Preparing for Your Kayaking Trip - The Basics

While kayaking has quickly become a popular choice of water activity and recreation, it's by far one of the oldest forms of transportation. People have been traveling by kayak for centuries, mainly because it was once the only method of water transportation. But over time, it evolved from a necessity to a recreational sport, leading to the development of kayaking gear and accessories. If you are planning to participate in a kayaking adventure for the first time, you may be unsure of what you will need. Here are a few tips for finding the best kayaking equipment.

Obviously, you will need a kayak. If you are going through a kayaking tour company, chances are you will have the opportunity to rent a kayak as part of your package price. But if you're going independently, or with friends and family, you'll need your own kayak. Kayaks come in many different sizes, and you need to determine how many people will be traveling with you. Even if you're planning to kayak alone, consider purchasing one with two or more seats. This way you will have room for others on future trips and you can still distribute the weight by using heavier items for leverage if you want to paddle alone. Speaking of paddles, you will need those too. Choosing a paddle takes time and there are factors to consider when looking for paddles. First of all, be sure the paddle fits the specific type of paddling you have in mind. For example, if you plan to paddle through white water, you will need a paddle with a stronger and thicker blade. You also need to make sure the paddle fits your body strength and height, as well as the height and width of your kayak.

If you have a smaller frame, pay attention to the shaft's diameter. Often too large a diameter can cause wrist or shoulder injuries to a small person. You should visit a kayak outfitter in person for paddles, and ask for assistance on properly measuring your body type for a paddle.

Although it's often overlooked, kayak clothing is vital to the safety of your kayaking trip. Unexpected events easily happen even in the most tranquil waters. You never know when your kayak could flip, or when you'll be encountered by a random splash of water. Therefore, it's important that you seek quick-drying clothes when obtaining your kayaking equipment. Be sure to find loose fitting shorts, tops, and jackets. Synthetic material is often recommended for kayaking. Avoid wearing cotton garments, and consider wearing a swimsuit underneath your clothes. Cotton stays wet and you are likely to be very uncomfortable during the remainder of your trip. If you plan to kayak in the winter month, you may want to purchase a synthetic kayaking suit to wear over your clothes. This will keep you dry as well as prevent hypothermia.

Don't forget to include the basics, such as lifejackets, helmets, and first aid kits. Safety should always remain your top priority on your kayaking excursion and you never know when these items will come in handy.

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