Do you want to go fishing in your kayak? Or are you just planning on cooling off with your kayak in the pond? Whatever the case, it doesn’t quite matter what you are up to. However, it’s important that you keep safe in whichever kayaking experience you could be having.
So how do you do that? Well, in this post, I am going to give you some of the best safety tips for kayaking. These tips will help you to have a smooth kayaking experience, keep safe, and at the same time, have the urge to come back again.
For those who want to have the most memorable kayaking experience, these are the best safety tips that you can go with any day. More importantly, it carries the most basic safety tips that you should always keep to if you are a beginner.
Wear Your Life Jacket At Anytime
Most kayak fatalities occur because the rider did not wear a life jacket. The same applies to canoeing too. And that’s just about it. As I said, when something goes wrong in water, it goes wrong pretty fast.
To save yourself from the risk of drowning, wearing a life jacket will come in handy. And this is the most vital safety tip that any kayaker should learn. And if you find a life jacket to be uncomfortable, you can always go with a personal floating device.
PFDs will give you more comfort and leave you with an even greater range of motion when paddling your kayak.
Know the Weather to Expect
Another thing that you should have in mind is the type of weather to expect on that day. So watch weather forecasts, keep tabs with weather news, use your phone’s weather apps, whichever the case has a clue of how the weather will be.
Having a clue of what the weather will be like will mean understanding the following things in time:
- The speed of the wind
- The strength of wind
- The rainfall capacity
- The type of rainfall
- The weather change timelines
With this information, it is easy to plan your kayaking quite easily. You’ll be able to do the following things.
- Kayak and move out in time
- Reschedule your kayaking
- Wear the right clothes for the trip
- Choose the right kayak for the weather
- Carry any vital accessories
That’s why most seasoned kayakers will always keep tabs on the local weather conditions, especially if they are planning on a kayaking trip.
Dress Appropriately for the Trip
Dressing appropriately is another one of the best safety tips for kayaking. Nonetheless, looking at how fast sometimes the weather might change out there, it’s safer to be overdressed than to be underdressed.
Even so, being modest and dressing in line with the weather conditions will be an awesome choice. Always dress up in preparation for the sudden weather changes that could occur.
Here are some of the most ideal kayaking gears that you can always wear. They are simple, but very effective.
- Dry or wet swimsuit
- Long-sleeved tops for UV ray’s protection
- Wide rounded hats
- Rain jacket for when it rains
- Synthetic thermal base layers
Dressing appropriately might look like a small thing but trust me, it isn’t. If you ignore it, you could be doing that at your own peril.
Follow the Boating Rules
Before you set out for any kayaking trip, make sure that you are conversant with the local boating rules. Some of the most basic rules that you’ve got to keep in mind when going out for a kayaking trip are the following:
- Use reflective taping in your paddles
- Have a whistle on easy access safe
- Come with a first aid kit in the kayak
- Wear bright-colored clothes (makes you easy to spot)
Bring the Right Safety Gear
While this might also be ignored by most people who kayak in still waters such as a pond or a lake, it is very important. For those who are riding on fast-flowing rapids and waters, you should follow this rule. Make sure that you bring:
- A helmet
- Pair of gloves
These basic things will leave you with a huge difference in handling cold weather, in case of a fall, and in keeping your palms active when paddling.
Don’t Drink and Drive (Paddle)
Do not drink or consume any form of drugs while paddling. It is against kayaking laws in many states and could attract fines and possible jail term. It can also impair your judgment quite easily. In so doing, you could easily cause an accident, and at worst, lose your life.
Learn How to Get Back to Your Kayak from the Water
How do you get back into the kayak after you’ve fallen into the water? This is one of the most important safety tips for kayaking that you should learn. Unlike what you may think, doing this is not easy at all.
That’s why you should practice how to do it before you set out kayaking. It could be a thin line between life and death. Don’t wait until you flip over before you can try turning your kayak over and climbing back in. It won’t be easy.
So the earlier you start to practice, the better it is for you.
Update Someone on Your Plans
Don’t just leave for your kayaking trip. It is important that you inform a pal or a loved one on what you are up to and where you plan ongoing. This also requires you to share with the person the following.
- Planned camping spots
- Kayaking location
- Kayaking itinerary
But the most important part of all is to stick to your plan. Do not change plans along the way and fail to say. It is the surest way to launch a perfect rescue mission in case something goes horribly wrong.
Pick a Suitable Location
Pick your kayaking location in line with what your needs are. It would be best to focus more on the following things when looking for your most suitable kayaking location.
- Skill level
- Kayaking experience
- Personal abilities
- Kayaking ambitions
If you follow these tips through, you’ll realize that the most suitable location for your needs will vary with the next person’s.
Take Your Time/ Be Patient
Like it is the norm in many other activities, it is important to start off from the lower levels as you progress. The same applies to kayaking, don’t rush things. Rather start from the shallow water around the calm bays and quiet lakes and improve to less stable waters when your skill level rises. Nonetheless, you should know your limits.
Learn Cold Water Safety Tips
You don’t want to know, cold water is extremely dangerous. It can impair your judgment, reduce body coordination, and even decrease your muscle strength. This means that if you were to fall in cold water, you’d be incapacitated in a flash. So, wear a life jacket always, have a swimsuit on, and get ideal water boots.
Make Sure Your Equipment is Set
It is a good idea to check if everything is in place before you head out. You don’t want to reach the lake only to realize that you left your PFD behind. So create a checklist and use it before you pack up and leave.
Keep Your Body Hydrated
One thing that you will realize once you kayak for a long time is that kayaking can be quite dehydrating. That’s why it is very important that you bring lots of fluids, water, and food. To keep yourself hydrated.
Check with the Locals
Finally, if you are going to kayak in a new place that you’ve never been to before, it is a good idea to talk to the locals and to gather a few helpful information. This will help you in developing a good plan that’ll give you the best kayaking experience and a reliable escape route if the need arises. Ask the locals about:
- Shoreline conditions
- Local currents
- Weather patterns
The truth is this; every type of activity has its share of hazards. From jogging, cycling to recreational kayaking, there is a chance that something can always go wrong. Injuries might occur, and that’s why you need to protect yourself against it.
You don’t want to drown, catch a cold, or freeze to death due to cold weather when kayaking, but these are real risks that you can’t just brush off. Nonetheless, they shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying such an awesome experience.
So choose these awesome safety tips for kayaking and keep safe. They’ll come in handy when you intend to conquer the rapids or go against a brewing storm. With that said, it is time to choose the most relevant tips for your next kayaking trip.
Don’t brush this off. Remember that you are dealing with water, and anything can go wrong. Too bad that if they do, then they could get worse pretty quickly. Keep yourself safe with these smart tips.
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