Kayak Safety and Precautions

Kayak Safety: 5 Things You Need to Know

Kayaking is a rewarding experience. If you have adequate navigational and paddling skills, as well as loads of common sense, you can go ahead and enjoy this sport to your heart’s content.  However, no matter how experienced you may be a comprehensive review on kayak safety and precautions is always a great way to start your kayaking ventures. In this article, we’ve listed the 5 most important kayak safety tips and precautions to keep in mind while on a kayak holiday.

1.) The Kayak Equipment
Before you even plan for a kayaking trip, check if your kayak is in good condition and your paddles are sturdy. The skirt should fit you and your kayak. There should be plenty of secure buoyancy and don’t forget to bring your life-jacket, the most important part of kayak safety. Your clothing should be suitable according to the weather conditions of the place where you intend to go as well as the water temperatures. You should also have signaling devices, flares, a bilge pump and self-rescue aids. Remember to bring a compass, water bottle, maps and charts.

2.) Learn About Hypothermia
Hypothermia is one of the biggest dangers for sea kayakers. Therefore, read about the conditions in the area you plan on kayaking before you go. You should be wearing appropriate clothing and sufficient insulating garments when kayaking in cold water. You need to dress according to the water temperature.

3.) Wind and Currents
One should avoid paddling on windy days, as a strong wind can create fatigue very quickly.  People don’t realize, but a little headwind can separate two kayakers in seconds.  It can also slow you down and make it difficult for you to turn.  Avoid kayaking in foggy conditions as well as it can lead to complete disorientation.  Likewise, you need to be careful about the currents.  Strong currents can also quickly take you off course, but are harder to notice than wind. Make sure you read the weather forecast before you go out.

4.) Avoid Going Alone
It is always advisable to go in a group or at least let your family and friends know exactly where you pan to go kayaking.  Always carry kayak safety equipment and a waterproof bag.

5.) Watch Out for Crowds
Don’t assume that you can be easily seen by other ships, powerboats, tugboats or float planes. It is important to make yourself visible. Cross those shipping lanes fast and only at right angles. Don’t underestimate the speed of bigger ships.

Keep the above kayak safety tips and precautions in mind before you go kayaking or plan your next adventure. It’s better to be prepared with the necessary items and knowledge that even the most advanced kayakers require, ensuring a great time and plenty of fun with safety as the number one priority. Happy kayaking!

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