How to Kayak Safely

How to Kayak Safely
Kayaking is a fun recreational activity but it is not without dangers. Bad weather, dehydration, too much sun exposure and hypothermia are just a few of the risks involved with kayaking. To have a safe, enjoyable kayaking trip, it is important to follow certain safety precautions such as having the right gear and always checking the weather.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Kayak & paddles PFD Safety devices such as GPS, air horn Sports drinks and energy bars
  • Kayak & paddles
  • PFD
  • Safety devices such as GPS, air horn
  • Sports drinks and energy bars
Step 1
Learn paddling techniques, water safety and basic first aid. If you don't know where to take classes, consult your local kayak dealer. In addition to paddling techniques, learn proper entries and exits and how to roll your kayak.
Step 2
Wear the right safety gear. At a minimum this means a properly fitted personal flotation device (PFD). If you are paddling a sit-in kayak, you will also need a spray skirt to keep water out of the boat. If you are paddling in cold regions, make sure that you dress for the water temperature. Consider wearing a wetsuit.
Step 3
Don't paddle alone. Ideally, you should always have someone with you in case you run into trouble. If you absolutely must paddle alone, make sure that you have told someone of your float plan and have equipment to signal for attention, such as an air horn, signal mirror, GPS and a cell phone in a waterproof container.
Step 4
Check the weather before going out on the water. This is particularly important if you are at an area that you have never kayaked before. Be sure to check wind speeds and water conditions. Ask other kayakers who have paddled the area if there are any known currents.
Step 5
Bring food and water. Dehydration can occur quickly so it's important to have food and particularly water with you. Sports drinks which contain electrolytes will rehydrate you quickly. Pack food that is light and high in energy, such as energy bars or trail mix.

Tips & Warnings

Pack a small first aid kit

Article Written By Shiromi Nassreen

Shiromi Nassreen has been writing professionally since 2005. She specializes in travel and outdoor topics, and her articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including "DISfunkshion Magazine" and Matador Travel. Nassreen holds a Bachelor of Arts in theatre studies from Rose Bruford College of Speech & Drama.

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