What to Know Before Going Kayaking?

June 28, 2022 4 min read

There are several important things to remember before going kayaking, so make sure you know what they are before you go. Read up on water conditions, safety gear, and choosing a day when the weather is mild. And remember to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and other necessary gear. The best way to ensure a successful kayaking trip is to get outside and explore the great outdoors.

Safety

The first step to safety while kayaking is to follow the rules and regulations of the area in which you are planning to paddle. Choose a location with calm, shallow waters. If the water is rough, stay calm and observe buoy colors. Take along the necessary safety equipment, including a life jacket, paddles and whistle. Dress appropriately for the weather and prepare for a capsize. Wearing a helmet is strongly recommended. Make sure you have a good knowledge of how to swim and paddle safely.

When paddling in a river, the currents can be strong and unpredictable. Know the location where you will take your kayak and heed the warnings of other boats. If you are in unfamiliar waters, contact the local paddling club and ask for advice. It is vital to be aware of oncoming vessels, as their wake can unbalance you and cause you to capsize. Make sure to have a plan to follow if you are ever late or need assistance.

Gear

When you are planning a day on the water, you will want to make sure that you have the right gear. You might be thinking that all you need is a kayak, paddle, and life jacket, but this may not be enough. These basics will not meet the safety standards in many areas, and aren't always the most appropriate practice. Before you purchase any kayaking gear, take the time to understand the rules and regulations in your area.

You must have a personal floatation device, or PFD, when kayaking. Whether you're paddling in calm coastal waters or on whitewater, a PFD will keep you afloat and safe in case of an emergency. There are different types of PFDs, but one that fits snugly and is adjustable is the best choice for you. It should also fit snugly to protect your back and chest.

Water Conditions

If you're planning on kayaking on a lake, pond, or river, make sure to check the water conditions before you get on the water. If the water is cold and murky, choose a route that avoids icy or dangerous areas. If you're kayaking in a river, choose a route that doesn't involve rapids or large waves. A strong wind could make returning to shore very difficult.

The best time to kayak is when the air temperature is 70 degrees or higher. While the water temperature can be difficult to gauge, it's a good rule of thumb to aim for over seventy degrees. For ocean kayaking, waves are particularly important, and can reach four feet during major storms. However, if you're kayaking on a lake, you'll want to wait until the water temperature reaches a temperature of at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Keeping Fellow Paddlers Safe

Keeping your fellow paddlers safe is critical when kayaking in waters that have high water levels. Before going kayaking, be sure that you know how to swim, and choose a waterway that isn't too challenging for you. If you're unsure of your paddling abilities, take a kayaking lesson to improve your skill level and keep others safe. Then, you'll be able to safely paddle the waterway of your choice.

Life jackets are essential equipment for kayaking. Not only do they keep you buoyant, but they also keep you dry in case you lose control of the craft. Make sure everyone has a life jacket before you head out, and make sure you know how to use it properly. Before going kayaking, make sure you know the location and color of your kayak and life jacket, and let one person know where you're paddling. Lastly, be sure to pack plenty of water and other supplies.

Avoiding Sharks

If you've ever been kayaking, you've probably heard about the dangers of kayaking with sharks. In addition to the potential danger of getting attacked by a shark, kayaking can also put you at risk of encountering sea lions and seals. While many of these animals are harmless, sharks are ferocious and aggressive. If you think you may have run into one, stay calm and do not panic. While you can use your paddle to intimidate the shark, it may cause you to look like a seal in distress. Instead, paddle your way to safety and stay as still as possible.

If you happen to come across a shark in the water, your kayak will be the safest place to hide in. If a shark manages to attack, you should get out of the water as quickly as possible. If you do fall out of your kayak, the best thing to do is try to get back in. If you're knocked out in deep water, it can be difficult to get back in. That's why practicing re-entering your kayak in deep water is essential.



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