Part 1, Ocean Kayaking
On a hot summer day, there’s nothing more enticing than an evening on the water. If you’ve been ocean kayaking before, you know the magic of gliding over soft ocean swells during a quiet, colourful sunset. If you haven’t been ocean kayaking before, it’s worth trying out! Take some time to get to know the basic kayaking safety tips and the next time you find yourself craving an evening on the water, you’ll be ready to go!
Here are 10 basic safety tips for ocean kayaking:
- Wear your personal flotation device while you paddle.
- Wear a helmet if you’ll be paddling in the surf zone or in a river or doing any kind of white water paddling.
- Before paddling for your first time, or in a new area, familiarize yourself with the currents, shoreline conditions and weather patterns.
- Map out your route and let someone know what your route is, in case of an emergency. It’s also a good idea to plan an escape route, in case the weather changes or you get tired or hurt and need to leave the water earlier than you planned.
- Bring water and food to stay hydrated and energized. It’s always a good idea to bring more than you expect you’ll need, in case you get stuck out on the water for longer than you planned.
- Check out our 4 ounce water pouches and 3600 calorie food bars for your on-the-go nutrition and hydration needs!
- Practice self-rescue exercises before you head out, such as kayak re-entry.
- Take note of the current weather conditions and the weather forecast before you head out, and prepare for changes in the weather by bringing extra clothing layers.
- Follow the boating rules of whatever area you’re paddling in.
- Never mix alcohol or drugs with kayaking.
- Never exceed the weight capacity that your kayak is designed for, and check your equipment for wear and tear before heading out.
It’s also a great idea to take at least one person kayaking with you. Being in a pair increases your safety, because if one of you forgets something or hurts yourself, the other person should be able to help. Getting qualified instruction before kayaking for the first time is always a good idea, to learn specific paddling techniques.
Bonus tip: bring a first aid kit!
-Content created by Sophie Wooding – Writer, gardener, cyclist and emergency preparedness enthusiast!