It is a magnificent experience to paddle through water on your kayak and enjoy scenic beauty around. We bring you seven tips to plan your next kayak travel trip quickly!
Kayaking, also known as paddling, is an exciting water sport where you travel on water in your small and narrow water vehicle called the kayak. It is a more laid-back activity than rafting, great for recreation, exploring nature’s hidden treasures and for fishing too.
Kayaking requires skill and strength; it is also about maintaining a balance in the kayak and making your way through the waterbody.
If you are planning for a kayak travel trip, the following tips are sure to make it easier and more fun for you:
Things to consider for a kayak travel trip:
1. Where to Go?
Kayaking can be done in any waterbody like an open ocean, sea, lake, coastal bay or the river. While experienced kayakers may prefer to go white-water kayaking in a flowing river, beginners must practice flatwater kayaking in a lake where there are not any rapids, tides or waterfalls before going to sea kayaking.
You must occasionally explore new places apart from kayaking in your area’s local water body. Make sure to carry maps/guidelines and learn about the local laws of kayaking when in a new place.
2. When to Go?
Kayaking should be enjoyable and should not turn into a struggle for your life. Before beginning, you must check both the wind and the tide. You must also check the water level and ensure there is no turbulence. Avoid going in low tide either as some areas become very shallow and you may get stuck.
Though it is fun to go kayaking when it is drizzling, going during heavy rains should be avoided as your kayak may fill up with water and turn upside down. Prefer to go in low winds and avoid any chance of a storm.
3. How to Choose Your Kayak?
A good kayak is very essential for a good kayaking experience. The kayak you choose should be stable and comfortable. It must have a cushioned seat with a back support. It must also be durable and withstand bumps so that you do not have to invest in buying a new one time and again. For beginners and women kayakers, a lightweight kayak would be more suitable.
Before making a buying decision, you must compare the available options based on brand, price, features, warranty, customer service, and reviews. It is a good idea to try before you buy, you may optionally rent a kayak for your kayak travel trip before deciding the one you want to buy.
4. What Accessories to Take Along?
The most important equipment after your kayak is your paddle. Needless to say, the paddle must be lightweight and of an appropriate length for you. Remember to always wear your life jacket, also called the PFD – portable floatation device. In some parts of the world, it is mandated by law to wear a PFD or you shall have to bear the fine.
You must also wear a helmet and carry a dry bag for your electronics, cash, clothes, and food. A duct tape also comes handy for any repair work to the kayak or the paddles. Always carry plenty of drinking water wear sunglasses and a hat on your kayak travel trip.
5. How to Learn Kayaking?
No matter how easy it looks to paddle a kayak in water, taking a kayaking lesson and a little practice on a beach will definitely boost your confidence. Repeated paddle actions on the shore shall make the desired muscles active and hence easier for you to kayak once you are in the water.
You must practice on shallow and calm waters with a group before going solo in the open waters. You must also make a note of the safety practices and adhere to them. When in a group, rapids create noise and distance; one must know hand signals and gestures to communicate with the other members of the group to convey important messages.
6. What to Wear?
You must always dress for the weather in the water and never for weather on the land. The water is generally colder than the weather on land and you must never ignore the chance of you falling into the water. It is advisable to wear nylon clothes or the quick dry ones.
Always carry a towel and warm clothes in a dry bag to be on the safe side if you fall in the water. Special shoes for kayakers are also widely available now; their soles are made using sticky rubber to prevent sliding. You must always use substantial amounts of sunscreen irrespective of the weather.
7. How to be Safe?
Riding a kayak is just like riding any other vehicle where you must ensure your own safety. Always carry a first aid kit and be prepared for an emergency situation. It is suggested that you should know the basics of safety by taking a rescue course. Always wear your PFD no matter how good a swimmer you are. Any sudden water disturbance can flip your kayak and land put you into a trouble without the life jacket. Stay alert and active; keep an eye on the rocks and animals.
You must always opt for the kayak and other gear in a highly visible color. Reflective tape may also be used to increase visibility and aid in case you lose track of the way. Also, opt for bright color clothing, vibrant flags and lights, do keep a safety whistle or air horn. Always double check your gear before leaving the shore.
Do not rush through the water while kayaking, enjoy the scenery, breathe the fresh air and enjoy the freedom and peace.
Hope you liked the above kayak travel tips and are now ready to begin your kayaking excursion!