Kayaking is by far among the best water activities you can take up. The fun recreational activity also doubles up as an effective exercise, providing multiple benefits to your physical, mental, and emotional health. Apart from helping you tone up, it also helps develop muscle strength and stamina while relieving stress and releasing the feel-good hormones in your body. While at it, you also get to meet new people and make new friends. Kayaking with your family members can also help strengthen your bond as you have a good time together.
If it is your first time on a kayaking trip, however, you will need to arm yourself with the right information, equipment, and supplies. This will not only help you get the utmost fun from your experience, but it will also facilitate learning and ensure your safety. In this article, we shall highlight a few items you need to bring on your first kayaking trip.
1. Kayak and Paddle
Like the chef with his knife, so will you be with the kayak. If you are looking to make kayaking your new hobby, you should have the right kayak for your needs. They come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and designs, so you might need a little guidance in choosing the right one. As a beginner, you will basically need a short recreational kayak with a large cockpit for ease when climbing out. Since you are a newbie, you may not hack it navigating difficult weather conditions. Such a vessel will help keep you in position when kayaking to minimize the risks while providing the required back support.
2. Kayaking Paddles
Of course, the kayak won’t move without paddling, meaning that you have to bring your paddles. Just like kayaks, paddles are the second-most important tool of the trade to a kayaker. It is also worth mentioning that not all kayaking paddles are the same. In a recent piece on paddle reviews by kayaking enthusiast James, he says that the best paddles are not as heavy and cumbersome as the earlier models. Choosing quality paddles will make your kayaking experience more fun and less challenging. You will navigate the waters with ease without hurting your back.
Some factors to consider when buying kayaking paddles include:
- Shaft size and design
- Blade design, material, and dimensions
- Paddle Length
- Number of Pieces
- Types of Water
- Budget brand
- Paddle Accessories
3. Dry Bag
Incidents of capsizing are not new in the kayaking world, so, be prepared but be sure to be at your safest. You are going to the waters, and you can be sure that you will get wet no matter how careful you may be. That should be ceased by having a waterproof bag to keep all your belongings safe. You do not have to worry about your phone soaking or your camera lenses catching water. You can have the gadgets in a box and the bag’s clothing so that more care is given to the delicate belongings.
When we talk of essentials, big things come to mind forgetting the small things that matter. As small as it might be, sunscreen is the most important thing for your skin when kayaking. If you have gone through some kayaking beginner tips, you know one thing for sure. You will not go kayaking with heavy clothes covering you from top to bottom. You will want to feel the breeze, so you will have most of your body parts exposed. That means that you will have to have your sunscreen applied in all the exposed areas. It would be best if you did it frequently to avoid skin damage.
5. Life Jacket
Water can sometimes have the scariest situations in this life, but no matter how much of a dolphin you can be when evil comes to the worst, you need a life jacket for reassurance. There are days you will go kayaking, and you end up having a lazy cool in the river – not swimming, not moving, just hanging in water to relax and unwind. We also cannot forget those times when you want to stay afloat at the river comfortably. That is when you can use your life jacket besides when paddling.
6. Bilge or Sponge
Water is life, but it can be deadly too, and this you can take to the bank! When kayaking, there are times when the weather is unstable, and water can get its way into the vessel. That can send chills down your spine but hey, relax. You will come across such incidents countless times in your kayaking experience as you take more trips. You will find it enjoyable. And the bit of sucking the water with the sponge or the pump will make your new hobby more enjoyable.
7. Laundry Bag
You may be new in this field, but without a doubt, this is essential. As much as you may try not to get wet while at the fun of kayaking, it would be best if you got soaked. When the wet clothes are stored, they become damp, smelly, and may grow molds. It is a natural occurrence, but a laundry sac is mainly recommended for its antimicrobial agent that fights against odor and bacteria.
Your kayaking experience will be dependent on what you pack. This is regardless of how experienced you are, but it matters even more to beginners. In addition to the above items, don’t forget to bring a kayaking helmet to your first trip!