Are you going on a several hours’ kayak trip? Check what you’ve forgotten about…
We’ve gathered the most basic information about what to take and how to get ready for a short one-day recreational rally in one place. This post is dedicated to those who are going on an organised kayak trip and don’t have to plan the route, the logistic details, or choose the equipment, etc. Have a nice read and enjoy the rally 🙂
What should I wear?
If you’re planning to spend some hours in a kayak, you must carefully choose your clothing. Above all, clothes need to be adjusted to the season of the year and the current/ forecast weather.
In summer, it is best to put on a swimming costume or swimming trunks, shorts and a short-sleeved tee or a thin and light tunic or a long-sleeved tee over that. When you put on these, you are sure that you won’t get sunburned and you will be able to bathe in the river during a break.
The essential elements of a kayaker’s clothing also include a cap, sunglasses and shoes. Don’t ever get out of the kayak or wade in the river barefoot. On the bottom, some traps may be hidden in the form of a piece of glass, a sharp rock or a stick that can cut your feet very severely. Sandals or shoes for water sports are perfect.
Of course even for a one-day kayak trip you should take a raincoat or a cloak and a thin tee (preferably made from fleece) that you will put on if the weather breaks. More information about appropriate clothing for kayak trips.
What to bring?
If you’re going on an individual kayak trip, you need to remember about:
- a mobile phone with a charged battery;
- basic dressing materials or a small first-aid kit (bandage, gauze, sticking plasters), disinfectants (at least hydrogen peroxide), painkillers and antipyretic remedies (Pyralgina, Polopiryna, Apap), remedies for sunburn relief (e.g. Panthenol), something for allergies (administered orally: calcium, Allertec, something to apply in case of insect bites, e.g. Fenistil), disposable gloves and small scissors;
- mineral water (at least 1.5 l per person);
- sun cream with a high UV filter (mosquito repellents may be useful too);
- food for the kayak trip such as sandwiches, sweets (avoid the ones that melt easily on hot days), fruit, sausages if you’re planning a break to make a bonfire. If it is cool, a flask of hot tea will be useful;
- garbage bags (we take care of the environment so we take garbage with us; in an emergency thick garbage bags can be used to protect your belongings against getting wet);
- a change of dry clothing (advisable especially for kids).
If you have a map of the area you’re going to explore, you should bring it as well.
How to pack things?
Everything you take to the kayak may get wet, and small heavy packages may go down onto the river bottom and get lost if the kayak capsizes. You must remember about that, especially in the case of electronics (mobiles, cameras, etc.) and documents.
It is best to use waterproof bags for water sports to pack your belongings. During our one-day kayak trips you are provided with a big 65-litre waterproof bag for the kayak, to use it during the one-day rally; you can use resistant garbage bags as well.
– Your mobile, it should be additionally protected by a special waterproof cover or several small plastic bags with a tight closure. The safest way is to keep the mobile into the well-secured main baggage during the kayak trip and take it out only when you want to ask for the kayaks to be collected.
– Documents and car keys, put them into a bigger bag so you don’t have any problems with fishing them out if the kayak capsizes.
– Food, you can put it into several plastic bags or into a small plastic bucket with a lid, or if you have a big waterproof bag for the one-day kayak trip, you can put the food into it.
All the baggage will go into the kayak bow and stern.
How to sit in a kayak?
When two paddlers are travelling in a two-person kayak, the heavier or more experienced one sits in the back. The task of that person is to steer the kayak.
The person who is less experienced or weights less sits in the front. That person, as a bowman, informs the cox about any possible obstacles or the bends before the bow. It is important to try and synchronise the pace of paddling.
If you’re paddling in a two-person kayak alone, you sit in the back as a cox.
A kid in a kayak? That’s no problem!
When taking a kid into the kayak, you must make sure that the kid is paddling in a properly chosen and carefully fastened vest all the time and an adult keeps an eye on him/her constantly.
It is important that two kids shouldn’t sit together in a kayak.
We don’t recommend this order either: one adult, two kids. First, it is uncomfortable; secondly, if the kayak capsizes, the adult should take care of only one child.
The elder kid sits in the front as a bowman if he/she has strength and is eager to help his/her parent with paddling. Young kids – up to 5 – can sit in a kayak as a third person, on an additional special seat. You must remember that the additional seat/ rest for the child is between the standard seats and takes the space of the parent who sits in the back.
How to overcome obstacles?
When kayaking on a natural river, you will surely find a spot with a fallen tree jutting out of the water or the shallows. You can read here about how to handle various obstacles on the river.
You should also know what to do if the kayak capsizes.