How can I go Kayaking alone? Kayaking is fun when done by a group of paddlers. But that does not mean that you cannot go out to Kayak by yourself. To go kayak by yourself, you need to prepare adequately. The following are some of the requirements to enable you to have a successful kayaking cruise in the wilderness. The first thing to note is that you are paddling alone, and with this external support when in the difficult situation might not be forthcoming at the right time.
1. Assemble all your personal kayaking Essentials
Again, you are going to be out and there is no other third party, colleague to offer support. Have all your kayaking gears ready for the journey. The gears and accessories to carry are discussed here: Kayaking clothing Accessories.
Failure to carry any of the clothing essentials can prove to be fatal. For example, you get socked in the middle of the river, and you develop a cold, but what can save you is dry clothing. But unfortunately you left in a hurry forgetting to pick one, what this means is that you are going to get ill.
2. Carry a waterproof sack for all your belongings.
The reason to have a water tamper-proof bag is to keep your belonging dry. The items designated for the bags are but not limited to the car keys, mobile phones, or any other communication gadgets, and many more. To select a good dry bag for your kayaking venture refer to our updated list of the best waterproof backpacks for kayaking.
3. Leave a note behind indicating where you are going.
Many take this for granted. When going out it is your responsibility to inform your families and friends by leaving a note behind explaining where you are going. Several rescues have been made possible in a situation where paddlers had left written information about their kayaking destination. With a note, it is easier to identify and locate you when stranded.
4. Have background information about the kayaking venue
It is important to have firsthand information on the place you are going to Kayak. When equipped with the data, you are in a position to isolate dangerous ground and head to the favorable ground for enjoyable paddling. Besides, it is advisable to select gentle and slow stretch when paddling in a fast-moving waters, such as rivers and streams.
These sections of the rivers make it easy to paddle upstream back to your landing point. You can get this information from local people with knowledge of the water, paddlers, outfitters, and guidebooks.
5. Hire a local guide
If you plan to go kayaking in a new destination or state, it is recommended to hire a local guide conversant with the area. The guides will direct you to the places to kayak within the locality. What this means is that one, you have a person whom you can call when in trouble, second, the guide can help authority finds you when in distress. Third, the local guide will save you time looking for suitable areas to kayak.
6. Consider paddling in a lake
Lakes have designated takeoff. For example, you need to land at the lakeshore beaches to get into the lakes as opposed to rivers where you have to identify a significant landmark. It is easier for you to return to the beaches when done paddling. However, if you happen to venture into rough water and fast-flowing rivers, you have chances of getting lost.
7. Carry a communication device
A communication device will enable you to contact your family or nearby authorities when in distress. Most paddlers set off to the sea leaving their phones behind for fear of getting socked. That is the reason why we recommend waterproof dry bags for item storage. When in trouble, please dial 911 or any other first response line.
8. Wear kayak pfd
You are safe kayaking without a recommended personal floating device. The lifejackets will help you float until assistance arrives. But many ignore the use of floating jackets just to find themselves in trouble. Many deaths are reported that resulted from not wearing lifesaver clothes. For example, two victims “identified as Elizabeth Howle, 48, and Jeffrey Sessions, 53.” Died because they “were not wearing life jackets, and it is not known whether alcohol was a factor.”(Washington Post)
9. No kayaking when drunk
Whether alone or not, please do not attempt to Kayak when under the influence of alcohol. Your visibility is affected which is likely to result in a collision or even death. So when paddling by yourself say no to alcohol as you have no other person to assist you.
10. Use kayak trailers for transport
When traveling a long distance, it is advisable to hire a kayak trailer to tow the boat. It is difficult to carry a heavy canoe on your head or shoulder. Besides, you risk getting muscle tissues injuries. If you cannot afford the trailers, a local bicycle or a motorbike can do at a reasonable cost.
11. Carry a paddling guidebook
Kayaking guide helps new paddlers with necessary information about paddling basic, types of paddle stroke in different waters, and many more. You learn many tricks from these sources, and the dos and don’ts.
12. You may need access permit
Majority of water bodies are open to the public for various activities. But some are restricted and requires authorizations to gain access. For example, paddling in a national park will require a permit from relevant authorities. Ensure to have the green light to avoid getting arrested.
13 Check your kayak condition
Don’t assume that since you paddle the other week, that your kayak is safe to venture into the rough waters. Ensure that the kayak is fit to paddle. If your craft is faulty, you will not even land in the water despite traveling a long distance and hiring a kayak trailer.
14. Equip yourself with the necessary kayak safety gears
There are many safety gears which are handy when in trouble. For more information please refers to our gears for kayak safety to buy.
15. Follow your country rules and regulations
Every nation has its own rules and regulations governing water sporting activities. Before venturing into ensuring that you adhere to these safety rules. For example, we have described rules and regulations by Canada in this article titled: Transport Canada Canoe Regulations for Sea Kayakers.
Lastly, remember that you are paddling solo, and you are responsible for your safety.