Wind and rain is no friend to the kayak. These are obstacles that can turn your excursion to hell. If you are paddling in the ocean, knowing the tides can make all the difference. Instead of paddling in place, time it right and you’ll paddle with the tides and save lots of energy.
Emergency situations do occur while sea kayaking and many who have been careless have lost their lives. Many are swept away in currents and taken out to sea. Some attempt to tackle a stretch of water that is too long or too rough for them to handle…the There are a few safety precautions to take that will help save your life in an emergency situation. First, always kayak with a friend or in a group. Second, let someone on the shore know where you will be paddling and the approximate time you will be back.
A waterproof cell phone or a waterproof container to put a cell phone or communication device is a great safety device. Walkie talkies, which are often waterproof or styled toward rugged and extreme conditions, are another cheap and easy way to contact the police, park rangers, or the coast guard in a dangerous situation.
Food and Water
Even in calm seas kayaking can be strenuous, therefore lots of energy is necessary. Eating foods high in carbohydrates are recommended. Energy bars are an easy snack to keep with you that you can quickly eat if you need immediate fuel. If on an extended trip where you will be doing a lot of camping you will need to bring your own food the same as you would if you were hiking. Waterproof containers designed for kayaks fit snugly with no distraction to your paddling. Plenty of bottled water or a water filtration system of some sort is a necessity as well.
The most important safety feature when kayaking is wearing a life vest. If you fall into the water this will not only keep you afloat, but can help other kayakers or a rescue team to see you. Most local laws actually require kayakers to wear a life vest.
Also, kayaking during storms is a no-no, as is with strong waves. As capable as you may think you are, the natural strength of a wave will carry you and flip you over, which is particularly dangerous if you are in shallow water or near a reef or jagged rocks.
Paddling in polluted waterways is also a concern. The world’s growing pollution problem often affects oceans and lakes, which can cause infections in those in close contact. Often swimming in infected water is prohibited by local bylaws, so always be on the lookout for signs. Be sure to wash and clean all cuts and scrapes immediately after kayaking, including washing your clothes and gear, if you believe you may have paddled through polluted water.
Protected marine reserves do not always allow kayaks to enter and you should know the rules and regulations beforehand or be prepared to face extreme penalties.