How to Kayak on a Lake

How to Kayak on a Lake
Kayaking is a great opportunity to explore lakes, whether they are small ones close to home for a day paddle or larger ones that include a night or more of camping. Safely paddling on lakes requires attention to detail and to traffic on the lake, as well as keeping an eye on the weather.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Map
  • Compass
  • Radio
  • Personal flotation device
Step 1
Get a map of the lake and examine it carefully. This will give you a good general outline of what to expect. Look for marinas where there probably will be heavy traffic, areas where it might be difficult to get to shore, and general conditions.
Step 2
Check with the local game and fish department to see if there are specific equipment or permits requirements. This changes from state to state. Permits might be required at some lakes and not others.
Step 3
Check weather conditions for the time that you are planning to paddle. Be aware that at different times of year there might be local weather occurrences that can build fast.
Step 4
Speak with local paddlers and sport shops, who can give advice and insight you can't get from maps. They also can steer you to parts of the lake that are worth seeing and tell you about areas to avoid.
Step 5
Create a float plan and leave it with family or friends. Include your route, estimated travel time and contact times. Also include a description of your boat. Once you've finished the trip, make sure you make contact and let others know you are safe.

Article Written By Andy McVeigh

Andy McVeigh lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is an avid outdoors enthusiast who enjoys paddling, biking, hiking, backpacking, camping, scuba diving and photography. McVeigh is a graduate of Northern Arizona University and is currently working on his MBA.

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