Preparations before kayaking

kayakingpreparationsKayaking, in simple terms, means moving across the water using a kayak. A kayak is a boat with a paddler facing forward and using a double bladed paddle to move ahead. Kayaking is fast gaining popularity among youngsters who love the feeling of fresh water splashing on their faces as they race ahead of the other kayaks in groups of three or four. But before taking the plunge, there are certain things that you need to take care of.

Collect all information about kayaking:

Kayaking is a sport which shouldn’t be done alone if you are a newbie. It’s better to get some practice and training. And if that’s not possible, bring along a person who has some previous experience and who might help you.

Get dressed appropriately:

Synthetic, nylon or polyester clothes, jacket, waterproof bags and high quality rain gear are an absolute necessity. Better to be dressed in shorts or trousers which are comfortable to wear. Also, keep some dry clothes handy after your adventurous stint.

Take care of yourself:

Since kayaking is a highly energetic sport, it is possible for you to get dehydrated. So, a bottle of water would make you feel good after a long time of exhausting yourself. Have a medical kit with all the important medicines in case of an injury or a problem.

Have food ready at all times, and no alcohol:

Have high-calorie snacks, beverages and other essentials in good quantities. Alcohol is an absolute no.

Have a map and other essentials for a hot day ready:

A map of the surrounding area will help you get back to the right place, in case you are lost. And don’t forget your sunglasses, sunscreen lotion, a wide-rimmed hat, towels, gloves and well fitted boots. If you bring your mobile phones or cameras, store them in a dry bag or waterproof case. GPRS will enable you to know the place better.

Check out the water temperature, tides and weather:

Before venturing into the water, check out the temperature and water conditions to make sure that you don’t get caught in high blown wind. An outgoing tide can cause difficulty when coming back to the shore. The weather forecasts can also be known with the help of a radio, which will give you regular updates on the conditions around.

Get a kayak, head gear and a paddle ready:

A good quality kayak which can take the load of around 4 people is the most important. Also, invest in some good paddles and helmets to protect the head.

Know how to sit in a kayak and use a paddle:

Asking people for help won’t hurt anyone. It will give you a better grip which will allow you to enjoy without worrying. Practice with the group. Never exceed the weight capacity of the kayak.

Stretch your muscles before attempting the sport:

Do some stretching exercises and be fit so that you can survive the adrenaline rush and the rapid activities of kayaking.

For late nights:

Have lights, lithium batteries and torches to be used during your late night adventure outings. Have lamps and lanterns with extra batteries ready. And take care of the wild animals, just in case.

Discuss your plan with someone:

Talk about your kayaking plans, where you intend to go, what you intend to do, the team that you are going with. Also give your contact numbers so that they can check upon you in regular intervals.

Get ready to take a snapshot of life:

If possible, get a water proof camera to capture the most wonderful moments of your life. Check out the far end of the region with a pair of binoculars that fit perfectly into your jacket.

These tips will make your kayaking experience safe, secure, fun and something to cherish for a long, long time in your life.

meenakshi nilakantan