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I love to go solo kayaking in my free time. Kayaking is treated like medicine when I am depressed or upset somehow. I go for a solo kayak and that refreshes my mind effectively. As a solo kayaker, I have faced some problems at the beginning and gradually I can recover from them.
Many of you asking about these problems, how to get rid of them, what are the do’s and don'ts of solo kayaking etc!
So here I am to share what is necessary for solo kayaking, also what you should not do during kayaking.
Solo kayaking is great fun but you need to be more careful about the accessories. As you go alone, you should carry all the essential equipment with you.
In this section, we are going to know which gear and equipment you need to carry with you for a fun adventure ensuring your safety.
You can buy or hire a kayak boat. There are so many options available. You should study first the qualities and features of a good kayak. That will help you to choose the best one for kayaking.
Select the right size paddle for you. The solo kayak is comparatively small, so choose the standard size paddle that is suitable for the kayak. The paddle should not be too large or too small. That will cause an imbalance during kayaking.
Carrying personal flotation devices is a must. You have to carry a well-fitted coast guard-approved PFD whether you know swimming or not. In case of capsizing, that will keep you floating.
You should carry several navigation tools like a GPS device, compass, map, etc. That will help you to navigate the location, direction, and orientation, Also helps you to get back to the shore with ease.
Carrying navigation devices depend on the kayaking type, duration, and location. However, smartphones work like an all-in-one navigator device now.
In addition, keep a water temperature measuring thermometer with you. If the water temperature is above 60 degrees Fahrenheit, you should skip that day to kayak.
You should not forget about the bilge pump. The bilge pump is essential to get the entering cockpits water out and keep the kayak floating safely
The kayaking clothes should not be binding or cotton materials, On the hot summer days, you can simply wear shorts, swimwear, a top, etc. On winter days, wetsuits are considered the best for kayaking.
You should use sunscreen before going kayaking. Also, wear sunglasses to protect yourself from direct sunlight.
In addition, wear neoprene footwear to keep feet dry and comfortable.
Smartphones already provide the time with location, pam, and compass. In case the phone battery is dead, a wristwatch will be a life-saving solution.
You can wear a wristwatch as it's handy and you don't need to stop kayaking to see what time it is. Also, get in touch when you need to back. If the duration will be so long, you can carry Headlamp plus extra batteries.
However, you can use a small table clock and set it in front of the kayak to see the time easily,
In case of emergency, you may need a whistle, phone, or flag. As you are going alone, they must-have accessories for safety purposes.
You should not kayak when you are hungry. Eat food before kayaking, also carry some snacks and water with you.
Energy will be lost when kayaking, you may be hungry and thirsty at a time. So keep water bottles and snacks to sustain you throughout the journey.
Keep dry bags to carry anything as well as keep them dry. Also, you can use it as a bin to keep the used water bottles, food packets, etc. That will help to reduce water pollution.
Now the most asking part to be answered. If you are concerned about the above 10 things, that is complete ½ of the preparation for solo kayaking. Also, keep you safe and stable.
Now we are going to discuss several activities and rules that you should do as well as avoid during solo kayaking.
Let’s get into it-
Before going solo kayaking, research about the location is a must. You should know the possible hazards as well as the areas to avoid several risks.
Get help from the internet or the local paddler when the area is safe for kayaking. Also learn about the current, tides, and weather conditions of the particular area where you prefer to go.
When you kayak alone, you should paddle near the shore. That will be enjoyable and safe at the same time. Going so far may be enjoyable but going back to the shore will make you exhausted.
So you should kayak near the shore.
Practice! Practice!! And Practice!!! Nothing is an alternative to practice. As you decide to adventure, you should practice a lot for solo landing and launching. Otherwise, any unwanted accident may happen when you try to back in by yourself.
It may sound weird, but you have to consider the water temperature and the weather. You can see hot summer days but the water is icy cold. So you have to wear a wetsuit, kayak gloves rather than summer clothes.
The recommended water temperature is below 60 degrees of Fahrenheit. If the water temperature is above the recommended level, you should not go kayaking that day.
Whether you can swim or not, you should wear a PFD which suits you well. If it's so hot, paddle at the shore first then remove the floatation device. It's highly forbidden to remove a life jacket in the middle of kayaking.
As you are going alone, you should keep the belongings in a bag to keep them safe. The bag should be waterproof to keep all accessories dry and safe at the same time.
During planning or before going solo kayaking, you should inform your family members, colleagues, or friends of any emergency. Always carry your phone with full charge in a dry bag. If the duration is long, try to keep a power bank as well.
So that, in case of emergency, you or your close one can communicate with you.
Already solo kayaking is risky compared with group kayaking. So you must know the water condition and weather broadcast.
You should not go solo kayaking during storms or bad weather conditions. Also if you see the water is rough during kayaking, rapidly come to the shore. It's highly risky to kayak in rough water.
Kayaking against the wind is a struggle and difficult to get back to the shore. So you can be paddling into a headwind, The start paddling with a tailwind to go back to your destination.
If anything happens for wrong paddling, or suddenly you feel sick or have sudden hostile weather, keep yourself ready to handle the situation perfectly.
You already wear a life jacket and have all necessities for handling emergencies so you need to keep your mind controlled and calm. That will help to overcome any difficult situation and you can go back home safely.
Solo kayaking is great fun and adventurous at the same time. But before going for solo kayaking, you need a proper A to Z plan for enjoyment as well as safety. You should carry all necessary things, and also follow the rules of solo kayaking.
If you carry the mentioned accessories and be aware of the do’s and don’ts you will be able to enjoy your kayaking time most. At the same time. You should practice more and more before planning to kayak alone.
So why are you delaying? Give you a treat and enjoy your company by going for a solo kayaking trip!