BASIC SAFETY GUIDELINES FOR KAYAKING
Kayaking is great fun. Nevertheless, it is important to know and stick by basic safety guidelines. It’s easy to get excited when trying something new. However, it is important for beginners to learn some basic safety and general kayaking basics, even before they make a kayak purchase.
Here are my tips for basic safety when kayaking, and that includes kayak fishing, my favourite.
CHECK YOUR KAYAK
Before going on your trip, make sure that your kayak has no signs of any damage and it’s completely in good condition. Check for leaks, broken parts and alike problems to avoid trouble while kayaking.
KNOW THE RULES AND REGULATIONS
You have to know the standard boating rules and regulation of the place where you’ll kayak. All types of boats including kayak and canoes have to comply with the government regulations. Read, understand and learn the laws and regulations of the relevant authorities to avoid getting into trouble.
KNOW THE TERRAIN
You must be sure your kayak is intended for that specific type of water. For example, you must not use a kayak boat for inland water in open water because it may not be able to withstand the waves but it is more likely that the build does not suit fresh water. If you want to kayak in different types of water, find a suitable kayak for a variety of water conditions.
ASK FOR HELP
If you’re unsure of the kayaking challenges of the area you are in, never hesitate to ask for some local help.
INFORM OTHER PEOPLE IF YOU’RE KAYAKING ALONE
If you’re travelling alone, consider informing someone trusted about your kayaking trip. Give essential details like the time of your departure, estimated return and the route you’re about to take. That way they will have the information on where and how to find you, in case you don’t get back on time.
Whether it’s your first time kayaking or not, be realistic with your skills. It’s fine pushing to your limits, just be sure that you carefully weigh all the possibilities. If you’re a beginner, make sure you choose an easy route. You can always start with calm water to improve your kayaking skills.
WEAR APPROPRIATE CLOTHES
You don’t have to be fancy in kayaking. Wear some layered and comfortable clothing. A lightweight yet warm clothes are also great outfits. Wear bright coloured clothes so other water users can see you.
WEAR LIFE JACKETS
Wearing life jackets is one of the basic safety standards in boating or even kayaking. Whenever you’re out on the water, you must be sure you put life jackets on. Your life jacket should fit you well so you keep it on while you are out on the water.
BRING A COMMUNICATION DEVICE
If you’re kayak in an area with mobile coverage, bringing your phone is a great idea. However, a personal locator beacon will be the safest option if it’s an area without any signal – just in case something goes wrong and you need help.
Take some snacks and water with you. You may need to take some breaks to refuel your body with food for energy and make sure you keep sipping at your water to keep yourself hydrated. Finally, even if you are kayaking on an overcast day, don’t forget to use sunscreen.
Is there anything else you can add?