Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Five Safety Precautions to Take When Kayaking by Lee Flynn

Hi everyone!

This post is written by Lee Flynn. He will be a guest contributor, posting an article on our blog once a month, about outdoor safety. I look forward to reading his upcoming articles and learning from them. You can read more from Lee Flynn at https://medium.com/@Preparation


Five Safety Precautions to Take When Kayaking

Kayaking is a fun adventure and recreational activity when the weather starts to get nice, but one that isn’t without risks if you don’t follow specific safety precautions. Ensure that your adventure is both safe and fun by following these five safety measures before heading out on the water.

Clothing

Dress for the weather and the water. If you’re heading out on rough waters you’ll need a helmet, but if not a hat can protect your head from the sun. Sunglasses can help with the reflection of the sun off the water, especially on clear days without a cloud in site. Bright colors such as bright orange, yellow or green allow other people on the water to see you, such as larger watercraft that can be dangerous in comparison to your small kayak. Waterproof sunblock should be applied to all exposed skin, and if you’re prone to getting dry lips, Chap Stick should also be included in your must-haves. Don’t forget to keep yourself warm with a wetsuit if it’s not quite that warm out and wear shoes with straps to keep your feet protected.

Wear a personal floatation device

A PFD, commonly known as a life jacket, is an absolute necessity when going out on the water. They add bulk, but the truth is that they save lives and kayaking can be unpredictable at times. PFDs aren’t only about how well you can swim, but protect you if you hit something and become unconscious. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially if kayaking in rough or open bodies of water. Many bodies of water including state and national parks, along with some local ponds and lakes require the use of a PFD at all times.

Tell someone your trip plan

If you’re going to be on the water let someone know where you’re going, your float path and how to reach you. If something happens you’ll want people to know where to find you. If possible, bring someone with you for the company and to be there in case you run into a situation you can’t handle alone. Know the terrain of where you’re going and get advice from individuals who know the area before heading out.

Avoid alcohol and drugs

It might be relaxing to drink a few beers before you head out, but alcohol impairs your ability and makes kayaking dangerous instead of fun. Alcohol dehydrates the body, slows your judgment time and increases the speed at which hypothermia sets in. Save the drinks for after you get on dry land and are safe at home with your buddies. If you prefer not to intake tobacco, vape mods with a good flavor of e cig juice could be a different alternative to smoking.

Pack the essentials

Spending all day on the water requires you to be equipped for the day. Ensure that you have at least a gallon of drinking water to stay hydrated. Double or triple bag everything in waterproof bags to keep them dry in the event that you flip over. Some things you might need are aspirin, Band-Aids, antibiotic ointment, energy bars or other food source. Always keep a whistle on you to get attention if you need it. Keep one on a lanyard so it is readily accessible at any time.

Enjoy your kayaking experiences, but be safe while doing it. You don’t want to turn a fun recreational activity into a devastating experience. Taking a few basic precautions ensures that you’ll have many more experiences to reminisce about in the future.

Check out more by Lee Flynn at: https://medium.com/@Preparation