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How to Plan a Kayaking Trip

J.R.R. Tolkien was right. “It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations if you live near him.” Even if you’re simply planning to kayak past him, you probably want to include the dragon into your calculations.

1. KAYAK

Just as you need a horse in order to go on a horseback trip, you require a kayak to go on kayaking trips. The make and model are completely up to you, but choose the kayak that suits the location and type of trip you are planning. For an awesome kayak experience (and kayak accessories), check out clear kayaks at The Crystal Kayak Company LLC.

2. TIME FRAME

How long are you planning to be away? Remember to include, if required, the amount of time it takes to travel to and from the launch site and the time required to actually launch and haul out at the end of the trip. Are you going to launch and haul out at the same point OR do you need someone to drop you off at one point and pick you up at another?

3. SKILL LEVEL

It is true that almost anyone can paddle a kayak. Almost anyone can do just about anything provided there is no one else around and the conditions are perfect! Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen very often, so it is vital that you evaluate your skill level and be realistic about what you and your companions can handle. Search for locations that match your skill level when looking for places to go kayaking

4. SAFETY EQUIPMENT

While kayaking with my partner several years ago, we came across a young family (two parents and two small children) that were navigating by the decorative map on a restaurant placemat. It goes without saying – ahem – that the smart kayaker will include a navigational chart, compass, and flashlight as part of his or her kayaking equipment. Recognizing that cell service is not always available, a flare, mirror and/or matches (to light a fire) are all good signaling devices. 

5. WEATHER

Although it is usually more enjoyable to paddle on a beautiful sunny day in the middle of summer, some kayakers like the challenge of cooler weather and chilly water temperatures. Triumphing over those odds is a matter of planning and recognizing that temperatures, weather fronts and wave action can change without warning.

6. FOOD, CLOTHING & SHELTER

When planning this part of your kayaking trip think ‘lightweight’, ‘waterproof’ and ‘practical’.

7. WILDLIFE (The four-legged variety)

Summer vacation videos prove, year after year, that not everyone has common sense when it comes to wild animals. Bear cubs look cute, but momma bears are ferocious when it comes to protecting their young. Despite their sometimes docile appearance, crocodiles can move very fast. And an adult male moose can weigh up to 1500 lb. Imagine that charging at you!

Failing to plan is paramount to planning to fail.  ‘Failing’ on a kayak trip can lead to serious injury or worse.  Calculate well!

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