Kayaking is one of the best ways to experience and sightsee a destination. You get to enjoy the beautiful view around you while being up close with the water. Many avid kayakers have experienced incredible close-ups of wildlife and can see a diverse landscape or geographic formation in a way unlike any other.
However, all avid kayakers know the importance of kayak safety. With any outdoor activity, you need to aware of your surroundings and prepared for anything to happen with the hope that it never does!
Today, we share our top 6 kayak safety tips so you are ready for any emergency and are ready to experience the beauty of kayaking.
6 Kayak Safety Tips
Follow these tips so that you’re always prepared for any emergency or situation.
1. Check the Weather
Whether you’ve kayaked this same body of water for years, or it’s a new place, check the weather before heading out. If you do arrive at your destination and realize the weather seems harsher than you expected, reconsider your kayak expedition.
Be especially aware of high winds, thunderstorms, or extreme heat. High winds are dangerous even for the strongest kayakers and can make the return journey difficult. Thunderstorms bring lighting which isn’t safe to be out in the open water. Extreme heat is dangerous for any outdoor activity because you risk dehydration.
2. Always Wear Your PFD
Always wear your personal flotation device (PFD) when you are kayaking. Even if you’ve been kayaking for many years and have lots of experience, always wear your PFD when you’re on the water. In fact, the Coast Guard does require that you wear your PFD.
3. Pack Your Emergency Essentials
Speaking of emergencies, have your essential emergency pack with you on every kayak trip and frequently check it over. Your pack should be in a waterproof bag and contain the basics including; a signaling whistle, headlamp, basic first aid kit, and a towline.
4. Dress Appropriately
Dress for the conditions of your kayak trip. If you’re going to be paddling through cold water wear a wet suit to keep you warm if you end up in the water.
If you’re kayaking in warmer conditions, your lower body is hidden from the sun’s elements under your kayak, but wear a lightweight, long sleeve or sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays.
5. Practice Water Safety Skills
If you fall out of your kayak in open water, are you able to get back in? It’s a good idea to occasionally practice water safety skills in a warm, shallow location. Practice flipping your kayak and getting yourself back in. Practice group safety and practicing a buddy rescue if you kayak with a group.
6. Tell Someone Your Kayak Plan
With any outdoor recreational activity, let someone know your plan of where you’re going and how long you plan to be gone. This way, your friend or family member knows where you are and if you’re not back at the time you said, he or she can get help.
Practice these kayak safety tips and enjoy all the amazing experiences kayaking will bring.
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