Safety Gear
Buoyancy or flotation aids and helmets are indispensable pieces of safety equipment. Do not go Kayaking without wearing your PFD and head gear. Also, make sure to wear the right pieces of Kayaking Clothing.
Protect your skin even during cloudy days. UV rays reflect on the water so apply sunscreen as needed.
It pays to equip yourself – gear-wise, mentally, and physically – to ensure that you will be safe throughout the trip. Safety spells a fun and exciting adventure so heed the precautions, stay safe, and have fun!
Arthur G. Moore is a veteran paddler. He has over 10 years of whitewater kayaking experience in his kitty. When he was young, he used to love kayaking in rapid III and rapid IV but as time went on, he decided to concentrate mainly on covering long distances on a standard touring kayak. He is currently working as a senior editor for Kayak Manual.