Despite kayaking being such a great pastime, it also has some risks. Below are some of the safety tips that one should consider before taking on the open waters on a kayak.
Learn some basics about kayaking: This goes without saying. Before going out into the open waters, you need to know the basics about kayaking. Learn the safety rules and get familiar with some self-rescue techniques.
Do you know how to swim: This is very important, not only when kayaking but when using any watercraft. There is always the danger of capsizing or falling into the water. The question of whether you know how to swim or not is not only relevant to you but also to those around you so that they would know how to react when you fall into the water.
Always wear a life jacket: Whether you are an expert swimmer or not, you should always wear a lifejacket when kayaking. This is especially important when kayaking on rough waters such as when whitewater kayaking. Life jackets may not give one that sexy cool look, but they can definitely save your life.
Always confirm the weather conditions before heading out: Weather is quite unpredictable, especially if you are going kayaking out in the ocean or seas. You do not want to be caught by a storm while out in the middle of the sea.
You also need to be aware of the possible changes in the temperature. It might suddenly get cold or hot. As such, you need to be armed with the appropriate clothes. Get a wet or dry suit for wet or cold conditions and in case the sun gets too hot, you might need to wear a long sleeved shirt and some protective headgear. You might also need to pack sunscreen for the skin.
Always follow the kayaking rules: This cannot be stressed enough. You have to adhere to the set rules; this includes observing the weight limits of your kayak, and ensuring that you have all the necessary safety gear on board.
You also need to follow the rules set for the given area you are going to tour. This is especially important if you are going to fish or camp.
Go out with someone: Having a companion or companions while out kayaking is pretty important. Anything might happen while you are out at sea. You might lose your compass or GPS in a storm and lose your directional bearing while out in the middle of the sea. In such a case a companion might help out with theirs. You could also fall sick while out kayaking, a companion will help you out. In case of an accident, you will also have someone to help you out.
Inform someone of your plans: This is especially important if you cannot get someone to go out kayaking with you. You then need to inform someone of your plans. Tell them how long you will be gone and what areas you will be touring.
This is also important when going out as a group. Let someone know how many people you are, what areas you will be in and what you will be doing.
Safety kayaking tips for novices heading out to open waters Credit Picture License: Cab over water via photopin cc