Sailing in a kayak is a fascinating experience that can provide you with unique sensations and exciting adventures. To make use of the best kayak, certain guidelines and precautions must be followed. As good advice always comes in handy, then we provide you with a “basic navigation guide” so that you can take it into account when using it. We hope you find it useful.
Start In Navigation
To learn to kayak you can use self-learning or instruction. Obviously the safest, complete and recommended is to obtain a certain level of practice next to an instructor or experienced partner, who will help you to be fluent with the oars and to understand the basic precautions that should be taken during navigation. In this way you avoid “silly” mistakes that can complicate the day.
The idea is to start practicing in calm waters, doing rowing exercises forwards and backwards, turns, etc. In this way we will gain confidence, security in what we are doing, we will know the limits of our kayak and our own, and we will be prepared to go a step further.
It is also important to practice self-rescue, or to re-board the kayak by you in the event of a rollover. Once you master these aspects you can start your own adventures.
Surfing is only a habit that should be avoided because if there is an emergency there will be no one to go to help us, or notify the medical service. Being accompanied will avoid running this unnecessary irrigation.
If you choose to go out alone to paddle you must keep certain precautions, such as wearing a flotation vest, whistle, spare paddle, leash and other safety features. Do not forget the telephone or radio station, include spare clothes and food.
In addition, some person must be informed of the route we are going to cover.
Poses the Trip Well
If you are going to take a trip, whether it is longer or shorter, you should plan ahead. Study the area; check the weather forecasts, possible inconveniences, places of supply, sites worth visiting, etc.
Take with you a map of the area (better laminated) or a GPS and mark in it the most important points so that it does not cost you to locate them when you are in “full task”. It is important that you include possible landing places in this list.
If you are going to stay a few days in the selected destination, study where you can sleep. In case you go camping it includes some food and toiletries.
Take Into Account Weather Conditions
Navigation in rivers becomes more complicated when there is a flood. Likewise, navigating through any area while falling a good downpour, with strong winds, or even hail can be complicated. That is why it is important to anticipate these possible circumstances, consulting the climatic conditions and avoiding risky situations.
Do Not Exceed Your Capacity
There are areas where sailing requires more precautions. If you are going to get away from the coast, you must have experience, because both the sea and the lake have currents and dangers that can be complicated. It is preferable to row near the coast.
In the same way, in Mountain Rivers we can find unpredictable situations, sudden changes in small sections that can provide you with a fun but also dangerous experience if we do not know how to face them. Therefore, previous experience and / or the help of a guide is required to manage.
Do not forget that your navigation possibilities evolve over time and according to the skills you acquire. It is not worth taking unnecessary risks navigating through areas or conditions that exceed your own capabilities.
Use Of The Keel
A keel or orzo is a fin whose function is to increase the lateral resistance and stabilize the boat in windy conditions and currents. If your kayak has the possibility of incorporating it you can use it to reduce the effect of the lateral wind and the waves that this causes. This diminishes the tendency of the kayak to turn around. In return, maneuverability will also be reduced.
Put On Your Life Jacket
The life jacket is a fundamental protective element in any type of activity that we want to perform in the water. We must always use it, not only when we enter white water, but also when we enter calmly seemingly calm waters, in this way we make sure we have an unexpected problem. The kayak usually uses a type of flotation vest, which is shorter than the “standard” lifejacket and allows for more comfortable rowing.
Wear Appropriate Clothes
The clothes we wear will be based on the time of year. When it is hot you can wear bathing clothes, applying sunscreen to avoid burns, and always with your head covered to prevent sunstroke.
However, when temperatures are low, the risk to avoid is hypothermia, so we must use other types of clothing that maintain body heat. The neoprene suit is very used for this purpose; however this material does not like everyone because it generates sweat. The alternative is to dress in layers, depending on the cold you do, using synthetic fiber garments and avoiding cotton. It’s about wearing warm undergarments and waterproof exteriors that isolate water and wind. An example would be a polypropylene shirt, fleece lining and a raincoat with wrists and neck closures. For the lower part aquatherm tights and trousers, socks and sneakers.
The life jacket should always be worn, and it is also a fundamental element to maintain body temperature.
Gloves should also be worn by hand in case the cold intensifies and numbs the fingers, and a hat or panty to cover the head since this is the part of the body where more heat is lost.
Check The Equipment Status
The condition of the boat and the equipment should be checked regularly, looking for possible anomalies such as a perforation or breakage, to avoid accidents.
Organize Your Belongings
The most important ones (wallet, phone, documentation) can be stored in a drum or sealed compartment. Using small plastic bags will help keep things neat.
First Aid Equipment And Other Safety Elements
There is different equipment that can be used to reinforce safety in case of emergency, and that we should take depending on the type of output that is made.
At least one person must carry a medicine cabinet in a sealed compartment.
A rope or towline is very useful to get out of a hurry to a partner that needs to be rescued.
If you go sailing with little birth to a flashlight strobe it will help you be located.
It is also not a bad idea to carry a portable transmitter in case you have to ask for help. Unlike the mobile phone, a communication of this type of VHF stations can be received by all the means connected to the channel, i.e. ground control, helicopters, etc.
Other items that can be included in the safety equipment are flares, whistle, and leash cord, bilge pump to dislodge excess water, signal mirror, knife, watertight waterproof covers and replacement material.
You can use a GPS or a mobile app to stay localized.
It is also convenient to have some notions about rescue techniques and first aid.
The use of kayaking with best kayak is a healthy and exciting practice, with which you will live unforgettable experiences, you simply have to take into account these simple tips and be always honest with your own navigation capabilities.