A kayaking trip does not have to be a disaster. With these 11 tips, you can have an enjoyable and memorable experience.
Kayaking: Tips for a Successful Trip
Know the weather forecast
If you are going to have a kayaking trip outside, make sure that you check the weather forecast before hand. If it is raining or there’s high winds of any type, do not go on the trip. You will end up ruining your fun day out if it gets canceled because of nature.
Organize your things first
Before you leave your home, organize everything that you are taking with you in order so that you don’t forget anything at home and lose a valuable item such as keys, wallet, phone or camera.
Choose your destination wisely
If this is your first time doing something like this then choose a place close to home or in an area where you feel comfortable. Avoid choosing destinations based on what your friends are doing; it will only lead to trouble and ruin your trip.
Pack the right clothes
Make sure that you pack the correct clothing, if not you would end up going out in a wet shirt or pants. It’s important that you stay dry while kayaking, if you get too wet then hypothermia can set in quickly so choose your clothes wisely.
Take a compass with you
Kayaking trips are boring sometimes, especially if there is no way for anyone to find their way back home (the place where they started). If high winds blow them away from their original route, they may have a hard time finding their bearings again without a compass. Check out an Academy Sports + Outdoors store near you and find a good compass that doesn’t cost a lot. It will be a good investment in the long run.
Watch out for your feet
If you are going to be kayaking close to rocks or waterfalls, make sure that you don’t trip over something and cause yourself serious injury.
Check the weather regularly during your trip
If you do have to kayak during a thunderstorm or other dangerous weather, make sure you are prepared for it and take some extra equipment with you. Having an extra paddle is a good idea as well as something that can signal for help if needed.
Clean your kayak before going out on the water
Make sure that your kayak is clean before taking it into open water. A dirty kayak will only invite fish or other animals to get stuck onto it while you’re out in the water, so wash it down thoroughly before setting off on your trip.
Do not drink alcohol during your trip
Alcohol and boats don’t mix very well at all, so don’t even try to bring alcohol with you. It can not only ruin your trip, but it can also ruin your life so don’t do it.
Tell someone where you are going and when they should expect you back
If you plan on going out during the night then tell someone that will be checking up on you regularly where you went and when to expect you back home. You don’t want to have a group of people worried about whether or not they will ever see you again so make sure that it is known what time everyone should come looking for you if they have not heard from anyone by a certain time.
The most important tip I could give anyone going kayaking with others would be to simply have fun! Don’t let anything get in the way of that and you will have an amazing time.
Wear appropriate clothing
Wear appropriate clothing for the day-to-day conditions that you are likely to encounter during your trip. You will be able to stay dry if you wear waterproof clothing and it is also important that you can feel safe. Don’t forget to bring a life jacket with you as well, just in case.
Know your limits and the conditions of the water before entering the water
Situations change constantly when out on open water or an incoming storm so make sure that you are aware of what situation you might encounter during your trip. The last thing anyone want’s is for someone to go missing because they were caught unprepared at the wrong time.
Make sure that everyone around you knows how fun of a time they are going to have while kayaking, it should always be someone’s mantra while heading off into the unknown on an excursion such as kayaking in a place that is unfamiliar. It’s important to keep everyone calm and happy during these trips, especially if they are cutting it close on time or there is trouble going on around them.
I always back my plans up with some sort of physical backup, whether it be what I’ve already drawn out plus a compass or even just checking my phone for what way I’m supposed to go. If you can’t tell where you’re going then how will anyone else know where to find you?
Choose your kayaking partner wisely
If you’re going to be kayaking with someone, then make sure that they are experienced in the water. If they have a fear of heights or don’t know what they are doing in open water, do not choose them as your paddling partner. You may find yourself stuck out at sea with no one to help you get back home and will end up ruining your trip completely. If you want more tips on how to have an enjoyable kayak trip, visit Professional Kayakers for more information about all kinds of kayaking trips.
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.